Wednesday, December 12, 2012
At what point did running become somewhat easy? Three weeks ago, if you asked me if I could run a mile, Iíd tell you that itís like walking down a dark alley in a bad neighborhood at night: Iíd probably survive, but it wouldnít be a pretty thing to see and itís best left avoided. Somehow, in less than three weeks, Iíve run two separate 5Ks, Iíve run a 5K on the dreaded demon treadmill, and last weekend, a 4.3-mile run. In under 10-minute pace, no less. I still havenít figured out this runnerís high thing. Either itís bullsh*t or Iím not yet crazy enough to run far enough to experience it. But I can run for 42:38 straight so far, and itís just getting easier. Thatís not to say Iíll be running the Holiday Half this weekend, but itís a nice start.
So Monday was my birthday, and as Iíd planned, I attempted to make a day of it. After hitting the gym and running a (fairly easy) 33-minute 5K, I hit the Jack in the Box for what I remembered to be some delicious grub: a Supreme Breakfast Croissant, a chicken sandwich, and two tacos. As I ate them, I noticed something a little disconcerting. They just werenít that good. The results for the rest of the food I had that day were mixed. Kettle Chips Sea Salt and Vinegar were exactly as good as I remembered (so damn good), fruit pies were decent but not good enough to waste 450 calories on, and Chinese buffet was similarly just OK.
Iím finding that there are a lot of foods that I used to convince myself that I love that are just not very good. Itís a bit of a scary thought, especially since I was the first to accuse people of lying when they claimed not to enjoy their old faves. But itís true. I didnít have any McDonaldís on Monday, surprisingly, but I canít imagine I would love it. I can make a better burger. I bet I could make better Chinese pretty easily. I make damn good food and I feel better after I eat it. You know what eating 5000 calories does to you? I know what it does to me. It makes me sluggish, and irritable, and uncomfortable. I donít like feeling any of those ways.
So as I mentioned, Sunday is the Holiday Half. Itís going to be a walking event for sure, but the 22nd is my first shot at upping my number. The running club Iím in has an event planned for that day that involves running a 1.5-mile loop as many times as one can in 60 minutes. I certainly want to run 4.5, but my goal is to push myself to finish six miles in that hour. Can I do it? I donít know. Iíve never run six miles before, and Iíve only run sub-10 minute pace once in my life. But if I come to the start/finish line after my third lap and Iím on pace, you can bet Iíll have a go at it.
Itís kind of strange to think that Iím slowly turning into a ďrunnerĒ. Even as Iíve begun running, I still donít feel like a runner. I know that thereís no set definition and if I run Iím a runner and all that stuff. But I feel like thereís some disconnect between myself and the people that I identify as ďrunners.Ē For some reason, I see runners as those who are consumed by running. Is that true? Do they hang out with the other runners talking about splits and wearing their very short shorts? I only see them at running events, so maybe they have entire lives that I donít know about and they are actual human beings and Iím an asshole for treating them like automatons. Then I read my previous paragraph and realize it was all about split times, though not about very short shorts. So be warned, I might be buying some very very short shorts soon.