Monday, July 28, 2008

I like running

I like running because I am not currently running right now. While I am actually running, I hate it. Running is one of the hardest things a person can do, and when you're going for speed, and distance, and increasing inclines...running is hard. But I do it because I love it when I'm not actually doing it. Because I can sit down at the computer, like, now, and I can tell you all about it.
Before I had children, (that is the great "BEFORE" in life, isn't it? But that's another blog for another day...or just go read some other mom's blog, they all capture it, pretty much.) I used to run long distances outside, in the hills of Los Gatos. This is a beautiful place. Espescially if you are into nature and hiking and all of that. While I appreciate a beautiful location in nature, I am decidedly NOT a nature lover, per say. Camping? no. Hiking? Okay, but really I just do it for the exercise and conversation with whoever I'm with, because who goes hiking alone? I'm sure many people do, and they love it, and they have a terrific, super experience out there in the wilds of nature, just breathing in the fresh air and thinking deep thoughts. I'm just saying, that's not me. However, I used to run in the beautiful Los Gatos hills mostly alone. It is hard to convince most people to join you on a 7 mile very hilly run. So I would take my little key chain pepper spray, tuck my car key inside my shoe, (very classy) and off I went. I don't know what I thought about. I'm sure I had fantastic revelations and thoughts, but they were mostly usurped by the desire to just be done with this dumb run I was on, because I knew that I wouldn't be satisfied until I made it to the top of the hill, and then back down again, to my car, where I could say to myself "See that crazy hill? I just ran to the top of it. And back. Yea, I did that. No big deal, I'll do it again in a day or two..." Ultimately, I felt tough, just thinking that I was just out there, getting muddy.
Now that I am both older and a mother, I WOULD NEVER DO THAT ALONE!!!!!! What was I thinking? There are crazy things up there, like huge bugs and rattlesnakes and racoons and skunks, not to mention MOUNTAIN LIONS!!! And I would absolutely freak out if I ever had seen a tarantula...I know, nothing to be afraid of, really, except that they are big and hairy, but I used to have nightmares about tarantulas as a child, so that has forever biased me against them. I once told a man who runs marathons all over the world about my fear of moutains lions, and he said that I didn't need to fear them, because they don't attack runners. He said that if you are runnning, then you are standing up, and that intimidates the lions. The people who get attacked are the bikers who are hunched over adjusting a chain. (I don't know if that's true or not; it makes sense, but I would still freak out just as much if I encountered a mountain lion in the wild.)
I have discovered that what I REALLY like is running on the treadmill in the gym. With my own personal TV screen in front of me. And earphones for the tv or radio. And a book holder. Where I can read books or magazines. And I do not get rained on. And there are no wild animals. I can just get on my own treadmill and go. And if I'm tired and have to stop, I'm not miles away from my car in the middle of nowhere; I'm exactly where I started.
The problem with treadmills is that you can cheat. You can hold on to the sides and top the whole time. Yes, I have done this before. I know, what a disappointment, right? But I really try not to hold on, and if I must (because I have increased my speed so stinking much that my legs can't keep up) I try to only hold on with one hand...not too tight. There is a girl who goes to my gym who also likes to run on the treadmills, but she has her own unique style. She holds onto the side rails so tight, it is like she is holding her whole body weight up off of the treadmill and her feet are barely touching the ground. I always wonder "what does she think she's doing?" I say this in love, because she is a what -not -to -do lesson to me, and I keep her in mind when on the treadmill. The good thing about treadmills is that you can control how fast and at what incline you wish to run; it's not dependant on the terrain.
There are two other people I keep in mind when on the treadmill. The first is Kelly Ripa, as her show, "Live with Regis and Kelly" is the one I watch while running. She says that she runs 5 miles a day, so I think to myself, "Kelly runs 5 miles a day. I can run at least 5 miles today." The other person I think about is my friend Rachel. She has never been a runner in her life, except for a few months last year when she was training for a half marathon. I saw her one day, pounding it out on the treadmill, and the look she gave me said "I am in pain. What am I doing? Get me off of this thing." (On a side note, Rachel is so super smart that even her look of pain and distress looked intelligent. I'm not kidding.) She said to me "I'm supposed to go 8.5 miles today, but i don't know if I can make it!" (She did) so I think to myself "Rachel made it to 8.5 miles; I can do that, too. " And then I do. But I must say, my run this morning was HARD! Some days it's just harder than others. I had to stop and walk a lap after about 5 miles. But I finished, and I got that machine to say 10 miles before I got off. Because I like running. As I sit here, on the computer, finishing my lunch, I can tell you, I really, really like running.

5 comments:

Kristina said...

I haven't read it yet but I know you love love love running.

sara said...

That is awesome. I really, really, really love running too. Running to Starbucks, running to Target, running to grab a movie........

matt said...

Hey sis, great to see you writing! You're quite good at it. Put me on a treadmill, and I'm done in 5 minutes. Put me in the mountains with my Camelback and my ipod, and 4 hours later I'm still running. We apparently got very different running genes. . .

vic-a-la said...

i hate running. i tried to like it. i had a moment when i had my one and maybe only runner's high, and i loved it...but only for that moment (but,, that may have been in a dream)... so, i decided to accept that i hate running. i'm ok with that.
running downhill, on the other hand, particularly on the way down the mountain from a hike up (which i do enjoy, many times alone, and mostly for the exercise), is fun. like flying without wings. just keep picking up your feet and you end up at the bottom without even breaking a sweat! :-)
you continue to amaze me, belly button! keep on running!!

Val said...

I couldn't agree with your first line more. I like working out when I am not actually working out. It feels great after I'm all done. But when I am actually working out, I can't wait for it to be over.