Monday, January 7, 2013

running high

A few years ago, I picked up the habit of running. It was mostly due to a few shoulder nudges from one of my buddies that liked to run. After a while, I decided to give it a shot.

But first, let's back up.
I've never been a "runner." In middle school when our gym teacher mentioned running the mile I wanted to climb to the top of the stadium and jump off. In high school, I got to skip out on gym class requirements thanks to Dance Team. I used to play basketball, but I was the laziest basketball player in the world. When it came to sprinting down the court, I wasn't having it. I blamed it on my idiotic heart, but mainly it was because I just hated running. 

All of the above is the reason I was hesitant to start running in the first place.
I thought to myself, "Why, in the name of all that is holy, would people do this voluntarily?"
But I gave it a shot anyway. 

I planned on running a half marathon. And yeah, I had to Google it to see how many miles that was.

69,168 feet
830,016 inches
2.10824e6 centimeters.
Holy balls.
[You know shit just got real when there's an "e" in the number]

My buddy provided me with a training schedule, but for someone who thought the word "running" translated to "pure hell," it took a while for my body to adjust to this new lifestyle.

I lost a buttload of weight.
Like, my workout pants were falling off while I was running on the treadmill.
It was awesome.
Maybe not for the person on the machine behind me, but it felt awesome.
My resting heart rate was around 60 bpm.
My blood pressure averaged 95/60. 
It was the healthiest I've ever been. And I felt like a rock star. 

And you know what? I was slow as shit.
Picture Zach Galifinakis running. 
Now keep watching.
He just passed me.

I didn't run that half marathon. Mainly because I just wasn't ready. So I ended up doing a 5k.
Still three miles, it's no joke. 

But the fever had struck. So I kept training; I was going to run that damn race.
Fast forward a year and I was signed up, wholly intending on making those 13.1 miles my bitch.

The day of the race I had to get up an hour early since I had stayed in Topeka. I got there just in time to park, get in line and was still setting my iPod to my running playlist when the gun went off. 

The first mile is always the worst. It feels like your lungs are on fire and your legs are jelly.
But after a few miles, you get warmed up and feel like you could run all day.

That feeling goes away at about mile 9. 
At that point, you're wondering what the hell you were thinking when you literally paid to run these 13.1 miles. It's as if you're running through hot lava and your feet-slash-nubs are slowly melting.
Meanwhile, sweat drips into your eyes causing flashbacks to when you were a kid, getting your hair scrubbed and bubbles fall like a hard rain directly into your eyeballs.
[no tears my ass, Johnson & Johnson. We're on to you.] 

And all you can do is think
Five more miles. Four more miles. Three and a half more miles...

You're also trying not to cry.
Don't be a little bitch. Power through.

I remember seeing the finish line. 
At this point, my ankles felt like they were swelled to the size of semi-truck tires, 
my body temperature was that of a Tyrannosaurus Rex
and my heart beating faster than a crackhead who just took a hit of speed.
I cannot convey to you in words the pain I was in at this point.

But I saw that line and thought
speed up
And somehow, out of the depths of Mordor, I gathered the strength to quicken my pace and cross that  finish line like a boss.
"I cant feel the lower half of my body.."

I ran like I've never ran before.
I've never wanted to run so fast in my life.
Get me across that effing finish line.

That's when I cried.
Out of pure happiness.
And enough adrenaline to power the Empire State building.

But I did it.
My finishing time was 2:45.

"we made it out alive.."

Quite frankly, my only goal was to finish the race alive so I couldn't give a rat's ass what my finish time was.

I wanted to share this with you guys because I'm feeling super unmotivated right now and I thought it would be helpful for me to relive this accomplishment.
It was a personal goal, and I made it happen.

Every single day of my life I remind myself about stupid shit I've done or said
and I think reminding myself about the good needs to happen more frequently.

Same goes for you - 
remember the good.
Because it's the only thing worth remembering.


  1. Love this! It makes me motivated! You can do it Mal!

  2. It almost made me motivated...then I looked at the outdoor thermometer. 2 degrees F ....maybe not today. Tomorrow might get into the twenties at least hopefully! Plus the image of me slipping on the ice and sliding on my butt all the way down the driveway isnt thrilling either.

  3. :-) You are awesome. I love everything about this article!


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