Clodhopper Tuesday, June 03, 2008I've been running, twice exactly. And while my speed nor the distance I can do, 2 miles** (with some walking breaks tossed in there) isn't earth shattering- it is running. Albeit slowly. It's still not my favorite activity and I doubt it ever will be, yet there is something so alluring about running and the cult that surrounds it. I love the way runners talk about how it is just them and the road, a single, solitary activity with no judgment- just footfall after footfall. The runner's high, those sleek, gazelle-like legs, the steady gate...I want all of it. Although I fear I'll never have those lovely, shapely legs and my gate will always resemble a Clydesdale.
My Dad has always been a runner, for as long as I can remember he would don his running shoes and slip out of the house to pound away on the pavement. In my younger years I remember the torture he would inflict upon us by making us run with him in the middle of summer. In TEXAS. Our Mother would slowly follow behind us in that massive van she used to drive just in case one of us died of heat exhaustion. I could never make it very long and would eventually end up in the van with my mother. My brother on the other hand was a natural, born to the heat and pavement like it was his destiny. There was no end to the love and affection our Father felt about this, he loved that his only son was a runner- just like him. Some sort of triumph of genetics, while his daughters eschewed the very activity. I was always more of a waterbaby, excelling at racing to the end of the pool lane, flipping and coming back for more. I have the powershoulders of a butterfly-er that I've never been able to get rid of.
In college I attempted to be a runner, and for quite some time succeeded. I was running about 3 miles a day and while this was no great distance to do in one go, it was quite an achievement for someone so prone to disliking the sport. But this was also during the period of my life at which I flirted with messed up eating habits, living on diet ginger ale, celery and one cup a rice a day. Complete and utter ridiculousness, looking back and that time I'll admit I'm ashamed. In the end, though, I stopped running. Not because my body gave up from pure exhaustion or lack of nutrition- because really it was surprising on how far I could go on that one cup of rice a day but rather it was the doctor that told me I had to stop. A couple of months into my running I began to develop the most debilitating back pain- when not running I was hunched over like an old crone barely able to pick up my book bag. Turns out the combination of running and the huge breasts I had were messing up my back so badly (oh, the bouncing- I couldn't bare to have a treadmill facing the mirrors, it was like a horrible fun house mirror except REAL). So I quit and the back pain subsided somewhat. The dumb eating bullshit sort of started to clear up too, although it would take me more than a year and half to fully kick it's ass and realize how unbelievably stupid not eating was.
Then I didn't run again for 6 years, until last year (this time with much smaller breasts thanks to my plastic surgeon). There wasn't any painful bouncing or back pain, although a high impact bra is still in order (ladies, Enell is your savior- I don't exercise without mine. No bounce EVER.) Yet, I still didn't love it and it was the part of my triathlon training I neglected the most, figuring if worse came to worse I would walk it. And I did walk a good bit of it, this year I'd like it to be different. I'd like to be better at running, last year it was biking that I so desperately wanted to do well at and that didn't go exactly as planned. The point of all of this is that I'm trying, I'm trying to make myself a runner. It could end in failure yet again, or just something I can do but still don't love.
But I hope not.
Oh, and to answer Shannon's question about which Tris I am going to do, The Cleveland Triathlon Mini Sprint, August 3rd and the Greater Cleveland Triathlon Sprint on August 10th. Perhaps one more in September in Akron based on how those go. I've opted for Cleveland ones because while I LOVED the all women's Triathlon in Sylvania Ohio it just so far from my home and at one point on the drive home I thought I would pass out at the wheel from exhaustion. Just totally drained, and if I race in Cleveland I can stay the night at my parents house and relax without having to worry about that. Not driving off the road = good.
**ok, I wrote this post before I left for the gym today and I'm proud to report that I've now run three times. This last one for 2 miles (22 minutes) without stopping! Dude. WITHOUT STOPPING. I feel awesome. AWESOME.
The whole time I was running I was like "Oh my god, I'm rocking this. Look at MEEEEE! I'm running!"