Marathon Man

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?

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25 Comments

  1. Posted September 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    That sounds like every time I break into a brisk walk! Just kidding, but congrats on finding the motivation, no matter how long it took!

    This reminds me, I need to start running again.
    .-= Scott´s last blog ..5 Parenting Hacks For Dads Of Toddlers =-.

  2. Posted September 24, 2009 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    You just described quite a few of my mornings. Except I wouldn’t have lasted nearly as long. I’m in my jog togs already, but hungry. Hmmm.
    .-= toadmama´s last blog ..Ode to Joy =-.

  3. Gail K.
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Just the MENTAL exercise alone would have done me in. Good for you adding in the physical exercise too.

  4. Jamaica
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Just too damn funny! But so….me…if I ever even contemplated running.

  5. Posted September 24, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Good job on getting out there and doing the thing. I had the same though process this morning, except for by 10:00 it was already almost 90 degrees outside, with 95% humidity. That’s when I decided I would go running this evening. We’ll see how that goes.
    .-= Casey´s last blog ..Springerles =-.

  6. Posted September 24, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I had that same conversation until I got a puppy, who turned my life into sleepless nights and constant urine cleaning. I blame my out of shapeness on my dog.

    And you may be right about that OCD thing. It’s scary how often meaningless rationalizations about preventing bad things turn out to be true.
    .-= Joe´s last blog ..Great Day…Fall TV, Old Navy, and JP Licks =-.

  7. Posted September 24, 2009 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    That was really hard to read to my baby! I mean, she’s too young to learn the bad words, but I was laughing too much to read properly.
    Also, I nominated you for an award. That was last weekend, but as you’ll see I’ve been busy…
    Cheers, Brotha!
    .-= Will´s last blog ..Baby’s Home! =-.

  8. Lex
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Haha yes that is me… except I will start walking since I just started running this summer and… well it is a lot of work! The purple porbably isn’t good though.. :)

  9. Posted September 24, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Ha ha ha ha ha….OH MY…ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oooooo….ahhh…ha ha ha ha ha ha! Yea…that was FUNNY! Hey…you oughta try Jillian Michaels 30 day shred…it’s only twenty minutes worth of agony…but you will totally feel great! PINKY SWEAR!
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Conversations With Hannah =-.

  10. Michele P
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh, yeah, that’s TOTALLY me. I foolishly signed up for the Tufts 10K and haven’t run further than 4 miles in MONTHS. It’s not going to be pretty, I tell you! Thanks for the smile and congrats on getting your sorry ass out there. ;-)

  11. Linda Cormack
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    “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.” I was trying to encourage you, honest. :) Next time take the Ipod, the voices don’t go away but you can mute them.

    The reaons for my one hour runs are. 1. I have a 14 month old Springer Spaniel who needs tiring out. 2. I like to drink and eat way too much and if I didn’t exercise I would be huge! 3. I am 40 in February and I want to be forty and fit.

  12. Posted September 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    How did you get inside Bossy’s brain. That must be illegal.
    .-= BOSSY´s last blog ..Just A Little Internet Romp With Frances Ethel Gumm =-.

  13. Posted September 24, 2009 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    ha-funny.
    This started out how it usually does for me—except for the part where the actual running takes place…I skip that section…
    .-= kaylen´s last blog ..Yummy, Delicious Food =-.

  14. Posted September 25, 2009 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    That was hilarious. Too bad I never get past the couch… lol.. working on it though.

    You a Boston man? I loooove Boston. Live outside Worcester myself.

    xx
    .-= Laura @ Vodka Logic´s last blog ..The Climb =-.

  15. Posted September 25, 2009 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    I went out for a run on Tuesday. Only 2 miles and all I could think was that this side of 3 years ago I was in marathon shape . So sad.
    .-= jessica´s last blog ..Putting junk in the trunk =-.

  16. Lynda
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    My son harrassed me into trying Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, and I was on the couch crying after just 9 minutes. Can you guess what kind of shape I’m in?

  17. Posted September 25, 2009 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    haha this sounds like every day of my life.
    .-= Lauren From Texas´s last blog ..Wordless. =-.

  18. Posted September 26, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I had a friend who used to say his favorite part of running….was the moment you stop. I can’t run anymore because I injured my knee, but I do miss it!

  19. Posted September 27, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been up since 7AM.. told myself I’d be out there running by 9:30 (since I had to eat first and drink some water and all that). It’s now 9:30 and I haven’t put on my running clothes yet… and realized my music player needed to be charged… Guess I have to sit here a few minutes longer.
    .-= Denise´s last blog ..Running Blog =-.

  20. Posted September 28, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Awesome post!! You perfectly captured my constant internal rambling. I’m supposed to be running a half marathon in November. But the furthest I’ve been able to drag myself to date is 4.3 miles. See:

    http://beckid987.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/i-totally-love-and-totally-hate-running-totally/
    .-= Becki D´s last blog ..I totally love and totally hate running. Totally. =-.

  21. Posted September 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Have you seen the t-shirt from Target with a picture of a guy kissing his muscles that reads… “Somebody call the Vet, ’cause these puppies are sick.”

    Way to run! err.. sweat.

  22. Posted September 28, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Well, you totally got a MENTAL workout!

    I know the OCD thing and all that were supposed to be the mental illness part, but personally I got worried about you when you said you wanted to go for a run in the first place…

  23. Posted September 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Reminds me of the time I finally got out to walk, per my doctor’s orders, and didn’t even get half a block before I tripped on my own shoes and limped home with a skinned knee–that eventually turned into a staph infection that sent me to the ER several times and cost thousands of dollars, not to mention how close I came to losing a foot or a leg. I procrastinate about doing yoga now. Safer.
    .-= bornfamous´s last blog ..What’s this? A new post on Bornfamous? Can it be? =-.

  24. Posted September 30, 2009 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    Catching up on this blog because I’ve been neglecting it, and I laughed the whole way through this post.

  25. Posted October 13, 2009 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    ditto what heatherface said.

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