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Monday, March 17, 2014

How to Understand Your Distance Runner Friends

How to Understand Your Distance Runner Friends 
Subtitle: We seem to make sense on those light workout days and then we disappear for hours only to return and wander incoherently. 
THIS is why...

This blog is an extension of a Facebook status that a few people suggested I should write. 



It's been only 8.5 miles, a very light long run day, but I'm in 10K & Tri mode, so there's no need for double digits today. I stagger into the house, in some strange mixture of sheer elation and exhaustion. My husband tries to talk to me, how was the run, here is a play by play of everything that happened while I was gone as if I have been gone for over a week, and now he is asking me what I wanna do this afternoon and...


Let me explain. 

This, my love, is what a distance runner goes through, things that when I ran in high school and college I never quite experienced because I never got this far. 

Cycle of long run day: 

Step 1: Relief that long run is over.

That cute little lady or beep goes off and you scream 'YES!' because you survived another long one! WOO HOO!! It's OVER! WE may now proceed with our regularly scheduled day. 

But wait. 

Step 2: "Damn, I could do more. Let's go do more..."

And now you're standing in your kitchen, a glance at your feet, starting to criticize yourself rather than praise. You fat cow you can run a bit further, burn more calories, shave more seconds off your mile, I'm not tired, I feel good, I can go more, of this, maybe a half marathon, let's run a hundred miles...

And then...

Step 3: You realize that you're training for a specific race and therefore need to stop at the mileage you stopped at because it's part of a training plan to meet a goal not for temporary gratification. 

That's why training plans exist, to follow them, even when you don't want to. 



You DON'T want to get hurt. 

Remember that last time? 


Step 4: Get pissed about step 3.

REALLY pissed. 

It might be a good idea to leave the room and change clothes. 

And IF you're still in the room: STEP AWAY FROM THE RUNNER! 

Step 5: The body has finally figured out it is not going to get to go out again and responds by sweating like a pig. 

You've made it to your room and are peeling away the clothes that are now a part of your body when it hits you. The wet, the smell, the disgusting...the suction. (Yeah, that's a thing...)

My godmother once taught me that girls don't sweat, they glow. 

Oh no, not me.

I sweat like a HORSE!


My bad. 

Step 6: Begin to shiver and shake as you're freezing because a) you're finally sweating and b) you're not as big as you used to be anymore and you're in a constant state of 'I am freezing.' 

And I'm not talking about let's get a sweater freezing, I'm talking knees knocking, full on need to move to the tropics freezing and after being a distance runner now for over three years my husband still gets freaked out about. 

Step 7: I need a shower, to be less gross and more warm. 

Now, start the water, it's heating, not hot enough, I have a towel, waters almost ready when it hits me...


Step 8: (Body speaking) "Screw a shower you vain beast, FEED ME." 

"But I smell..." 

"Wanna smell worse? I can make that happen." 

"How, you have nothing in there to MAKE that happen with?"

"Ever smelled a dead person?"

"No, but you haven't either."

"Touché, but do you think anyone else here wants to find out?"

Step 9: Internal debate of shower versus food as you chug water. (They are not too exhausted to form REAL words...)










Step 10: Give up on everything and pass out asleep.

Ok, so you might not sleep, after all, most of us that run have to just keep on trucking after training with kids, jobs, etc. 

My point here is this, yep, we sure are gluttons for punishment, and no, don't pity us, we will want to punch you, but long after the cute little running fad is over, those of us who do this every single week will still be at it, still stinking it up, still giving you the hate stare for asking if we want a Powerbar or some nonsense. 

Just hand us a jug of water and back away. 


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