Friday, May 11, 2012


The topic for today's Sidelining the Sweet Talk is . . . . drumroll . . . .


I actually started writing this post before the "head incident" and haven't had any desire to finish it until now.  I've been feeling like I'm hitting a wall with my running . . . no pun intended . . . and have been looking for some inspiration.   I'm hoping that I'll find some as I finish this post.  So, let's go.

There are two types of people:  those that love to run and those that believe that you should run only if you are being chased. 

Obviously, I fall into the first category . .. . but I haven't always.

During college, I may have gone on a few jogs but really it was only to sweat out some beer and get rid of the fried pickle bulge that I had developed around my middle.  

Truth be told, I had little interest in my physical health during my college years.  My interests were my friends . . .

Just look at all those styrofoam cups
and boys . . .    

Solo cups were also popular

. . .  and school.  Of course, school.

However, it was only during law school that I finally realized that there was something to be gained from perspiration.

During the first year of law school. the Great and Powerful Oz decided that we needed to go out for a jog one night after dinner.  He proposed a run around the block.  That's it  . . . just a block.

But, I swear that was the longest block in Houston.   I made it about half-way down the first leg of the block . . .  probably 1/16 of a mile . . . before I keeled over . . . gasping for what had to be my last breath of air.    Oz pointed out that I hadn't even made it around the first corner.   I was okay with that because I was sure that cardiac arrest was around that corner. 

Running was not for me. 

And, then during my second year of law school, I got some harebrained idea that I wanted to run a marathon.   I teamed up with my good friend Mary Shannon, and we jumped right in even though we had no idea what we were doing.   

We certainly didn't worry too much about our pace.  

Really, we just ran so that we could say, "I ran a marathon once."  Our goal was to survive . . .  and to drink bellinis at the end.

After finishing the marathon, I didn't run much for the next four or five years.  But then, I moved back to my hometown.  I had two small kids, and I was ready to shed some baby weight.  

I started running 3-4 days/week with my new friend, Emily.  We ran at a comfortable, leisurely pace.  After all, you can't risk being too winded to talk when you have small town crap to talk about.

And then a couple of years ago, we hooked up with a few more girls . . .

Allison, Jessie, Emily, and I

. . . and it all changed. 

We started running harder, longer, and faster.  Jessie used words like "fartleks" and "intervals," and I had to step up my game . . . or at least look up the terms online so that I knew what she was talking about.  Jessie pushed the four of us (and our dear sweet friend Wendy) to be faster, more technically proficient runners.  And, while Jessie was doctoring our form, Allison pushed us to run farther.

Some where along the way, I found my groove.  It just became easier.  I discovered that I can push myself a little without turning into roadkill. 

I discovered that I run faster in the heat than in the cold and that treadmills mean that you don't have to run in the ice.


I discovered that I need to run 6-7 miles to really enjoy a run because my body doesn't really loosen up until mile 3 or 4.  For me, there is little satisfaction in stopping just when it is just getting easy. 

And, I discovered that I really do like races.  They are loads of fun, and its good to have a goal to work toward. I also enjoy the people that a race attracts. 

Finally, I discovered that, while I certainly don't mind winning a metal . . . or an even better prize . . .

like steaks . . . the only person that I am competing against is myself.   There is always going to be someone younger and faster and better than me, and I'm cool with that.

I just want to run the best that I can on that particular day under whatever circumstances are presented to me.  Sometimes I have a good run.  Sometimes I don't (i.e., Germanfest). 

There is a saying amongst runners that is something like:

The only run that you'll ever regret
 is the one that you don't take.

I want to say, "Abso-freaking-lutely!  That is gospel."  But, really, I think that's total crap.   Some times you have a bad run run into a pole, and you wish that you had stayed in bed.  For me, running is a mindgame. 

If I think I can do it, I usually do.  But, if I have a bad run, it can screw with my head and steal my running mojo for days. 

Taking more than a few days off leaves me feeling slower and winded . . . and defeated.  Its not rational.    Its not like you lose it all during seven days.  But, a break turns me into a real headcase.  

Recently,  I decided to press the reset button.  I've been going back to the basics.  I'm easing back into it . . .  and looking for my mojo . . .  and dolls . . . along the way. 

Really, my point is that whether I'm at a stage where I am happy just to finish the race

or looking for the big prize

it doesn't really matter.  I just need a goal . . . even it its just to get out bed in the morning . . . 

Now, does this little pep talk have me feeling more inspired?  Maybe a little. 

I feel like I should go for a run.  But since its raining, maybe I should go for a fro yo instead. 



  1. Rain!? What, will you melt? If I didn't run every time it rained, I'd never run. Now get your pansy ass out there and run! :)

    1. Ha! We actually ran this morning. But, because we ARE pansy asses and we heard thunder, we ran at the gym. Lame. I'm sure the chances of actually getting struck by lightening were slim.

  2. Ok, well you've got a point about the lightening. I forget it about because we rarely have it in Seattle. I don't miss it, but I do miss the thunder. Too bad you can't have one without the other. I'm with you on the running indoors. I'd much prefer to run outside. But I've found these treadmills that I love and makes indoor running somewhat bearable.

    1. I will have to check that out. I don't know if our house can handle another rarely used piece of fitness equipment.
      Ah, Seattle. I'm reading a book about Seattle right now. ;-)

  3. Fartleks, intervals, ha! It got us faster then I got hurt, guess I need to do some more of those!