Category Archives: Running
New podcast where I talk about this car and other stuff. You can find the podcast on the sidebar and here.
First, holy shit I’m actually writing something on this blog. Right?
This is my first post in 2012 and this is what’s what.
Things that haven’t changed: I’m still single. I have the same job. I live in the same apartment. I still have 4 cats.
Things that have changed: My state of mind, my attitude, and my body.
Over the past 5 months, I’ve come to view my body as a machine. I was once in such good shape, a talented athlete. But like a machine, you have keep up with the maintenance. I didn’t.
I decided in February that I wanted to run a very popular race in Philly, a 10 mile race that requires runners to run a 15 minute mile or faster. This was a huge decision for me. I was running slow at the time I made the decision and needed a goal. This race is so popular that I didn’t get in at first, but got picked in the lottery. I felt like this was fate.
Running is hard work. When I got the word that I got into the race, I was running 3 miles, 3 times a week at a pace of 13 minutes per mile. I had to pick it up. I gradually increased how many times a week I ran and increased my distance. I got terrible blisters and lost the nail on my big toe on my left foot. I kept on running through body aches and a tight back and bad weather.
I pushed my body until my muscles started remembering what being fit felt like. I pushed until I could maintain a 9 minute mile pace over several miles. I pushed until I didn’t have to worry about how my body felt because running felt like home again. Yes, home again. Muscle memory is amazing. My body remembered my gait and form. And even though I wasn’t in shape enough to handle what my body wanted to do in the beginning, once my cardiovascular system could handle it I took off.
The hardest part about running is exercising your mental muscle. Finding the part of you that shuts the negative part of you off. Figuring out how to let go of fear and just relax. Learning to trust your body and realize that our machines were built for movement. I feel better when I keep moving. Rest only makes me hurt, both physically and mentally. Newton was right, “a body in motion stays in motion”. I think of members of my family who sit around and don’t move. The ridiculous walkers or canes they use, all because their leg muscles are too weak to carry their body weight. They have no injuries, except for a broken mind. What’s the other cliche…”use it or lose it”? Too true. I don’t want to be that person when I’m 50, a prisoner inside of a abandoned shack of a body. Who wants that? I see the 70-year-old runners at races with their smiles and strong bodies, and that’s what I want not just for myself but for everyone.
I have changed. I am better. I am rebuilding my machine.
So, what’s your excuse?
I woke up this morning disoriented. I get up every morning, no matter what day of the week, at 5 AM. The cats don’t let me sleep in. This morning I could feel the time change. I felt weird. I got up and wandered around with my cup of coffee. I was restless, like something was going to happen today. I didn’t know what, but it was in the air.
I met my mom for our new Sunday tradition of running 5K. I shaved 2 minutes off of my time, which I’m super happy about. The weather was beautiful and we run by the river, so the scenery is quite lovely.
After the run, I ran to the grocery store for some stuff. I hate going on Sunday, but I needed some greens and cheese and oatmeal. I saw 2 super hot guys shopping, one helping what looked like his dad do his shopping. So the shopping trip wasn’t so terrible.
After I got home and put all of the stuff away and took a very necessary shower. I was ready to sit on my ass and relax the rest of the day. And then the phone rings…
My downstairs neighbor, the one who lives with Drunk Neighbor, tells me her cat is sick. He’s just lying around and won’t eat. Because I’m like the cat whisperer or something, I go down and check the cat. He is indeed a mess. He won’t eat, he won’t move, he won’t respond to anything. I tell her she needs to take him to the vet immediately. She tells me that the cat hasn’t been right for about 2 days, but then Drunk Neighbor interrupts and says that he noticed that the cat hasn’t been himself for 4 weeks. I ask him why he didn’t take him to the vet then, but got no real answer because Drunk Neighbor was, well, drunk.
I decide to drive my neighbor and the cat to the closest emergency center where we find out he has a blocked urinary tract and that they have to perform an emergency procedure where they unblock him, but then they’ll have to keep the cat for 2-3 days for observation. My neighbor has no problem with the money, she just wants her cat better. We leave and let them do what they need to. About 1o minutes after we get home, my neighbor calls me hysterical crying that they had to put the cat down because he went into cardiac arrest as they were doing the surgery.
