Some weeks I cannot avoid it. I become the weekend warrior. I go out against all wisdom and run too hard, too fast, too far to prove to myself I can, to make up for what I missed, to release the angry voice in my head.
And sometimes for no reason I offer no excuse but I am lazy and become that dreaded baby stroller walker all decked out in my high fashion running gear.
I wear racing flats not because I expect to run fast, come in first, or even place in my age group. I wear them because they look good and they feel good. And yes you may judge me but I will probably judge you for your underwear lines under your too tight pants.
I talk the lingo, I know the terminology, and I buddy around with the best. Yet when it comes to toeing the line I know my place and stay back from the front of the pack. Actually I am usually hanging around the halfway point or even in the back for the smaller races.
Oh and that running skirt trend, yeah I totally started that years ago before the skirts were made mainstream for running I wore tennis skirts because I hate my fat thighs and the look of shorts bunched up a person’s butt when they run. Those two bit 5ks where I showed off my fashion savvy, yeah I have secret paparazzi following me and reporting back to Nike and Adidas.
And yes, I run with one of those fancy GPS gadgets on my wrist that is big and bulky and says to the world I’m so big you can’t help but see me, which means I’m totally cool for running with this on! My Garmin is actually my husbands but I get a power kick from running two miles with it on even though it tells me I am running slow because it’s comparing my husband’s splits to my own! I ignore the GPS except for at the very end of my run when it tells me I ran one second faster than two days before. Then I start bragging on Facebook about getting faster and how my hard work must be paying off!
I eat like a runner in training. Then I eat like a runner after a race. Then I eat without abandon because I tell myself I’ll run it off later. Then I hate myself and eat another piece of candy promising myself some crunches that evening in front of the television.
I am so dedicated to my performance that I even find time to cross train once a week on Sundays when I slam it out on the volleyball court for an hour. In the summer I’ll go wade in a pool with my kids and mark it down on my training log as a cross training day. Sometimes I even get a real workout in by biking alongside my husband while he runs. Thankfully I have a bike because I normally eat his dust both on his way out and on his way back in.
In reality, I probably don’t give myself enough credit (I did run my first half marathon while pregnant) and in others I probably brag too much (I ran it at almost a 13 minute pace). But I like to be a part of the running community. I enjoy the occasional times I manage to attend the YRRC runs. I love being a race director. I love helping out at the finish line with the timing crew. And I love watching those videos on YouTube that are everything from funny and mocking to inspirational.
Runners are a special breed of people. We love to do that crazy thing that others roll their eyes over. We use and abuse our bodies in the name of fun, of health, of that runner’s high. And whether we run in a group or by ourselves we are never really alone while our feet are out marking the miles. Maybe I’ll see some of you out there!!!
* First published in Youngstown Road Runner's Club newsletter 2012.