It’s probably obvious from my blog that I happen to love running. But not everyone does. The great thing is that even people who hate running–for whatever reason–still run. And I commend those runners. One of them happens to be my friend Dave who is also a writer and currently in law school. His take on running and how he gets through it is entertaining and something I’m sure many can relate to. I hope you enjoy his perspective! As always, feel free to leave a comment with your own experience or thoughts.–Natalie
I never thought that when I took up running, Frank Zappa would try to kill me.
Running is not something that comes easily to me. No matter how many times I do it, there is still 20 minutes of debate as I sit on my couch. Do you really have to? You ran yesterday, you’ve earned the day off. Maybe just watch one more episode of “Kitchen Nightmares.”
This internal debate can stretch on for hours as I make counter proposals with myself. If you don’t run today, you just won’t eat as much for dinner. Less calories is sort of like running. I can be very convincing.
But eventually, my better half wins out. I put on my running shoes, get in the car, and drive to the trail.
Still, the internal debate rages as I begin my run. Every muscle in my body is saying stop. My mind begins to rationalize reasons why this is a bad idea. You know, you could blow out your Achilles. Maybe you just felt a twinge there down by the ankle, you should stop.
Running is a constant fight to trick my mind into thinking it’s not that bad. I try to ignore the incessant , “this sucks, this sucks, this sucks” chant that comes with every footfall.
I try to trick my mind. Just make it over this hill, then you’ll stop. I think about my day, the things I have to do. I listen to music.
I don’t have a workout playlist of any sort, no particular music to pump me up or wind me down. I just put my iPod on shuffle and run with it. The music becomes a critical tool in the battle against my mind.
Music is the way I trick myself into going a little farther. Run until the end of this verse. OK, now go to the end of this solo. Good, how about the end of this song? Before I know it, I have run another mile.
This all sounds good when the Beatles come on, since their songs rarely check in at more than 2:30. I can run for another two minutes. I am the MAN!
Then Frank Zappa comes on.
Sometimes, he’ll let you off easy. He plays a more typical pop song lasting about three minutes. Maybe “Uncle Remus.”
But sometimes I get a live version of a song called “The Torture Never Stops.” The chorus is droning. The band chants the title, the torture never stops. It mocks me. The torture never stops. The guitar solos are long, daring me to blink first. The torture never stops. My heart pounds in my chest.
The torture never stops. My legs get heavy.
The torture . . . the torture . . . the torture never stops.
I get the sense that I have passed my Beatles threshold, but I have committed to running to the end of the song. And yes, sometimes when I play solitaire I look in the deck for the card I need, but not today. Today I will be honorable! No cheating myself!
. . . in dungeon of despair, who are all those people, that is shut away down there, are they crazy . . . the torture never stops. Okay, now we seem to have slid past the ten verse Bob Dylan song mark. And there goes Stairway to Heaven.
Nine minutes. Ten minutes.
The torture never stops.
At this point, I am confident I am going to have a heart attack. Frank Zappa is orchestrating my demise at the business end of his Fender Stratocaster.
It begins to sound like they are resolving the song, I am going to make it! I am doing it! And then . . . there is a coda.
There is always a coda.
So I peek at the next card in my deck and hit the track forward button on my iPod.
But I’ll do it again tomorrow. This is running for me. The torture never stops.
–Guest post by runner Dave McAloon