Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's That Time Again

It's the week before Thanksgiving, which for me means something a little different. That means its running season again. I'm a distance runner, but I'm kind of soft about it. What that means is that running 13.1 miles is hard. It takes a lot of effort, and it takes a huge toll on your body-sore muscles, aching joints, nausea and intestinal problems, blisters, bleeding nipples, and toenails that fall off, just to name a few things. At a calorie burn of about 100 a mile, a half marathon burns just over 1300 calories in only a couple of hours. So I figure if I'm going to torture myself that much, I shouldn't feel too bad if I'm not a beast about it. I mean, really. If I can run 13.1 miles, should I really have low feelings of self esteem if it takes me two and a half hours, instead of two or, lord forbid, one and a half? And if there's a hill at mile 10 (what sadistic jerk face would place a hill near the end of a 13 mile run? I guess the guy that picks the course figures he has very little risk of getting the crap kicked out of him by runners who can barely stand anymore, so why not have a little mean spirited fun?), why should I feel bad for slowing to a snails pace while I trudge to the top?

And, in that spirit, I wait until the coldest months of the year to run races. All summer long, I see nut jobs trotting down the road in 100 degree heat. Why? There are treadmills in air conditioned gyms where you can watch tv and drink ice water as your feet while away the miles. Others beat the heat by lacing up at the butt crack of dawn. Ugh! Why do you people hate sleep? Save the outdoor running for when the air conditioner outside is going full speed. Sleep in, then strap on the tennies when you're fully rested and go enjoy the crisp fall air. 

That's what I'm talking about. I'm running six races this year, from one coast to the other. Yes, some of them will involve rain, snow, sleet and freezing temps. My toes wil go numb and my chill bumps will have chill bumps. But when you start moving and the blood starts pumping, the cold is refreshing. The energy shot and pickles I have for breakfast will power me through the miles and across the finish line. And the sense of accomplishment when they put that medal around your neck is unlike anything else. So happy Thanksgiving everyone. Eat, drink and be merry. And afterwards, while most folks are loosening their belts, I'll be running that turkey, dressing and pie right back off of my hips. I know I'm nuts. But I'm not as bad as I could be.