Running: THE Most Awesome Sport Ever!

My friend Simmah says that she’s tired of hearing me complain about running.

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I know she’s right. In fact, even before her comment on my Facebook wall I had worried that I was coming off a bit too negative. People who know me know that I am not a negative person. I’m the obnoxiously annoying one who finds a silver lining in every dark and gloomy cloud. (Most of the time.) Trust me, I did not get nicknamed Pollyana by being such a Negative Nelly. (Negative Nelly?! – did I really just write that? Shoot me now.)

I do believe that thoughts become actions and in the power of positive thinking and all that bullshit. So maybe I would enjoy running more if I embraced it instead of fought against it.

So on Sunday morning went I went for a 2 mile run (It was actually a 2.34 mile run according to the RunKeeper GPS app on my phone, but my running coach is a known liar), I told myself how excited I was to be outside in the freezing cold crisp air and California sunshine instead of at home, cozy in my warm bed reading my book. And how happy I was to only be running 2 (2.34) miles. Uh, I mean I told myself how bummed I was to only be running 2 (2.34) miles. Oh how I wish I was running 4 (so you know, 4.68) miles instead! Because running is awesome. Running is FUN!

We started off on a hill, but that was okay. I’ve been suffering through practicing inclines on the treadmill and my legs are strong and ready. I started my run in the middle of the pack and when people started passing me in droves, instead of cursing myself for being so slow I looked over my shoulder and saw that there were still three people behind me. Ha ha I am not the slowest runner after all! Eat my dust slow pokes! Great job everybody! (Runners always say great job to the lame people who are trying their best even though they suck at running in back.)

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It is almost impossible to see all of the people ahead of me in this crappy picture, but trust me, there are tons of them!

When I felt out of breath, like I literally could not breathe, I reminded myself that I haven’t passed out yet, so odds are that I wouldn’t pass out this time. Way to go lungs!

And when sweat trickled down my forehead and salty sunscreen got in my eyes, I told myself how glad I was to be cooling myself down and that I was ridding my body of harmful toxins.

And when the sun shone down on my face and I had to squint my eyes against it, instead of cursing the wrinkles and age spots freckles that were surely attaching themselves to my face that very minute, I rejoiced in the joy of receiving a welcome winter tan.

Oh running, my new love, why did I wait so long find you? Simmah is right. By just shifting my perspective, and telling myself that I love you instead of hate you, I find that I do love you.

And best of all, because I ran 2.34 miles on Sunday morning, that means I can eat and drink whatever I want on at the Superbowl party I’m going to later in the afternoon, right?

That’s what I figured anyway. I mean why the hell else would I run? (Other than the fact that now I love it, of course.)

So when I got on the scale this morning only to find that once again my gluttonous ways have netted me an overnight 2 pound weight gain, despite my muscle-building, calorie-burning, cardiovascular-improving fun and awesome run, do you know what I screamed said (very loudly)?

Running sucks!

More on Running and it Sucking

I still hate running. Seriously. I get no joy out of it. Zero.

One might wonder what sort of crazy person does something she hates five days a week. Something that makes her sore afterwards. Something that makes her out of breath and miserable while she’s doing it.

Yeah, when I figure that out I’ll let you know.

I’m training for a 10K – that’s about 6.2 miles, which is about 6 miles too far in my book. To date the furthest I’ve ever run is five miles. And that was so hard. Like really, really, really hard. And I had to walk some of it. (I always have to walk some of it.)

I’m training with the run club at my gym. We meet on Sundays for a long run and then we have running homework every week. I think I’d rather do Chandler’s Math Analysis homework. And I really suck at math. (Except for percentages and how they relate to things that are on sale. I’ll tell you, I can calculate the sale price of something in my head with the snap of a finger, no calculator needed.)

At the start of the training for the 10K our coach told us that we had  to do our homework. “Don’t come to these long Sunday runs without doing your homework,” he warned us. “Because if you do, one of three things are guaranteed to happen. One, you will get hurt. Two, you will die. Or three, you will not finish your race.”

Honestly any of those scenarios sound preferable to me having to run six point two miles.

