I was pondering this whole idea today while I went on my “long” run that constitutes my form of recovery on Wednesdays. It is considered to be my day off but running for a full 30 minutes is not my idea of recovery. More like torture. I have surprised myself in my ability to even finish, simply because this is something that I would not have ever done back in my college days. Back then, I was absolutely allergic to anything that required running for what in my mind was an unnecessary distance and I had convinced myself that it was something I was simply incapable of doing. You think I’m kidding. I’m not. I told my coach that I COULD NOT run over a mile. Not that I just didn’t want to, but that I couldn’t. Impossible. Not feasible. Totally impractical.
In fact, I remember trying to convince him back in college that the run we did in the fall just had to be over a mile, even though he claimed it wasn’t. The darn thing would take me approx. 17 min to do and I just knew it was his attempt to try and get me to run longer. That was until I came back to Tucson this fall and ran it in just over 10 min. I guess that means it probably is a mile and I was just running that slow. 10 min is now about my mile pace. It doesn’t really matter if I’m jogging 2 laps around the track or a half marathon. Who am I kidding—I’d never run a half marathon but if I did start one, I’d run about a 10 min mile pace until I dropped out. I don’t ever really go faster then that and if I went slower I guess I could just walk.
Anyway, every time I go on my Wednesday runs along the riverbank, I get this idea that people are looking at me and wondering to themselves just why I’m going so slow yet seem to be laboring away. I look like a runner. I have all the appropriate clothes on, my ipod is in place, and I’m definitely in shape. But Grandpa can pass me and there is nothing I can do about it. In fact, a few weeks ago when my best friend was out here visiting, I had her accompany me on my run. I knew it was probably slower then she was used to, but it’s still 30 minutes of work and that’s got to be worth something to a non-athlete. But she had the nerve to carry on a conversation and then halfway thru she began power walking at the same pace as my jog! Just because she could. Well excuse the heck outta me miss runner.
So I’d just like to give props to all the runners out there. I can’t do what you do. And if you pass me on the riverbank, please don’t whisper to your running buddy and point. I know I’m an embarrassment to your hobby but I do try my best to stay off to the side and out of your way.