…alas, I hate running.
Which is a bummer because it’s probably the most practical form of exercise ever – all you need is a pair of half-decent shoes, operational knee joints and the motivation to get your ass out the door in said shoes. It’s inexpensive, you can do it almost anywhere and it requires no special training (unless you want to go to the Olympics or something, but clearly, most people don’t. And if you do, have you really thought that through? ‘Cus the Ethiopians seem to have it pretty much covered, at least for the longer distances. Maybe you should try badminton, or bobsledding.)
I’ve run a couple of 5ks (for charity, badly, slowly) and running a 10k is on my bucket list. (And from a purely practical standpoint, I probably shouldn’t leave it til my knees completely crap out.) But here’s the thing: I hate running.
There have been times in my life (two, to be exact) when I actually managed to get into a regular running groove, so it’s not like I’ve never given it a fair try. I ran every day the summer I was 16. I was working at a Resort and I was going mental so I got into the habit of running every day. This was pre-iPod era so all I had to listen to were my own thoughts. I suppose I could have bought myself a Walkman, but then I would have had to heft it around. (Plus, I was making almost negative money for my superlative ice cream scooping skills once my employer deducted room and board. They had the audacity to pay less than minimum wage – which charities can get away with – and then charge us to live in an ancient boathouse building that was literally condemned a couple years later.)
ANYWAY…For those of you who are old enough to remember the Walkman, enough said. For those who aren’t or who have blocked out those memories, they were about the size of a sandwich (maybe made on texas toast) and had super dorky headphones (see figure 1). You put cassettes in them (see figure 2) which usually contained 12-16 songs and had to be taken out of the machine, flipped and reinserted mid-way through the album. Even the bloody cassettes were bigger than iPods.
So what you should be grasping from this is that a Walkman was not a super practical running accessory. (Just so you don’t think I’m ancient, they had invented the Discman by then but it was even bigger than the Walkman and the CD would skip if you subjected it to vigorous jostling, so it was even less practical.)
The next time I got into running was more than a decade later and that time, I was doing it to get fit. By then, thank god (or Steve Jobs) the iPod had been invented, so at least I could rock out while I ran. We lived in the hood at the time, so I ran with my iPod and my ‘pepper scented bear repellant’, just in case I encountered any skeezy, downtown bears with bestiality on the brain. (Is it still bestiality if the animal initiates the sexual encounter with the human? Or would bears call that something different? Like humanality?) Whatever. I ran. After a few months of running I decided to set a goal to put my efforts to use in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Run for the Cure. Unfortunately it got stupidly hot in July and August (as it tends to do in Ontario in the summertime) and so I sort of lost my mojo. When September came around I got back into the swing, but it was only a few weeks before the RFTC 5k, so I wasn’t exactly in my best form (and let’s be accurate, even my best form was still seriously pathetic.) I managed to finish the run in a not-heinously-embarrassing amount of time (and promptly gave up running after that.)
The following summer I meant to get running again…but didn’t. And the summer after that I tried again, going for a few runs on the trail, but what can I say? I FUCKING HATE RUNNING. I was an idiot and did the Run for the Cure anyway that fall (after only a few practice runs) and I finished it…but it wasn’t pretty. I’m not sure if you can still call it running when the fast walkers are passing you by times, but I thumped out the 5k because it meant something to me to do it (and I am ridiculously stubborn).
Now I find myself at the time of year again when running is an option (ok, I guess it has been an option in terms of weather for a couple of months already) (**unless you’re one of those hardcore freaks who’s willing to run in sub-zero conditions and risk the loss of their nipples to frostbite) but right now I can see the RFTC looming three months away and I don’t want to embarrass myself again. The friends I ‘ran’ it with were literally out of my field of vision within a couple hundred metres last year and I don’t want that to happen again. They may very well leave me in the dust at some point, but hopefully not within the first kilometer.
So I guess, (better sooner than later) I need to dust off my running shoes, squeeze my tatas into a sports bra and the hit the road or the trail. I’m SO looking forward to first-week-running-and-I’m-basically-disabled syndrome. At a time of year when I can get sweat ass walking from my office to the car, it’s gonna be a real treat. I guess I just have to focus on the positives: the intoxicating wave of self-righteousness that accompanies a completed run and the opportunity to unabashedly adore Carly Rae Jepsen’s bubblegum pop songs. (It’s a short list, but I had to find something…) I can promise you this, I won’t be virtual high-fiving myself on Facebook every time I do. It’s not that I think this is the worst FB sin ever, although people posting about their workouts all the time makes me feel like an epic underachiever/sloth, it’s more that if I do, I’m afraid people will notice when I stop and that’s bound to happen because at the core of my being,
I just really hate running.