“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually, you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit.” -Dr. George Sheehan
Okay, fine, maybe more than one thought:
I’m still conflicted with myself as to weather or not I want to actually venture out on another long run…
Why do I love running?
Do I love running? Why? Why not?
I have no idea.
Some people have profound, enlightening thoughts while they run.
I am not one of those people.
Running clears my mind for the only reason that it forces me to refocus…
I can’t think about anything other than running when I run… I do not know why.
“I’m running. Sweet. I’m running…”
“Oh my god, I’m still running… why am I still running?”
“…..I’m running so slow. I probably don’t even look like I’m moving.”
“Dammit, that girl just passed me and I swear I look like I’m running faster than her, HOW DID SHE PASS ME!?”
“…dammit, I’m still running. How. much. longer?”
“..at least I’m burning calories. If I ran faster I’d burn more calories. If I stay running slow I can probably run farther
and still burn calories..”
“Okay, 1 more mile. Just suck it up and finish your mile and then you’re done and we can stop running and stop thinking about running.”
“I need a new playlist. Seriously, make a new playlist.”
And then it’s over. And real life resumes.
The longer I run, the longer I don’t have to think about school, money (lack thereof), job #1, job #2, and job #3, family, friends, enemies, schedules, sleeping, eating, class, exams…
All I can think about is running. I try to find my happy place, I really do… perhaps I don’t have one? I don’t know.
I try to think about Australia, the running distracts me.
I try to focus on my surroundings, I’m distracted by my feet repetitively hitting the pavement.
I try to focus on anything other than how fast, how far, and how much longer I have to run.
Nonetheless, I’m distracted from everything else.
Perhaps if running felt like tickles and rainbows, this wouldn’t be such a debate.
Yes, the momentary liberation from other things in my life is nice, but when you’re going on a long run,
6+ miles and for an hour+ at a time, thinking about nothing but running for that long it utterly exhausting.
I just can’t refocus my mind on anything else.
Running is good for me.
It makes me feel less like a fat ass.
But it also breaks me down.
If I don’t have a good run, I feel bad about myself.
“I can’t run. I suck at running. Running sucks.”
I’ve talked about this before… if I had a bad run, it takes a lot out of me.
It takes me a lot to convince myself to hit the road again, but with a negative attitude, until I have a run that I feel good about.
“If running doesn’t love me, I don’t love it” kind of mentality.
But when I have a good run, there’s almost no feeling like it.
Maybe it’s just too soon.
Maybe it’s because a week ago I ran my 10K and I told myself I’d take a long break from running…
but here I am, sitting still and itching to move.
There, I said, I feel like running.
Somewhere between the mental fits and knee pain, the relief I get once it’s over, once I’m done running, is great.
Reality creeps back into my mind, and the agonizing thoughts about running leave…
and when reality becomes too much again, I run and escape it all, and when I’m sick of thinking about running, I stop..
This is not a promise or a guarantee that I’m going to lace up tomorrow and run.
And up until I sat down to write this, I had no idea where running and I stood..
Even though I consider myself an adult, I learn something new about myself every day. Today, I learned that I am insane
and actually have conversations, arguments, and reconciliations with inanimate actions, such as running.
At least I don’t have 39 cats, right?