Friday, August 26, 2011

It's Not Fine I'm In Pain It's Harder Every Day

This is a post about running. I thought you would find it interesting because my jokes about not running marathons are always so well-received. It's true. I don't run marathons or any version of Ks (half, 3, 5, or 50) and I don't really want to and probably won't ever. But who knows. That could change. I don't have anything against people who run ks and marathons. I think it's a respectable goal for people. It's just not my goal. The reason it's not my goal is that I don't like to be around people who are exercising or wearing exercise clothes or tight stretchy bands of any kind or sweating. I also have no desire to exercise, jog, run, or bend in front of other people. I can barely tolerate it in the privacy of my own home. I also don't want to worry about chafing or toenails blackening and falling off. I am already losing the battle between me and my feet for an acceptable aesthetic. But I want you to know I will virtually cheer for you and "like" your runs on Facebook. Please know that. My son joined the cross country team this year. I love to clap for people in races and give them Gatorade!

True story: Yesterday morning I was out and about and I saw a tall, fit man jogging down the street decked out in running clothes and all manner of running gear and my initial visceral reaction was utter repulsion. I don't know why. I just think it's gross. Surely people don't want to see ME out there. Certainly not.

But I'm not completely sedentary. I know you have to exercise to be healthy. It's not like I don't know that. And I want to be healthy. Quick body image overview: If I'm completely honest, I think I am on the positive side of neutral, looks-wise. I think I am a little fat but I truly don't think about it that often until I read blogs or statuses of people who are obviously thinner than me who think they need to lose weight. And then I remember.  But I do what I want to do and have enough energy for it. Of course, what I want to do is lay in bed and read but that's not the point, is it? The point is that my little bit of fatness doesn't hold me back.  I can carry really heavy things and move furniture up stairs by myself.

Last year I went to an Education Week class about health and fitness. It was kind of aimed at seniors. I got a great perspective from this class. I decided my main fitness goal is to decrease morbidity. I didn't know what the morbidity rate meant but the instructor told us (after setting his medicine ball down and bicycling his legs in the air) it's days of sickness. So there's death (mortality) and there's sickness (morbidity.) Obviously I don't want to die anytime soon, although I admit that the thought of living another 40 years is a little exhausting. But I do want to be healthy until I die. I think we can all agree that the worst thing would be to become fat, sick, and incapacitated for a really long time before you die. Talk about embarrassing! I do not want that.

So I do try to run on my treadmill. I try to run 2 miles a day or 30 minutes or until I have to wipe Ellen's bum. Even then, I cheat by leaving the treadmill going. (It totally thinks I'm still running! Hahahahahahha. Ah, hahahha. Jokes on you, treadmill!) I always hate it. It never feels good during or after. I don't get endorphins,  I don't lose weight, I don't get energy, I still get migraines--in fact, I often get what I like to think of as "exertion headaches" when I run or exert myself in any way but Lisa told me they are allergies (and she's right). I'm sure you are thinking that I need to run more in order to get benefits. Well, no doy. I should read Born to Run and try running barefoot? Yes, yes. But I ran barefoot on the treadmill once because I was too lazy to get my shoes on and I had blisters for weeks. Also, I believe that I should read Born to Run and that it is good but why would I? Especially when I could be starting the George Martin series or Ready Player One or, frankly, eating a ding dong and staring at the wall. I'm sure I'd be better at running if I did it more. But I don't want to be good at running. It is at odds with so many things in my life. For example, I like to get up and shower, but if I shower I don't want to run. And if I run I can't shower before taking kids to school and on and on my life is so hard. But. I do my small part to decrease morbidity so bully for me.

Today I put my music on shuffle--my treadmill plays my music and even has a fan! (I still hate it.) Everybody Hurts by REM came on. This is both the best and the worst song to listen to while running. In many ways it is the most demotivating song ever because it is slow and reminds you about pain and suffering and how long the day is. But it is also encouraging because it tells you to hang in there as it plods along. I love that song. As I "ran" at 4 mph I imagined Michael Stipe sitting sideways out of a van with the door open singing to me and dropping roses on my path. (Good thing I'm not barefoot!) Then I imagined him just walking along beside me feeding me a cup of water with one hand and reading tweets on his phone with the other. It was discouraging but when I was done I had burned 165 calories! That's, like, half a ding dong! After 20 minutes I was sure I'd had enough but I hung on. Then I felt like letting go so (against Michael Stipe's advice) I let go. And went into my "cool down." Sometimes my whole "work out" is a "cool down." No matter how long I run or how fast I go, my entire "work out" is never more than the cross country team's warm up lap. That's life. Everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends. Don't throw your hand. Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along.

