Monthly Archives: December 2011

Runners be crazy (and slightly stupid)

ONLY A RUNNER thinks they don’t have to train for half-marathons.

ONLY A RUNNER would consider a marathon less than two months away when their last long run was two seasons ago.

ONLY A RUNNER drops benjamins on cool new gadgets and discount compression socks but not on woefully needed new shoes.

ONLY A RUNNER would wake up one morning — not having run, period, since before Thanksgiving — and go for a “light 10 miles.”

ONLY A RUNNER blames everything — the weather, the terrain, the drinking the night before — but their lack of training on a shitty run.

Yes, indeed. Runners be crazy (and slightly stupid).

This isn’t all runners, or even elite runners and those who know how the body works and what to do to avoid injury and get to peak performance. This is me. And I venture it’s more than just me. There are other people out there in my same camp — those who train poorly; know they train poorly and do it anyway.

My running career consists of three full marathons, between 5-8 half marathons, countless 10ks and not-worth-mentioning 5ks. I’ve survived each and kept improving time, endurance, etc. Sadly, this gave me a false air of invincibility.

I call it the Marathon Effect. Because you average more than 10 miles a week and should (with legitimate training programs) keep increasing mileage over the course of four to six months, it skews your reality. What you consider a “long run” or a “quick run” is not the same for the rest of society. Plus, you kinda come off as a dick because of it.

Someone will say, “Woohoo. I just tackled six miles! and I feel great!!”

You react, “That’s it? You mean six miles out and six miles back, right?”

Someone will say, “Man, I’m sore today. I ran a half marathon this weekend.”

You react, “Uhhh… congrats. Call me when you run the full 26.2.”

Someone will say, “I’m training for a 5k.”

You react, “People actually train for those???”

No, I don’t train for a half marathon. If I can run a full, I can run a half. It’s called muscle memory. I may feel like shit the following day, but I’ll be fine.

Yes, I considered running P.F. Chang’s Rock n Roll in January. Then, I pushed it back to Surf City in February, then LA Marathon in March. All, while I used my running shoes for Zumba instead of, well, running. (Slight glimpse of brain functioning: Ultimately decided against all these marathons — more out of laziness than anything else. Winter mornings are cold)

Yes, I’ve spent hundreds on heart rate monitors, compression socks and more cool stuff. I’ve also avoided buying new shoes. My knees are starting to hurt and my toes made a hole through the mesh of my Asics. But still I say to myself, Running shoes are expensive. Next month…

Yes, I’ve woken up and said, Today I’ll run 10 miles because I need to make up all the miles I’ve missed. Who cares if the last time I ran more than 8 miles was in September?

And yes, when I decide to walk in the last 2 miles of those 10, it’s because the rain messed up the dirt paths or because I didn’t eat breakfast or because I left my iPod at home or because my “ankle is acting up”. Never because of the worn-out shoes, the nonexistent training or the fact that I’m crazy (and slightly stupid).

PHOTO: The true face of a runner (via Guardian UK)