Monday, April 20, 2015

I'm Too Tired to Think of a Punny Running Title

A fair warning: My beloved offspring have been—hmm, how to put it delicately?—um,  satanic barbarians particularly difficult today, so my brain kind of feels like cottage cheese. My writing may be a bit jumbled.

In honor of Marathon Monday, I've decided to write another post about running. Woot woot!

Anyone who knows me, even in passing, knows that I’m a runner (especially if that person is "passing" me during a race...heh, heh, heh...I made a funny). It is an integral part of my identity, and something I value very much. I stopped running while we were trying to get pregnant and had to continue the hiatus while I carried the boys. The only thing that kept me from a total mental breakdown during that time was the knowledge that I’d have TWO BABIES to push around in our running stroller when I was permitted to return. (My husband will tell anyone who asks that I was running a day or two after my C-section, but it was AT LEAST a week).

Running relaxes me immensely, and along with the endorphins, it gets my creative juices flowing. It gives me clarity. I often “write” while I’m running (in fact, I’m pretty sure about 75% of my Senior Writing Project was composed while pounding the pavement), so I figure in order to keep the universe in balance, I should occasionally turn the tables and write about running.

When people find out I’m a marathoner—or, since having the boys, a marathoner with twins—they often ask, "How do you do it?" While the wise-ass in me is tempted to shoot back a snarky, “Well, I typically move my legs and swing my arms back and forth a lot,” I usually manage to swallow the sarcasm and let it mingle with the acrid bile in my stomach, where it belongs. I know these people have good intentions and probably just want some formulaic response, like, “Oh, I run x miles, y times a week, and eat carby bready carbs. And lettuce.”

People ask about my "training." But here’s the thing: I don’t follow a training plan. I don’t believe in them. I run by feel, because I feel by running. It’s this awesome, triangular, symbiotic relationship—a flow of energy between my legs, my mind, and the ground. I guess if you add my frequent running partners (T & O) into the equation, it’s more pentagonal, but I’m not sure they get the same satisfaction out of it as I do. They're pretty much just along for the ride. Well, that, and to yell at me when I’m not moving fast enough for their liking. Such little terrorists motivators.

Runners looking for specifics on mileage, pacing, etc. are probably annoyed by my hippie-dippie outlook, but I don't know how else to answer the question. How do I "do it"? I just run. I don't think about it. I don't question it. I don't analyze it.

As the great and wise check-mark known as Nike might say, I just do it. 

(Oh, and for the record, I do eat carbalicious bread. And lettuce. Well, does spinach count as lettuce? Because that iceberg shit is gross. I also eat chocolate, and Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish crackers, and half-eaten dino nuggets off of my boys’ dinner plates. See what I mean? Cottage cheese brain today. And now I have a taste for cottage cheese.)

Right, back to what I was saying: I don't really "train" for races, because I don't like feeling pressured or obligated to run. I think the furthest in advance I've ever registered for a marathon is about a month or so. When I get the itch to race, I usually put my super-honed googling savvy to good use and find something I can run within the week.

The other question I get a lot is whether or not I've ever run the prestigious Boston. I’ve completed four marathons: two B.B. (Before Bubbas), and two A.B. (hopefully you can figure that abbreviation out for yourselfuse context clues). I've qualified for Boston each of those times, but, no, I've never run Beantown. When I tell people this, I can almost hear what they're thinking: What an ungrateful beeyotch. How many people are out there working their asses off to qualify for Boston, only to fall a few seconds short? And she's just throwing that opportunity away?

I get that, I really do. Running Boston is an honor. It's, like, the Mecca of Marathoning. And after the 2013 bombings, it holds an even greater place in the well-conditioned hearts of runners everywhere. However, the idea of running elbow to elbow in a mob of people makes me cringe. It makes my calves cramping up in protest just thinking about it. I run to feel free, not to feel like a Skittle dropped on an anthill. I don't like being swarmed.

And training for Boston? Holy panic attack, Batman. I'd have to double my inhaler dose just to get the workouts written in my calendar. I'd have to get a calendar.

I run to get away from those kinds of things—schedules, obligations, STRESS. I applaud those who run Boston, but it's just not for me.

I'd also like to set one more thing straight: I don't run to look good. When people find out about my history with an eating disorder, they tend to assume my proclivity for running is a lingering symptom, and that irritates me more than the chafing I get on my inner thighs when I foolishly run in cotton undies. I don't run to lose weight: If I run to "lose" anything, it's the toxic way of thinking that used to haunt me when I struggled with the illness. In fact, the only time I can honestly say I don't give a shadow of a shit about the size of my thighs, or the paunch of my tummy, is when I'm running. When I run, I don't care how big I am, or what I look like. Instead, I marvel at the power and grace of my body and its ability to persevere, carrying me forward.

Aaaaaaanyway...I got a little sidetracked from the original intention of this post, which was simply to post a poem about running. Consider all the above rambling horrendously verbose exposition. My apologies. I'm a wordy bitch with a penchant for tangents. 

Here's da poem, yo!

Outrunning the Ringlet

A single lock
hangs, unbridled 
beside the temple, dancing
freely. It ripples
in the temperate
zephyr, drumming
in rhythm with measured
breath: A wisp,
uninhibited, let loose from 
the pull of customary
restraint by the simple
act of putting one
foot in front of

the other.
A rogue tress,
she refuses to be taken
in stride.


Best buds ready to cheer me on  <3

Happy...probably because no one was running
next to me. I think it may have something
to do with my exorbitant sweating tendencies.
Someone one referred to my ponytail as
 "The Sprinkler."
I run with my hair in a bun now.

Recent 10K PR! 40:19

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