Last week I was pretty excited because I had it in my head that we had an easy week and our homework was Monday off, Tuesday 2 miles, Wednesday 1 mile, Thursday 2 miles, Friday off, and Saturday one mile. My friend Carol corrected me and told me that is was Tuesday 2 miles, Wednesday 2 miles, Thursday 3 miles. We checked. She was right. Stupid Carol!

I’ve been running for over four months now, but I’m not getting any better at it. Well, it is getting a tiny bit easier, but I’m so slow. I’m always one of the last ones to finish.

On yesterday’s run we did a 4 mile trail run. My friend -who shall remain nameless, but she knows who she is!- asked me to run with her because she hadn’t run for a week because she’d been sick. Yeah, that’s how slow I am. I run with the infirmed.

Also, she got lost on a trail once and hurt her foot, so understandably she hates trails. This trail was pretty narrow in places with sharp drop-offs and very uneven terrain – very hard to do if you are not a trail-run fan. (Or if, like me, you’re not an any-run fan.)

Wildwood-trails
See those dots on the trails? Those are some of the many, many runners in front of us.

My nameless friend had to walk a lot of it because of the unevenness of the terrain, so I, out of the goodness of my heart, walked a lot of it too. You know, because I’m a good friend like that. Not because I couldn’t run it. (Cough cough!)

I will admit that it is a beautiful trail (if you like dry California scrub) and at a little over halfway you end up at a waterfall.

Waterfall-Wildwood-Hike
Feeling strong – of course this waterfall is at the bottom of a canyon and now I have to go back up!

And I suppose I should tell you that the main reason my friend wanted me to stay with her was because she was afraid of getting lost. So you know I got us lost right? And of course getting us lost resulted in us doing an extra mile. (I might or might not have said bad words to our running coach when he found us at the bottom of the trail where we’d taken a wrong turn and told us we’d have to go back.) I probably should have told her that I’m not just bad at math and running. I also have a terrible sense of direction.

Needless to say, we came in last for the people that were doing the four mile run. I’m pretty sure we still would have even if we hadn’t gone the extra mile.

So yes, as far as I’m concerned – running? It still totally sucks.

What I Learned in 2013

In no particular order is a list of things I learned in 2013

1. Ignoring your problems will not make them go away. It will however, very, very likely make them worse. (And more expensive.)

2. Sometimes if you ask for something, you might just get it.

3. Being busy -like for real- makes you so much more organized than having idle time on your hands. (Idle time? What’s that?)

4. Saying no to your kids is easier when you can’t afford to say yes. But no less heartbreaking.

5. Binge watching TV shows is incredibly addicting.

6. If you are binge watching TV shows and have not caught up to real time stay off Twitter.

7. Maggie Smith rules. (I actually knew that already.)

8. So does Bryan Cranston. (Of that I was not aware.)

9. Candy Crush is even more addictive than binge watching TV. (However, I have not missed it even for one second after deleting it from my phone. I do, however, regret the 8,743 hours I spent ignoring my family while playing it.)

10. It is possible to lose weight after age 45. (Thank god!)

11. Running sucks. (I knew that already too – but not like I know it now.)

12. Having none of your clothes fit properly because they are too big is a good problem to have (and one that you really shouldn’t complain about to your friends), but it’s still a pain in the ass.

13. Parenting a teenage girl in the digital age is really hard. Like really fucking hard.

14. Chia seeds are not just for late 20th Century themed gag gifts. They are actually full of Omega 3’s and really good for you. They’re also really hard to get out of your teeth. (See #13 for how hard.) Even with dental floss.

 

Here are some things that I absolutely already knew that I was greatly reminded of in 2013

1. I really did a spectacularly awesome job when I picked my friends. (And I’m so glad they picked me back.)

2. My son is really really fast.

3. My daughter is really really smart.

4. My husband is really really funny.

5. Getting up at 5:00 so I can write or work out keeps me sane.

6. My mom is amazing.

7. I love the way that words taste on my tongue.

 

Books I loved in 2013

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 

Favorite quote from a book in 2013

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” ― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

Seriously, can’t you just taste those words in your mouth?! 

What did you learn, love, or were reminded of in 2013?

 

*This post was inspired by 100% ripped off from the fabulous Kim Sisto-Robinson’s blog post 21 Things I’ve Learned in 2013 and Other Stuff. You should read it. Her words are beautiful. (And they taste amazing!)

