Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Running on Madison
I don't know if I buy the whole "addiction doesn't exist" theory. As a coffee drinker and runner, there is no way I could really go long without those two things. I also used to smoke. And it was hard to quit. Most people are shocked to hear that I smoked because I appear to be a health nut.
The thing about my addiction to running is that it really is an addiction. When I was having stomach woes and was told to skip coffee, for some reason, I thought I would be just fine. By the afternoon, I had a horrible headache. By the time I left work, I was in agony. I sat on the couch, crying with a washcloth on my head and called the doctor (already took too much aspirin). We were reunited the next morning. I had no idea how much my body needed it.
As for running, I make no excuses. Raining - I won't melt. Snowing - there's a treadmill. Early flight? What's wrong with waking up at 4 AM? 16 hour work day? How am I supposed to get my energy the next morning? Sick? It will make me feel better. There is something so great about how I feel when I am done that it's not worth skipping. Forget it.
I do run 6 days a week. I take Sundays off for several reasons. 1 - my right knee could use it. 2 - I could use a day to sleep in (which is rare). 3 - I can dance late into the night and not worry about anything.
So last Saturday, as I ran my usual routine, I saw all of the "no parking" signs for the following day's Madison Marathon. As I ran, I said to myself, "I am going to do the 1/2 tomorrow. I did a marathon. I run about 25 miles a week. I can do it. No problem." I am an adult who does what she says, once the announcement is made.
I texted my sister and asked if she could come watch me run. She said "sure!" I announced to my boyfriend "Hey Chris! Guess what? I am going to do the half marathon tomorrow." He said, "You haven't trained." I said, "I will be fine!" I made sure he could watch me. He said it was no problem. I walked over to the terrace and registered.
I was very excited. So for someone who doesn't do a regular 10 mile run but still runs 6 days a week, it was no problem. I ran about 9 minute miles and I ran the majority of it with my neighbor who I happened to run into at mile 2 or 3. She is 58 and training for the Ironman. I had no goals. I just wanted to have fun. And fun it was.
For those of you who haven't raced a lengthy race, I have the following recommendation:
Line family and or friends up along various miles on the route because it gives you something to look forward to. I had the family at mile 10 and the boyfriend/dog at mile 8. It's very helpful.
I was hosting a Memorial Day BBQ that evening. I even managed to go dancing until bar time that night. So for those people who "feel old"," I hate to say it, but sorry - I don't. Running is an addiction. And I guess I have it.