my plan to save on gas…don’t drive

November 16, 2008

this week i ran about 35 miles and only drove 4.  sure, those 4 miles were to dairy queen and back, so i probably undid about 16 of my miles with a single pumpkin pie blizzard, but it was delicious.  

i’ve been running for years, though i tend to go in spurts.  i will become obsessed and run a lot and then slack off and barely take more than a step at a pace faster than a brisk walk for a few months, or an entire pregnancy.

there have been times when i have consistently run 50 miles a week, pored over every word in the latest issue of runners world, watched marathon coverage on tv, spent more time with my running buddies than my own husband, obsessed over the newest styles of sauconys, conducted experiments to determine which shot bloks and power gels taste the best, and wondered which dri-fit top is the best for wicking sweat.  but i am reluctant to call myself A Runner (in caps, Very Official-like).  this is only because some of my friends routinely run ultramarathons and 100 mile races and 24-hour races and other feats of insanity.  i am certainly not one of those people.  running is not natural and easy and second nature for me.  but i do love it.  

i am remembering more and more how much i love it.  i love the way i feel after a good run.  i love the sweat, i love the left-right-left-right-left-right cadence, i love the runner’s high, i love the way it tones my legs and butt, i love the blisters on the tips of my toes that scream out, “yes, we’re ugly, but we’re physical proof of your mileage. we are the signs of feet well used.” most of all i love what it does for my mind.  

i have had some struggles managing my marbles, so to speak.  therapy is good, medication is great, running is incredible.  i do think part of it is the left-right cadence i love so much…it’s EMDR on a full-body scale.  it helps me alleviate tension and restore proper order in my brain.  i just feel better (read: more sane and focused, less sluggish and uptight) all over when i have a good running week.  

let me say it again, so that i have the written-on-the-internet-so-it-has-to-be-true reminder if i ever feel the desire to slack off again anytime soon (i will speak in the third-person and hopefully it will sound like the caring suggestion of a friend – or maybe stuart smalley – instead of the symptoms of a burgeoning dissociative identity disorder)…here goes.  

(<caring friend>) remember, dear, you feel good when you run.  running makes your body, mind, and soul feel whole and renewed.  your relationship with your husband improves, your baby is less cranky, you are more productive around the house, everything is better after a run.  remember your old motto, “no one ever regrets going to the gym.” now stick with it, you can do it.  even on days when you feel like putting on sweats and watching rachel maddow on tv….get your ass on the treadmill.  you will feel better afterwards, i swear.  rachel repeats later anyhow.  i’d tell you to set the TiVo to record it but HAH!  you two must be the last poor souls who haven’t caught up to 2004 yet and don’t own a TiVo.  enjoy your commercials, suckahs! (</caring friend>)

so, if you’re looking for me, i’ll be on the basement on my treadmill, listening to podcasts galore as i rack up the miles


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