Running Sucks… Still

I’ve been running for a little over a month now. Every Sunday with a run club and a few times during the week. My run club gives me running homework and I’m supposed to run five days a week, but I usually only run three. Or two. I like to lift weights when I go to the gym. Or take a class. Or anything but run.

running sucks

So why do I do it? Because I have friends that push me. Friends that lie and say they hate running too and yet there they are running. If they can do it, I can do it. Even though I run so slowly. I’m always one of the last runners in. And my friends are there waiting for me when I finish, high-fiving me and telling me that I’m awesome and if there’s one thing I love it’s to hear that I’m awesome (even if it’s bullshit) so I keep running.

Also, since ending my Just Lose It program and taking up running I’ve lost an additional four and a half pounds. I stepped on the scale yesterday and saw my goal weight staring back at me. I immediately stepped off and stepped back on again, not trusting the number. But there it was again. I’ve lost 16 1/2 pounds in three months. Eating right, lifting weights, and running – it turns out it is possible to lose weight after the age of 45. (Who knew?)

And so I run.

Yesterday I ran four miles – four miles –  and every step was tortuous. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t getting easier – it is. But it’s still hard. And terrible. I still hate every heart-pounding, joint-jarring, sweat-inducing, very unpleasant step.

I run intervals – which means you run for a certain amount of time and then you walk for a minute. I’m on the lowest interval (meaning I run for the shortest amount of time compared to the other runners in the club – the real runners, the runners who are doing a half marathon in two weeks) so I run for eight minutes and then walk for one. Or one and a half. (Or maybe sometimes two. Accidentally of course.) It’s hard to tell because this is what my watch looks like…

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Not the ideal watch for running.

The second hand doesn’t really work -it kind of jumps- so it’s not a good timing watch. It’s hard to see the precise time. So it’s not really my fault if I walk a little too long. (Or run a little too short.)

Yesterday on my run -when my friends were a half mile ahead of me- a woman pushing a double jogging stroller with a toddler and a small dog seated inside turned the corner and ran alongside of me. I was keeping pace with someone pushing 50 pounds!

“She’s breathing really hard, Mommy,” the snot-nosed adorable little girl said.

“Yes, Mommy breaths hard when she runs too,” the running mom said effortlessly. I wonder if she lies to her kid like that all the time. I guess I should be grateful. She could have been honest. She could have said, “That’s because she’s old and only pretending to be a runner.”

I mean really, what kind of lunatic takes up running at the age of 48?

I suppose one that wants to stay thin healthy. One that wants to prove to herself that she can do something she never thought she could do. One that knows hard things are worth doing.

But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Running Sucks

running sucks

I’m not a runner, but today I ran one mile. That’s right – one whole mile! I know, I know – amateur! I sort of got talked into joining the run club at my gym which is crazy because not only am I not a runner, I’ve never had any desire to be a runner. Not even a little. You know those people who decide mid-life that they are going to take up running and then start training and then do something completely insane like run a marathon? Or even worse, start running daily. Like as a way of life? I’m not doing that. Do you know why? Because I hate running. I HATE IT! Every step I take I curse the name of my friend who talked me into this foolishness. (Juliana – you KNOW I’m talking about you!) I try with all my might to think of anything –anything-  other than this hell that is called running and the fact that I can’t breathe and that I’m miserable because I feel like my heart and my lungs are going to simultaneously explode. Today as I was running I tried to focus on the beauty of the morning sky as it grew brighter, but that just made me focus on the fact that I forgot to put my contact in before heading outside. (No, that’s not a typo, I’m nearsighted and only wear one contact which makes one eye nearsighted and one eye farsighted and I don’t have to wear reading glasses. Go ahead and call me vain. Of course I’m vain – otherwise I wouldn’t be running!) I tried to think about the high-fat salt laden restaurant meal (and alcohol) I’ll be enjoying with two girlfriends later tonight in an attempt to convince myself that this torture I was putting myself through will all be worth it. I tried counting 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 with every step like someone who was meditating might count their breaths. Except that people that meditate are peaceful. And I’m not peaceful. No moment of zen. No runner’s high. Only misery; no peace. Instead all I could think of, the one thought that kept popping into my head was, “Running sucks.” And I hate it. And I really don’t want to do it again. (Even though I probably will.)

~For 30 days I am righting Just One Paragraph.