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.


  1. Congrats again. I thought it would be hard to do without training, you proved me wrong. You are much more addicted to running than me. For example, even though I'm almost 7 1/2 months pregs and went running yesterday and then walked to work and home from work, I decided that tomorrow at 100 degrees it will be too damn hot for a prego lady to run. But I do remember the last time I was in Amsterdam and was sick and stuck in the hotel all day, I decided that a run would make me feel better. Just like you just said. I threw up in a bush along the way and then decided to turn around, but ran back of course, it was the fastest way to get back to the hotel bathroom!

  2. You sound very motivated and that kind of attitude rubs off!I like how you never make an excuse to not run, your dedication is amazing!

  3. Leslie, congrats on the pregnancy! It must be hard to run with that baby. I don't know what I would do (although I can guess....)

    Caroline - thanks for the kind words. I hope my attitude rubs off. I appreciate the comments.