Monday, March 26, 2012

I Don't Know How You Runners Do It

There are some changes a'coming in my life (if everything goes according to plan), but those changes are going to require me to do more than just show up at the gym and hop on the elliptical machine or the rowing machine to get my cardio in.  I'm going to have to actually run.  R-U-N.  I hate running.  That's why I own guns, so I don't have to run. But, if this good thing happens (yes, I'm being vague, but it's still very up in the air) I'm going to be required to do the thing I hate almost as much as hair.

I routinely do four miles on the eliptical machine, walking on the treadmill, or on my favorite Precor machine, but I do. not. run.  Even the two 5Ks that RCC and I have done couldn't really be called "running".  We'd walk quickly for a bit, then run for a bit, back and forth, but I can't say I've done any real running since high school.

When I talk to a runner, I hear all about how they just get into the rhythm of running and let their mind go and a bunch of zen-like crap.  It doesn't work for me.  I can't get to that place in my mind.  I've tried.  Instead of going to that happy place in my mind, this is what it's like:

"God I hate this running shit.  Who the hell ever invented it?  I've been running forever...wait, what the hell do you mean I've only been running for ten seconds?  WTF?  Certainly the timer on this fucking thing is broken.  Great, just my luck to get a machine with a broken timer.  Damn I hate running.  My foot is cramping.  Ouchouchouch.  What the hell is that jabbing me?  Breathe, damn it breathe.  Great, is it time to stop yet?  I had to have made my one minute interval by now.  Shit!  I still have thirty seconds to go.  Really?  Damn it, I'm going to complain to the managers about this broken timer.  Comeonecomeoncomeon...twenty-eight...twenty-seven...twenty-six...twenty-five...fuck it. Done."
 And that's what it's like every. single. time.  I've tried running while watching the TV, I've tried running while listening to music.  Even El Poquito Diablo couldn't get me to run much without worrying that I might kill him in his sleep.  Doesn't matter that I don't know where he lives, I'd find him if I needed to.

But now, now I have to run.  Not even very fast.  Only two miles in 22 minutes.  Two eleven minute miles.  I've tried telling myself that I can do anything for twenty-two minutes.  Yeah, right.

I just don't know how runners do it.  Nebalee has offered to run with me, to get me to where I need to be.  She's a brave girl, 'cause running makes me rather homicidal.

The push-ups and sit-ups for this new direction in my life?  All day long.  I have no problem working through everything required strength-wise.  In fact, I could pass the strength requirements today.  It's this running crap that's killing me.

Any ideas?  I'm open to suggestions from any of you runners.


Allenspark Lodge said...

Come on up here to run. At this altitude, the brain shuts down so you can't get pissed.


Momma Fargo said...

Been there, girl!

My best advice is to change it up. Do sprints...1 minute fast as you can on the treadmill or outside, 1 minute walk briskly. Repeat 20 times.

Run uphill and cool down by walking downhill. Then stretch.

Go for a 30 minute jog.

Experts told me that you can increase your endurance and strength by sprinting and changing things up. I was very surprised. Actually enjoyed it more.

2A Mama said...

How did I come to enjoy it? Stress. Unbelievable body numbing, weight of the universe on your shoulders, can't carry on any longer stress. Much like Forrest Gump proclaimed "I just kept running. And running, and running...."
When I was done I felt like I wanted to die, but there was something else too - a kind of release. For a while, it was just me. Doing something for ME, instead of worrying and stressing out over all that was going on in my world. Who says you can't run away from your problems - at least for a little while?

Don't get me wrong - I have days where my feet and legs feel like dead weight, and I'm sucking wind so hard I think I'm going to die. I watch the timer, but I think to myself "Ok, 30 more seconds, I can DO THIS!" But I wasn't always like that. I haven't always indulged in "positive affirmations" (that might be that zen-like crap you refer to! LOL)

My suggestion would be to keep up with the intervals. But don't be afraid to run for a minute and then walk for five. That's how I started. I still can't go very far, but it's something I'm working on. For ME.

Oh, and you've inspired a new blog post. ;)

Shepherd K said...

I am going to be a whole lot of no help. I hate running at least as much as you do. The shin splints, the cramps, the foot pain...and that's just getting off the couch. I would say Momma Fargo's advice is probably beat. Then again, my philosophy is to have fat friends I can knee cap so I don't have to run fast.

Rachel said...

Absolutely no help at all, but at least I should be safe from your wrath, right? Not a fan... I do a "jog" passably - and only if I'm walking on a dark Colorado highway in the middle of the night with a flat tire and bear stories...

RabidAlien said...

Running is something everyone "can" do, much like throwing a football or hitting a baseball. Do we all do it well? Are we all going to strap on a pair of shoes and earn instant Olympic Gold's? Nope. Everyone can run, but not everyone can enjoy it. Not everyone's built for those endurance runs of 5k or more. Some of us are (or were, before broadness of mind swapped places with narrowness of waist, and kneecapped our knees on its way down). Running is a great cardio, but if its not fun, you're much less likely to keep at it. I'm sorta new to this blog, so I dunno the back story, but there are alternatives such as biking or swimming that provide good cardio, as well, if those are viable options. Distance running, though, is more of a mind-set. You have to get into that groove, the "zone" that lets batters punish the ball into the next state, lets the quarterback get up after being steamrolled by a linebacker going full speed, brings the average individual back to a sport after a bad day. Cuz there WILL be those days where your feet are made of lead, your shoes made of marble, and your leg muscles made of silly putty. Its those days that, if you don't enjoy it, you're not likely to come back.