Friday, July 18, 2008

on running.

I have a complicated relationship with running. (And by the way, I thought of this before New Balance did...but I won't hate because those commercials are great.) My father, whom y'all should know by now, I have my own separate complicated relationship with, was a big runner. He used to do marathons and some of the biggest memories I have as a kid are of my mom getting us three boys up on some random Sunday morning to watch him come in at the finish line of various races around the city. I ran track and field in high school, although one of my favorite stories to tell (and, bonus, it's a true one!) is that I really only went out for the first day as a freshman because a girl that I liked told me that it would increase our chances of getting together. (Well, her friend told me.) And it did. Sweet. But I found out once I was out there that I was reasonably fast. I was on all the important relay teams as a freshman, and I have lots of great memories of track, especially as the memories of soccer from around that time were dimming. So it took place at a really good time in my life, and I loved it.

But I didn't really love it. I loved the socializing, the atmosphere, the girls, etc. (That's actually a lot like my views on high school in general.) I liked it because I was good enough at it to do well, but I didn't particularly like running. And that's because I wasn't really great at it. I was fast as a freshman, showed some promise, but was left in the dust by those whose bodies continued to mature, and who were willing to put in the work that I, quite honestly, just wasn't willing to. And I don't have any bad memories or associations tied to any of that, that's just telling it like it is.

But I always wanted to be a better runner than I was. So during my senior year of high school, I joined cross country in the fall instead of finishing with soccer, and I really enjoyed it. It was the first time that I loved running, and it was surprising, because I wasn't any better at running long distances than I had been at sprinting (in fact, I was much worse!) but the company (again) made it. The guys that I met through cross country were some of the best friends that I made in high school and they totally improved my experience thereof. And it made me feel good to be running that far, like I was kind of, intangibly proving something to my dad.

When I went to college, I tried to stay with the running pattern, but it really didn't happen a lot. Then, a couple years ago, I asked for (from my dad) and got a pair of Nike Plus running shoes. It was something that Brandon and I had been talking about a lot since they'd come out and we'd decided that it was the perfect thing to get us motivated to get into shape again. We were pretty much big computer dorks, so if we could track this kind of stuff, we figured, it would give us a lot of motivation.

Well...it didn't work. The shoes arrived at just the wrong time in my life, as I was going through a pretty traumatic transition, and they sat unused for a long while. When I finally got around to it, I wasn't much in running shape. (I have this long, deep-seated fear of being/getting fat, even though after I broke my jaw, I was pretty much content with being fat, just out of joy of getting to eat again.) I gave a good effort, but really didn't get in to it.

That's changed this year. I've been running a lot more, and since the summer hit, it's really reached a new point. I want this not to be an apex, though, I just want it to be the beginning of a good pattern. That's why it's so important to me that I maintain this schedule no matter what, going so far as running after drinking at happy hour, or going out in the rain after Johnny fed me garden burgers and booze.

It's all about the schedule.

EDIT: This is also the place where I wanted to mention how pissed I am that the widget that I use for a lot of my motivation isn't working. You can see it a little bit up and to the right? Yeah, that thing that looks like it isn't working? It isn't working. Nike tells me it's a known issue and they're working on it, but, come on... This is a multi-billion dollar company and this kind of thing has gone on for this long? All right, sorry, just had to complain a little bit.

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