When you read this, don't picture me running. 




25 comments:

  1. I like this post for so many reasons.
    But the number one reason is that I have Everybody Hurts on my running mix because it does talk about hurting, and frankly running does hurt sometimes. When I was running my half marathon whilst in your neck of the woods this song came on at about mile 11 and I couldn't imagine a more appropriate song.
    Can I just say, "You go girl!"

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  2. Justin H.1:12 PM

    I totally just got back from the gym where I busted my abs. Just kidding. I went to Arbys. You are a great writer, by the way. If I was filling out a form with a check box that said, which do you admire more A) someone that can run fast or B)someone that's a great writer, I'm going to choose great writer every time.

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  3. You COULD spend all your free time running, and maybe it WOULD make you live longer. But that extra time you live would be spent running, and who wants a life like THAT? Run to live? Live to run? I'd rather live to eat and enjoy my (probably shorter, but higher quality)time on earth.

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  4. Oh this is great. Running is on my mind. I just barely blogged about entering a long relay-race. I'm trying to train, and I keep wondering when it's going to get easier/fun. No, no, no, you're not alone.

    P.S. In high school I kept a single (cassette tape!) of that song in my car labeled, "in case of severe traffic jam". I'm totally adding it to my running mix.

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  5. I'm pregnant now, so I'm not running at all. But when I do run, I hate every single bit of it. The only motivation I have to run is my utter and complete love for food. My husband thinks this is weird reasoning. He runs so he can get better, be more fit. I run so that I can eat like a pig and stay exactly like I am now. So when he burns 400 calories, he thinks "Yes, I'll finish the day ahead" I think, "YES! I can have an entire bowl of butter smothered popcorn and a cherry coke for dinner!" Really, it's a beautiful system.

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  6. I AM picturing you running. In a leotard and tights and a sweatband around your head, ala Jane Fonda. And I like it.

    I run. But I run because I have to, not because I actually enjoy it. Mostly, I feel like I'm going to die. But I do find it annoying when people like @Carly say they don't run and love to eat, yet appear in their pictures like they just won a Ms. America contest. (No offense, Carly. That is if you want to take offense at the fact that you're gorgeous). I'm still a little bit fat. And I'd be a lot fat if I didn't run. Sometimes that doesn't seem fair. And then I eat a big chocolate donut.

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  7. I hate running. And running does give you headaches. At least it gives me headaches. Besides, ding dongs are fabulous.

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  8. On Tuesday, I was thinking about getting on my treadmill becuz my pants don't fit, but then I didn't, and then I slipped and fell in the shower. Luckily, I am not anciently old yet, so instead of my hip falling out of its socket, I just sprained my ankle.

    So anyhow, whew! I don't have to get on my treadmill. But now my morbidity is up and I can't wear any high heels.

    I wish I had ding dongs instead of these Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls.

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  9. I like this post. I think you might have motivated me. I'm sorry if that makes you uncomfortable.

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  10. Amy, thanks for the compliment(???) I'd better change my profile picture, though, if it's sending THAT kind of message. Ick. Miss America is not my bag.

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  11. I finally realized I had to engage in some kind of exercise - I have tried walking, the gym at the local YMCA, dvd's that you follow along - I cannot commit to any of them. So I joined Curves - I seem to have to pay for something to do it and Curves is verrrry casual and no one there wears fitness gear - my main criteria!!

    They are mostly ladies older than me - so I can feel young. And most of them tell great stories. And the music they play is often ABBA - which I love.

    I may have found the answer!

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  12. I got blisters from running barefoot on a treadmill, for exactly the same reason you did! It's like we're twins (which for you is probably like saying you're twins with Dick Cheney - nobody wants to be similar to him!)
    I hate running on a treadmill! Worst invention ever!

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  13. I hate LOL but that is what I was doing... hard... by the end of your post. I think that is better than the treadmill. One of my favorite songs back when I pretended to be a runner was "Girlfriend In A Coma." You should try it.

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  14. But I love to see people jogging from the confines of my car!

