Thursday, February 6, 2014

Running Riot

(Part 4 of My Triathlon Training Experience)

It's just you. You, your legs, your lungs, and your attitude. That's running broken down to its simplistic form.  It's not a team sport, and it's not dependent on a piece of equipment like a bike, racket, or bat.

For me the hardest part about running is the whole moving forward quickly part. You know, the running part.  Seriously.

I like the getting ready to run part. I love my new running shoes.  I love the chit chat the happens with peers before running.  I enjoy the stretching part.  I absolutely love the end when I can stop running.  I don't want to brag, but I am really quite good at stopping.

It's just that humungous part in the middle called "running" that's so darn tricky for me.

It starts out well for the first several miles yards.  I mean really, I can totally nail the first 9 yards. After that my body systematically begins an uprising against my efforts to run.

This uprising begins in my lungs.

My lungs are smoke-free and generally good sports about things. They really don't mind a fast walk from the couch to the refrigerator. If I run up the stairs to get a snack, they are generally cool with that, too.  But after 25 yards of running towards nothing in particular, my lungs politely send a message to the rest of my body that they are uncomfortable.

My brain gets the message and tries to ignore it, but within another few yards my legs are all like, "What? What'd the lungs just say?"  I have very nosey legs who cannot mind their own business.

By then the lungs are annoyed by being ignored so they again send out another message.  It's usually something along the lines of, "Why are you doing this to us?  Please make it stop!"

My legs are like, "Yeah, we need to slow this party down.  No need to go this fast."

As soon as my legs start to slow, my brain begins to short circuit.  All sorts of ridiculous thoughts flood into my consciousness.

For starters, my brain says really nasty things about me when I'm running.  She is a bully and I do not like running with her.

She says, "You can't do this.  Why are you doing this? You suck!  Bacon. Bacon."

I should add that my brain loves bacon and she'll seize on any opportunity to encourage me to eat bacon.

Occasionally, I fight back mentally by saying, "I CAN do this! I CAN keep running."

My brain quickly fires back with, "Slow down.  When did you last have bacon?"

People, it's really hard to keep running with this kind of nonstop dialogue going in your head.

At this point, all I can hear are random words like "stop, bacon, slow, bacon, you hurt all over, eat more bacon!"

My lungs really hate the internal conflict so they naturally have only one recourse.  They burst into flames.

Now my lungs are burning, my legs are slowing, and my stomach is all, "Did somebody say bacon?"

When everything comes to a complete halt, I can look over my shoulder and am really proud of the 400 yards I managed to run without dying.

At this point the fire in my lungs is extinguished, my legs and brain no longer hate me, and I am reminded of a quote I recently saw about running.  I'm sorry I don't know who said it, but I can most certainly relate to it:

"The miracle isn't that I finished.  It is that I had the courage to start."

This moment of profound insight and reflection is, of course, short-lived because my stomach immediately interrupts with one clear demand.

It says, "I need bacon!"

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