January 29, 2010

on running

Recent running highlights:
- seen twice: a man on rollerblades, jamming out HARDCORE on air guitar
- a man sitting by the river rail, playing guitar, who, when I passed, sang a song about jogging

coming in to the finish line, PDX Marathon 2007

Is 2010 the year I become a Real Runner (No Kidding This Time)?

Lately, I'm sort of consumed by running. It isn't even so much that I'm running a lot: just 10-15 miles a week, which typically looks like a couple 3.5-milers. It's more that I'm thinking about it all the time, and planning my days to include it, and dreaming of races and meeting new running friends and participating in the Urban Adventure Runs.

NB: two of my browser tabs right now are pointed to half-marathon race pages.

People who see me on a day-to-day basis would probably be surprised to know that I'm not always like this. They've seen me as a pretty die-hard runner since I ran the marathon in '07. But the truth is, marathon training was the closest I ever came to being a consistent runner. In reality, I go through spurts (several weeks to a month or two long) of running, followed by weeks of not running, followed by periods of running once or twice a week. Followed by guilt. I self-identify very strongly as a runner but it doesn't always pan out in practice.

This sort of enthusiasm bubble has descended on me before. Last spring, I thought, "This is really it, I'm going to be a runner for real now, I'm going to keep it up." And then inevitably life descended and I gave it up for awhile. I'm unwilling to declare it this time. Too afraid of jinxing it.

But seriously. Yesterday I signed up for a mid-March 15K. I'm eyeballing an April half. The difference this year might be my strong desire for friendships outside the theater, which seem to be a luxury well beyond my reach. I'm so busy, between work and the barn, that it's nearly impossible to pursue new hobbies or find, for instance, a book club. Running appears to be my way in.

Also, have I told you I'm kind of fast? I didn't know this until I bought my Garmin.

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