    If they are pudgy like me I give them all kinds of encouragement and well wishes (in my head). "Good for you! Keep it up! You can do it!" And sometimes, "Uh oh. Oh dear, keep going!"

    When I see hotties running I just think "Show off."

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  15. I love "Everybody Hurts" except I wouldn't want to run to it. Running to ABBA I can get behind, however. "Everybody Hurts" is great to blast really loud when I am feeling bummed. Usually the absurdity strikes me and I laugh at myself and feel better.

    I haven't run since 2009 and I'm OK with that. I think 2012 might be my year to get back on the saddle. My sister in law has run a marathon after each child was born (like, a year or two after) which I think is cool. I think running in general is very cool in how democratic it is--you just need shoes. (or maybe not even shoes if you are BORN to Run.) I am not very good at running but it, along with swimming and lugging laundry up and down 2 flights of stairs, is my only real form of exercise because I am a klutz at all team sports and dance-related exercise. If I ever do run outside I try not to make eye contact with anyone.

    You're awesome.

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  16. Oh I was going to say. If you want to get exercise and you have a Wii you should do the Michael Jackson dance game. Whatever it is called... My sisters and nieces and nephews and I did it every day at my parents' house at Christmas and although I am a terrible dancer, I loved it and felt exhilarated afterward. If you don't like MJJ it won't work for you but if you do, it is SO fun. Try it.

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  17. I turned 30 this year and I have decided that in order to keep my body fit and active (and, like you, succeed in my goal of reducing morbidity), I need to have FUN. Exercise should be ENJOYABLE.

    So, no, I don't run. I don't like it all that much, even though I think I could eventually be pretty good at it (I'm not fast, but I can plug away forever). I found my fun exercise though - roller derby and ballet.

    I look ridiculous in both activities, but I love the heck out of 'em and actually look forward to the exertion. So that's the main thing for me.

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  18. I LOVED this post. So Hilarious. You are now officially my favorite person.

    The problem I have with running, is that it becomes some people's identities. That's all they talk about and think about, and they find ways to drop it in their blogs "so today after I got back from my run, I...", rs. lessons "running a marathon is a lot like life and adversity", church talks, etc.. Oh and then they go and add insult to injury and tell me it's fun! don't you dare. sure, its rewarding, and good exercise, but fun????

    Anyway, nothing against running in general, (I do it b/c its literally like prozac for me) but do I like it or think its fun and easy and addicting? H-No. The End.

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  19. This is a timely post because today as I was leaving the gym after my Zumba class, I walked out in the parking lot and thought about how I have to bribe Margaret into going to the Kids Club at gym by promising her a trip to your house and how it would make my life easier if you went to the gym with me so Margaret and Ellen could play, and she would get her way, and then I immediately said to myself, "Zumba class would probably be Kacy's worst nightmare. It combines all the things she hates the very most." And then I read this post. Wallll-ahahah!~

    I like to imagine people cheering me on when I run, too, and now I'll imagine M.S. throwing roses at MY feet! Well done.

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  20. I've really got to try that cheating on the treadmill thing.

    And since I ran a marathon today (Me! Who wondered two years ago if she could really run that 5K she signed up for), I have to say, I have been amazed at the immune boost I've had while training. Since I started running regularly back in March, I haven't been sick at all except for a slight "almost-a-cold" I had last week. So there is something to exercise and decreasing morbidity. I don't think you have to run a marathon to do it, though, and I think it's great you still exercise even though you hate it.

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  21. I'm sorry, but I'm imagining you running, ironically, along with Sam, holding out an assortment of breads for him to eat.

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  22. I'm still hung up on "no doy".

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  23. again, we are so much a like in so many ways, you scare me.

    there just aren't words for how much i hate seeing/being near people exercising or exerceise gear of any sort (because no matter what, it's SWEATY). thing is, I DO feel better and get fewer headaches when i do my "workouts" and drink less soda, but i still just LOATHE every second of it all. i feel bad when i tell people i have a 3-mile walk route that i do in 45 minutes and they suggest we go together because, well, just NO. i am sweaty and breathless and deeply involved in my podcasts, so the last thing i need/want is company. i am the worst. or WE are the worst, i guess.

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  24. upon reflection, it think perhaps the root of the problem is actually my issues with sweat. hmmm.

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  25. Too late, I already had pictured you running with the fan blowing your hair and a ding dong dangling out in front of you (for motivation...you know.)

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