I hate running. Hate it. I’m not quite sure why I signed up for four running races between April and November this year.
I get the rationale behind each of those decisions, but I just don’t completely comprehend why anyone would put themselves through such a long, torturous training regiment for a short adrenaline rush that comes with a race.
I was a late bloomer as far as runners go, and I don’t exactly classify myself as a runner. I mean, other than the fifth grade seven-tenths of a mile “Road Runner” race at the Farnsworth Middle School in Guilderland New York back in 1983, I’ve never trained or competed until the 40th year of my life. It was in an effort to explore some alternative methods of maintaining my healthy lifestyle that I began running a couple years ago. I hadn’t had the desire to really dive into it until last summer. That’s when I signed up for the Boston Half Marathon in October. Go big or go home.
It’s about getting up at the ass crack of dawn four times a week and pushing your body to do something it doesn’t want to do. For me, I’d have all my equipment ready to go the night before so that I’d be up and running before my head had a chance to actually wake up to realize how ludicrous my activities were. After a while, it had become habit for me and my dog, Finn, to be on the road as the sun rose each morning. My normal volleyball weekend tournaments became less frequent and my Saturday morning runs became longer and longer. The increasing distance pushed passed a threshold that I didn’t know Finn had. He’d always start the first couple miles pulling me, but by the time we hit mile five, he’d be a couple feet behind me. It got to the point where my wife Corrinne would drop him off about halfway through my run. He was a good partner in training, but I’m not sure he was built for distance. Now Corrinne was involved in my strange addiction.
Half Marathon day came and went. My persistence in training had paid off as I made it through in a time that I call successful. The adrenaline I mentioned earlier lasted a few days rather than just the time it took to run the race. It was nice to accomplish something that I hadn’t thought was possible for me. I thought it was over. I was mistaken.
Those who live in Massachusetts probably don’t remember those few warms days we had in early January. It was one of those day that I discovered the running bug had gotten to me. I hadn’t run since November because the only thing that sucks more than running is doing it in the cold darkness of the winter. But on one of those warm days that I had the itch, I made some decisions that would affect my entire summer.
A 5k in mid April. This happened on the 18th. Corrinne and I ran it together. The highlight of this run is that it crossed the Boston Marathon Finish line. I can’t even begin to explain the emotions that this run brought onto me.
The next is a 10k in early June. Same starting point as the 5k and it will again cross the marathon finish line, but obviously this one is longer. I’ve never run a competitive 6-mile race so I’ll need to plan to pace myself and incorporate a little more strategy for this one.
In October, I’ll once again hit the Boston Half Marathon. It won’t be my first race and I think now that I know the course a little better, I’ll be even more prepared. I’m kind of looking forward to this one. A key difference is that I’ll treat this race as nothing more than a training run for my next race.
To complete my race season, I’ll run a final race in mid-November. What I accomplished last year was shocking to me, but I need to push myself even further. So, I will run the Philadelphia Marathon. I hope I can achieve this as it will mark a significant accomplishment for me. Especially because I hate running.