I love running.
It is what makes me tick, keeps me sane, or what passes for sane in this mad, mad, mad, mad world anyway.
Sometimes it surprises me when I look back and realize that I have been running for the better part of 9 years. I started running back in… oh when was it… May 2002? Something like that. It was a way for me, then freshly sober after being drunk for 15 years, to kill time and use energy I didn’t know what to do with. Initially I hid it. First few times I did it, I wore street clothes. Denim shorts, regular shirt, no real running gear.
I wasn’t after all a runner yet, and I wasn’t really sure what I was doing at that point.
I would run/walk it at the very beginning. Run when no one was looking, and walk when traffic went by, or If I thought I saw someone I knew. I would walk to nearby snug harbor and run in their. I knew I wouldn’t run into many people there. I would run for a few minutes, stop and hack up a lung then restart and go a few more minutes.
I was still smoking occasionally at that point, hence the hacking. It was the running that got me to quit. I wanted to get in better shape, wanted to use the energy hat I had, and did. I tried lighting up right after a run a few times. The last time I did it, I almost vomited all over my room. At that moment, I crushed the pack of smokes, and said never again. I did go back and do it once or twice after that, but that essentially ended that.
Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it’s hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run.
It took a long time for me to become a runner, to become passionate about it, obsessive about it. I ran for quite a while before I became a “runner”. It sounds odd, but I’ll explain for the non-runners out there. Running is more than just getting your ass out the door and putting one foot in front of the other rapidly and sweating.
In part it’s about knowing you are actively trying to make yourself stronger and faster. It’s about loving the feeling that comes with being out there on the road with other runners. It’s easier to handle the stress of being part of this damnably stupid species after a good run. Thinking clearly is easier during and after a run. It’s easier to be positive during and after a run as well. It doesn’t make negative emotions go away, they are part of being self-absorbed hairless monkeys, but it makes being happier with myself a simpler thing to do.
I didn’t really become a “runner” until it hit me that running did that. When I realized it, that was the moment I became one. It made me want those things more, to have that be part of me, and have me be part of it. I wanted to be better, and running made me better.
Running is also obviously about trying to go fast, or long, or even short or slow if that’s all that can be done at that time, because it’s about trying, about pushing. Those who come here may see that on top of the page there is a place marked “running commentary.” If you go there, the word “push” is in some way shape or form, in every single day’s comment. Some days’ even a short run is hard, injuries, illness, and weather can all make for hard going.
It makes me far beyond happy when I can get out there and run long.
And they come on the heels of an annoying injury. I had, 2 weeks prior to the Memorial day 4 mile race here on S.I., strained my right hammy. Could not run on the damn thing and for a few days I could barely walk on the damn thing. After missing the race, and being INSANELY pissed about it, I began the road back to running.
June 1st, 1st day back, The day after the race, I ran 1.9 miles. I could barely go. I limped. I snarled. I barked in pain. I stopped once just because it was too painful to go, something I don’t do unless it is absolutely necessary.
June 2nd, I ran 1.9 again. This time I did it without stopping. There was less pain, but it was still a hairy damned mess. I was still snarling through the pain.
June 3rd, I doubled my distance to 3.8 miles. The pain was less of an issue, but it was still there.
June 4th, I ran longer still, 5.2 miles. The pain was disappearing. I began thinking about increasing my stride length again.
It took an additional week, maybe a bit more, for the pain to disappear completely, but starting that 5th day I had returned to my more or less regular running regimen. And increased the intensity.
Since that 1st day, I have taken 4 days off. I had taken 58 days off since January 1st, including 2 weeks off each in January and February due to inclement weather and an annoying calf injury that went away when I changed up my running shoes. I ran 573.26 miles from Jan. 1 to June 1, a span of 152 days. I have run almost 400 miles since June 1st, in just 60 days.
Gotta keep trying. Gotta keep pushing. Life is sweat, sweat is love, and if you don’t work hard at what you love, what you love doesn’t matter, now does it?
Going long tomorrow morning.
That’s it from here, America. G’night.