Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Counterpoint: Why I Love (Hate) Running

Me and my lovely family running the Leprechaun Lope.
I loved Patrick's post about hating running/ers. Not only because it was about how Patrick is becoming a runner, but also because I am narcissistic and it was really about me. You see, I am one of those annoying runners. And if you are a runner you love nothing more than seeing other people succumb to the cult of running.

Here is the real secret about running, however. (And no, this is not about how runners don't wear jock straps. You can read the comments on Patrick's post if you want to know what we really (don't) wear.) All of those runners your know - the people who obnoxiously post on Facebook about how many miles they did that day, or what race they are running this weekend - they all really hate running.

No one likes running, except gazelles, the Tahrahumara and that guy winning the race in that picture wearing the shorty shorts. Everyone likes how it feels when you are done running. There is a feeling of euphoria that you are finished and that you did something hard and that now you can eat several chocolate chip cookies guilt free. You see, the chocolate chip cookies are why we really run. You've heard of runner's high? That's cheesecake. Endorphins? Those are the cheese fries we eat guilt free post 10k. Exercise euphoria? Ice cream. Running a 10K = 1000 extra calories. That's a lot!

I guess I shouldn't speak for all runners. Maybe some really do love it. And I do get a certain sense of happiness setting off on a run on a beautiful sunny day. But if you told me tomorrow that I could burn the same number of calories reading articles on Buzzfeed than I could running, you better believe I would be spending 1 hour with An Analysis Of The Unwinnable Spice Girls Vs. Hanson Debate. (Duh, Spice Girls all the way. Once I had a dream that I was best friends with the Spice Girls and they called me Timber Spice and I was always really mad that everyone was so hard on them. Wait...Did I just type that out loud?)

When I found out Patrick was serious and was going to really run, I had some unsolicited advice to offer. (It's the best kind!) And if you, gentle reader, want to take up running as well (read: eat more cupcakes) then you can share in this advice.

  • Start slow. When I started running I remember thinking that no matter what, I would never be able to run a mile without stopping. I just thought that my body would literally be unable to EVER do that, no matter how long I trained for. Eventually you get a mile in. And then a couple more. So don't worry if you can't run 10 miles (or 10 yards) on your first run.
  • Run outside. For the love of all that is holy, don't run on a treadmill. Treadmills are boring and terrible and mind numbing and not for beginning runners. And in most parts of the country now is a perfect time to be outside. Not cold, but still cool enough that you don't die.
  • Find a friend. That's really why all us idiots post on Facebook about our runs. So we can find the other runners. Having made a running date with someone makes it a whole lot tougher to talk yourself out of it. My running partner is about 8 years younger than me and significantly more in shape than I am. This helps too, because I do longer and tougher runs than I would do on my own because I don't want to appear weak.
  • Find a 5K and train for it. Yes, it is really annoying to pay someone $25 for the privilege of running. But they are a lot of fun and their are other runners and adrenalin and lots of crazies to make fun of later. In fact, if you are up for a run next Saturday, I'll be at the Racin' for Greyson 5K to raise money for my friends son who has a disease that is so rare he is basically the only kid with it. I'll be the tallest bald guy there. Come say "Hi!"
So get out your dance belts, or jock straps or whatever you want to run in and come... join our cult. (Also, please wear pants on top of your dance belt.) Think of how many instagrams of race finishing times you can post! Think of all the Facebook status updates you can have talking about your amazing 7 miles you just did. But really, think of the chocolate chip cookies that you will eat and tell yourself, "Yes! I will have another! Because I ran 7 miles today and tweeted, instagramed, four-squared and facebooked all my friends letting them know that I did. My body craves it." They'll never know you are really talking about the cookie. 

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