Saturday, March 9, 2013

I hate you. I love you. We need a break.

I hate you.

Uh…what was that?

You heard me. I hate you.

What the hell? You love me!

No. I hate you.

What did I do to piss you off?

You lied to me.

Wait…I what?

You LIED to me!

Please explain.

You said if I started running, that I would lose weight.

Ahhhh…no. I didn’t say that. You assumed that.

Oh come on! You don’t see fat runners out there…so you IMPLIED it.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret….you can run all you want, but if you eat like a horse…you’re going to look like a horse. I just help your body be more efficient at it! May I remind you that you are about 40 lbs +/- lighter now than when you first started running?

Yeah. But you had NOTHING to do with that! That didn’t start happening until I started controlling my diet. Oh…

“Oh…” is right. I gave you the discipline to see things through. If you can get up at 4 a.m. and pound out a mile or 8 miles, you can walk away from a KitKat.

Dammit. You said if I ran more I’d get better….get faster…

And you haven’t?


You really think that?


Have you reflected on your race times since you started running? In case you have forgotten, your official 5K times have dropped from 37:29 (HotterNHell August 2010) to 32:58 (KTC Expo May 2011) to 32:38 (Man Run August 2011). Your 10K times have gone from 1:19:01 (Strawberry Plains February 2010) to 1:08:39 (Carter Mill July 2011) to 1:08:04 (Carter Mill July 2012). AND your Half Marathon times have dropped from 3:13:40 (Covenant Health March 2010) to 2:28:06 (Kickin’ Asphalt November 2011) to 2:26:13 (Conquer the Mountain November 2012). So what the hell do you mean that you haven’t gotten “Better” or “Faster”? Seems to me that yes, in fact, you have. Maybe the results aren’t fast enough for you…but you are improving. And are you really trying to get better and faster?

What do you mean by that?? I’ve been running for over 3 years now!? Of course I’m trying to be a better and faster runner! Don’t YOU remember all of those miles?

Yes. I remember every one. Do YOU remember all of those speed sessions that you didn’t do? Or those tempo runs that YOU didn’t push yourself on? All of those runs where you were on autopilot?

But all of those miles!! All of those “training plans” I followed!!

Yes. There were a lot of miles. And ALL of those miles have helped you.  They have helped you in more ways that getting “better and faster.”

What do you mean?

Have you noticed you are a little calmer, a little more patient now?

Well. Yes.

Have you noticed that you can handle stressful situations better now that before you were a runner?

Yes. There is that.

Have you noticed that you are a better person, a better wife, a better employee that you were before you were a runner?


I know you are a bit pissed about your last half marathon. I know you wanted to come in with a faster time. And I know you doubt that ‘official’ time considering the lack of ‘official-ness’ of that race, and the fact that your Garmin showed the course was a bit short. So yes, your real time was likely the same as your previous time and/or a few seconds slower. And I know you want to blame someone…blame me. But do you remember the weeks leading up to that race?

What do you mean?

Remember that long run you did about 2 weeks prior to the race…that 14 miler?

Who can forget that?

Remember that your plan had you “tapering” off on your mileage…but you instead decided “I’ve got this” and basically stopped running for two weeks prior to that race?

I was so tired by then.

Remember those “Hill Repeats” on your plan that you didn’t do?

Yeah. I hate hills.

Remember that race was called “Conquer the Mountain?” What the hell did you expect? That you would be running DOWN the mountain???

But most of it was pretty flat!?

Yes…but there was that 2 mile ascent in the middle…UP. THE. MOUNTAIN. And don’t forget the 1.5 miles DOWN!

But the end was SOOOOOO HAAAARRRDDD!!! I was literally yelling at myself OUTLOUD “Don’t you quit! Don’t you give up! Don’t STOP!” I know that everyone around me thought I was nuts!

Who cares? Did you quit? Did you give up? Did you stop?

No. I pushed it harder than I ever thought imaginable. My legs hurt SO badly, but I never stopped.

So….what’s the problem then? Seems to me you conquered not only that mountain, but you conquered one of the hardest things ever for runners…Your will. Your determination. Your desire to beat down that little voice that is screaming STOP at the top of her lungs. You conquered it!! You should be PROUD of that!!

I am.

And let’s be honest with each other here. You haven’t been “Racing” a whole lot. You’ve been running with bouts of racing. If you want to be better at racing…you need to race more. You need to conquer that part of you that’s holding you back. You need to clear your Saturday schedule this year and sign up for 5Ks and 10Ks and run them balls out!

Yes. I know. But I think I need a break.

Whaaaaa????? You can’t!? You wouldn’t!? You can’t leave me!? What will you do without me!?

I’m working on increasing my strength training. And it’s really hard to train for endurance races like half marathons and focus on gaining muscle all at the same time. And I really think that increasing my strength will improve my running even more.

Possibly. Likely.

So after the Covenant Health Half this year, I’m going to back off on running and work on lifting.

But you’ll miss me.

Yes, I will. But I’m not leaving you totally. I’m just backing off and not going to worry about getting a 4-10 mile run in on the weekends. I’m planning on adding in some sprinting and intervals instead of mile after mile after mile.

Will you come back to me?

Yes. Of course. Hopefully better than ever. I’m planning on attacking some 5Ks and 10Ks this year and not worry about running another half. I may or may not pick one in the late fall. If I do, that will be 3 for 2013. I’ve never done more than 1 per year because the training cycle is pretty long, and I’ll have 2 completed before spring racing really starts this year!

Ok. I’m sad. I don’t want you to go.

I know. I don’t want to either. But I feel like I need to. I think this is best for now. I’m afraid if I don’t get a break from endurance running that I’m going to hate it. I’m going to hate you.

I thought you already hated me. That’s what you said earlier.

I don’t hate you. I need you. I was just mad. I’m sorry.

I’ll be here when you get done. That’s the nice thing about me. I’m always here. I’m always ready. I am dependable. Just put your shoes on and get out the door.