Monday, August 15, 2011

On Saris, Violence to the Facial Area, and Sad Cookies

Funds collected to date: $1736.40 (66%)
Amount needed to reach pledge: $883.60
Long run: n/a (total weekly mileage = a measly 21)
Weeks to Go: 12

This week I did not complete a long run, as I was honored to be a bridesmaid in the beautiful, breath-taking, and fun as hell wedding of my friend Shimul.
The wedding weekend -- lasting from Wednesday evening through Sunday morning -- was many wonderful things. It was emotional, colorful, delicious, personal, bright, extraordinary....

...but what it was not was conducive to running.

Thursday morning, one of the other bridesmaids and I were able to squeak in a quick 4 by running around...and around...and around the Paramus Mall. A stunning view, I can assure you. Saturday I was able to also squeeze in a quickie (so to speak) in the hotel gym before getting dressed for the afternoon's events.

This week I was supposed to have done 12-13 on Saturday alone with weekly mileage increasing to around 33. Without that long run, I ran "only" at 21. While many weeks I fall short of the goal that Team for Kids set in its schedule for me, I have never been more than a couple miles off.

And this brings me to the subject of this blog post: The Guilt.

I know a few key things. I KNOW them. These are:

1) Fabulous wedding of one of my close friends > Running and I do not regret for a moment having this experience over that of killing myself and then putting my naked bum into an ice bath.

2) I have been so diligent every other week that one "off" one does not matter.

3) 21 miles in a week is still pretty freaking amazing and to be able to call a 4-miler a "short and easy run" is pretty freaking ridiculous.

I know these things to be true.

But still, the guilt. It comes.

I feel guilty because I want this whole marathon thing to go well, without a hitch, without injury if at all possible. A lot of the point of training is to mold your body into something that is capable of bearing the intense burden of running 26.2 miles consecutively. To-date, I have been pretty lucky (knock on wood!) and have only been experiencing relatively minor foot pain, which I have been treating via an extensive therapy program called "rolling a golf ball underneath your foot." It's very complex.

I feel guilty because I ate enough Indian food this weekend to feed an army, without any of the normal cardio burn that would allow my body to handle such calorie intake.

But mostly, I feel guilty because I am an addict. After 12 weeks of training for this thing, I need the stuff. I just need it! After I run, I feel oddly elated, happy, and clear. Also I want to kill someone, but I have that feeling while I am elated and happy and clear.

When you take away my running-enduced endorphins, I turn into an ogre-like creature that needs a pretty consistent stream of caffeine and alcohol to survive. If I could injest the two substances simultaneously and intravenously, I surely would.

This is a photo of a "sad monster" to represent me. True story: If you Google image results for "sad monster" you will see this image, as well as an image for Tiger Woods looking sad. Let that be a reminder to you at how quickly one can fall from glory....and moving on.

Running -- for better or for worse -- has become a part of my lifestyle lately. I don't mean to insinuate that I've gone off the deep-end and become one of those crazy runner hippies who is going to go off into the desert to be one with nature and run 100+ mile ultra-marathons or anything. But I've definitely turned into one of those people I used to want to punch in the face that would have interactions with people that go something like this:

Person #1: "What did you do this weekend?"
Me: "I ran 14 miles."
Person #1: "Oh my god! How was it?"
Me: "It was great! I couldn't feel better!"

Face punch.

I've also become more cynical than I mean to be. Case in point:
Person #2 [generally this part is played by a man on a first date with me]: "So what do you do other than work?"
Me: "I run. And I attend weddings."
Person #2: [awkward silence]

Face punch.

Finally, I've become a person that basically plans my life around this stuff. I believe I mentioned in a previous post my tracker. This thing is unbelievable. I update it every single morning with all physical activity I have done the day before and ensure it is updated with every day of activity I plan to do in weeks ahead. Don't believe me? Let's try a test. Tonight I have a 6 highlighted in sea green. This means I'll run 6 miles with Team for Kids (connoted by peaceful, happy colors). Tomorrow is deep blue because that is when I do my morning Total Body Conditioning classes for cross-training and the blue feels intense. How about...October 16th? That's a 6 without highlighting, meaning I will run 6 miles all by my lonesome.

Face punch.

To end this entry, when I was searching for images to use in this oh-so-amazing blog post, I came across this picture below of a sad cookie monster being looked at wistfully by a sad cookie. Whenever I skip a run, this is what I am going to envision from now on. I think I might just blow up a poster-sized photograph of this image and tape it above my running shoes in my bedroom.
Is that not the most upsetting slash hilarious thing you have ever seen? I thought so.

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