I feel so bad for her. The cat was only 2 years old. But here’s my issue…how do not know your pet is sick? Maybe I’m harsh, but I can honestly tell you that my pets are in great health. I can tell you when they last ate, when the last drank water, when they used the box. I have had sick animals before, so I stalk these poor cats like a psycho hypochondriac mom. I’m always checking their paws, looking in their mouths, feeling their bellies. I’m always messing with them. They are my babies. So if one of these spoiled-ass cats started acting “not right” for even 1 day (let alone 4 fucking weeks) my ass would be at the vet. This really bothers me.
Now, I’m finally relaxing. My body is tired and I’m a little stressed out and sad. Poor Snooki the Cat. I have no idea why my neighbor named the poor cat that, but that was his name. He has a brother named Skittles and I’m sure the little guy will miss him. Skittles is perfectly healthy and will be going to the vet for a check-up this week because I told my neighbor I would stalk her until she took him.
Ugh. So much for a relaxing Sunday.
The week after my pants were scared off watching The Walking Dead was horrible. Everything that could go wrong at work did. My energy was super low and I was having trouble sleeping. And I was PMS’ing hard-core. I had Friday that week off and I needed to take of some cores, and then I was going to work on bringing some serenity into my life for a few days.
It worked. Last weekend I recharged and felt great. My work week last week was super busy, but a good busy. You know, the type of busy where you feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of it. I was stressed out. I felt back to my normal self.
I’ve been running for the past 2 weeks. I was following the Couch to 5K program until I ran the 5K a few weeks ago. I realized that since I can run 5K, then I should just run for 45 minutes and not worry about how far I go. Everyday, I run a bit faster and further. It feels really great. My mom is really getting into running as well. We have decided to run on the river every Sunday morning.
I have today off and I’m straight chilling until 4 when I will go to my mom’s and give out candy. I love doing this. I never get kids at my house and she gets loads. It’s so much fun. The only thing that’s annoying is when parents bring their babies up to trick or treat. It’s obvious that the parents want the candy since their 6 month old can’t eat it. I also get annoyed at the kids who think it’s okay to not dress up and that just because they come to the house, we should give them candy. I don’t want to give them candy, but my mom is afraid they’ll come back and vandalize the house. Other than those types of people, it’s a great time.
So before the year of all of the deaths and sick babies and family drama and drug addicted sisters and horrible luck…I was running about 20-25 miles a week. I wanted to run a marathon and was on my way.
And then I just got the blues. Life came in all at once and kept punching me in the face. I stopped running.
That was 3 years ago. I joined a gym a year later. It was a small gym and I liked it. I stayed there for over a year and then ended my membership because it was just so inconvenient to get there. I joined another gym last year and even hired a trainer, resulting in my injuring my hip and back.
That was January and I didn’t work out for months. My body hurt. The chiropractor helped. Yoga helped too. But I missed running.
When I was running years ago, I was so happy. It was like free therapy. I just put my music on really loud and just go. I missed the peace. I missed how powerful my body was becoming. I missed the stamina it gave me. I slept so well. I just felt great.
This past Sunday, I started running again. I’m doing the couch to 5K program again, I did it many many years ago. I did the 5 minute warm-up and thought…I got this.
And then my thought pattern went like this:
First 1 minute run…hells yeah.
The 90 second walk after…phew that was great.
Next 1 minute run…shit, it’s uphill.
90 second walk after…it’s still uphill.
1 minute run…my ass is starting to hurt.
90 second walk after…now my calves are burning because it’s still uphill.
1 minute run…shit.
90 second walk…I can do this.
1 minute run…when does this fucking hill even out.
90 second walk…an old man just yelled “Go get’em” at me. Or I think he was yelling to me.
1 minute run…a teenager just yelled out the window at me. I could get pissed, except I was just as big an asshole when I was a teen.
90 second walk…another damn hill.
1 minute run…I just farted, I hope nobody heard it.
90 second walk…it’s really hot out here, why is it so hot in October.
1 minute run…the last run, I can do this…how can I be going uphill again.
5 minute cool down…fucking hills.
Tonight’s run went so much better. My body felt good and I didn’t struggle at all. I can’t wait until I get used to the activity and can fly through my run. Tonight felt like I was on my way to that. I know there will be bad days, but today gave me hope. I just have to keep going.