A mind’s-eye view of my morning run:
7:30 a.m. – I really should go for a run today. It’s been far too long.
8 a.m. – No, seriously: I should go for a run.
8:30 a.m. – Maybe if I put on my running apparel, it’ll help build some momentum.
8:35 a.m. – Look at that handsome man in the mirror … and look at those guns in that sleeveless shirt. You, my friend, are a powerhouse … and by “powerhouse” I mean “human pipe-cleaner.” Howzabout eating something and maybe lifting a weight?
9 a.m. – Perhaps if I Tweet about the difficulty I’m having finding the motivation to go running, the Internet will hold me accountable.
@daddyscratches: “Hi! This is me sitting here in my running apparel, telling myself I’m going to go running just as soon as I finish this 1 last thing. #lies”
9:05 a.m. – Overwhelming response from my rabid pack of followers is encouraging … and by “overwhelming response,” I mean that one message I received.
@LindaCormack: “Just go and do it, you will feel much better for it. I feel smug as I have already run for one hour this morning.”
9:06 a.m. – Trying to decide if @LindaCormack’s intent was to encourage me, or make me feel bad about myself for not being able to run for a full hour.
9:10 a.m. – She’s right; I should just go and do it. I will feel much better for it. Alright, let’s do this thing … as soon as I finish reading some more email and taking care of a couple more work-related tasks … not because I’m procrastinating, but because I’m a model employee (as evidenced by the fact that I sometimes just knock off and go running in the middle of my workday).
9:30 a.m. – Damn, I’m hungry. I should have eaten something two hours ago … and I would have, except that I deluded myself into thinking that I was going to go running two hours ago … and then 90 minutes ago … and then an hour ago … and then 30 minutes ago … and do you see where I’m going with this? By the time I finally leave, I’ll make it three steps before fainting from starvation. Something about this approach to eating seems counterintuitive to the whole “healthy lifestyle” thing … and helps to explain the human-pipe-cleaner physique mentioned earlier.
9:35 a.m. – OK, I ate four grapes and drank some orange juice. That oughta hold me over. Plus, also, if this run makes me puke, the mess will be more manageable than if I’d eaten an actual breakfast.
9:36 a.m. – Alright, let’s do this thing … as soon as I use the potty. Nothing worse than realizing five minutes after setting out on a run that your bladder is full. Then you end up having to deal with those people … you know, the ones who don’t want you to pee in their bushes? Pfft. Prudes.
9:37 a.m. – Better brush my teeth, too. As everyone knows, a healthy lifestyle begins with good oral hygiene.
9:40 a.m. – To bring my iPod or not to bring my iPod? That is the question. For some reason, I feel more inclined to listen to the voices in my head today. God knows they’re loud enough.
9:57 a.m. – OK, seriously: let’s do this. The grapes and juice are wearing off already. (No, I don’t know where the past 17 minutes went, but I assure you, whatever I did, it was definitely urgent and fully necessitated that I further delay my departure.) Out the door we go.
9:58 a.m. – I’m a machine. I can run forever. Those three weeks I unintentionally took off? They just gave my body some much needed time to recuperate. I’m stronger for it. I’m unstoppable. These legs can carry me effortlessly for miles upon miles. These lungs are unfazed.
9:59 a.m. – I should probably start running soon.
10:02 a.m. – Here we go.
10:04 a.m. – What the hell is wrong with you? Why would you start off with an enormous hill? Way to ease into it, genius.
10:06 a.m. – Can this watch be right? I’ve only been running for four minutes? Jesus Christ.
10:06 a.m. – OK, Jonny Boy, nice and slow down the other side of this hill. Let gravity do its thing. No, I don’t mean stumble down the hill like a drunken commando. Controlled descent, asswipe.
10:08 a.m. – To cross this street is to cross the point of no return … or, at least, to cross the point of easy return. Should I instead turn right and do the shorter loop? (Yes!) No. (YES!) Shut up, douche. We’re crossing the street.
10:09 a.m. – Is it just me, or is this hill actually growing as we speak?
10:12 a.m. – Remember last night, when you were contemplating going running this morning, and you thought to yourself, “I better make sure I drink enough water this evening so I’m ready to go when I get up,” but then you didn’t drink any water, and you didn’t leave when you got up, and now it’s 13 hours later? Yeah, me too. And, hey, how do you like that stabbing cramp in your side, dumb dumb?
10:14 a.m. – This kinda sucks. Maybe I should walk for a bit. (Not gonna happen. Forget about it.) Grrrr.
10:16 a.m. – OK, once you get to the top of this hill, you’ll have a long stretch of flat land, and then a decline. Just need to get up this hill. Focus on your breathing.
10:17 a.m. – Focus on my breathing? What the hell else am I going to focus on? I’m hyperventilating, asshole!
10:18 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. – Between the cramp, the heat and the gasping for oxygen, I’m feeling very little incentive to keep running … but to allow myself to throw in the towel and walk is to undermine the whole mental aspect of this thing. Hmmm. What to do … what to do?
Wait, I know! I’ll put my OCD to good use by convincing myself that, if I don’t continue to run all the way to the finish line, something bad will happen. Yes, tragedy is what awaits if I wimp out here. And nothing says “healthy mental aspect” like motivating yourself by creating a completely illogical, unrealistic threat that exists only in your imagination, am I right?
10:45 a.m. – Almost there … almost there … juuuuust a little further … dear god, what is that I’m feeling? Is that my spleen?
10:47 a.m. – Yeah, baby! Mission accomplished! I would so totally throw my arms up in the air and jump around like Rocky Balboa right now … if it weren’t for the fact that attempting to do so would almost surely send me into full cardiac arrest.
10:50 a.m. – Is it normal to sweat this much?
10:52 a.m. – Hey, look! In the mirror! It’s that pipe-cleaner guy again! But why’s his head bright purple now? Should I be calling 911?