Monday, January 24, 2011


In one of my earlier blog posts, I contemplated whether I actually enjoyed running. I came to the conclusion that while I enjoyed being a runner, and having something to brag about and justify some extra eating, I didn't always enjoy the act of running itself.

And that's certainly been the case during my marathon training. My last two long runs at Loch Raven and Timonium were quite enjoyable. Trying to cram in base miles during the week has been a struggle, though, and an added stressor when I haven't been able to find the time to get in as long a run as I was planning, or even worse, get out to run at all.

Today was a tough work day, and my stress level peaked at about 5:15, when I opened an e-mail that I really should have just left for tomorrow. I was in awful mood. I wanted to get away. I wanted to hit a heavy bag (disclosure: I don't have a heavy bag). I wanted to hit a wall. I wanted to hit the bottle. I settled for a run, and it helped calm me down much more than I expected.

I remember a few years ago, I'd hop on the treadmill or head up to the local park at lunch, and a run was a nice opportunity to crank up Blink 182, or something equally sophomoric, on the Shuffle, turn my brain off for 20 or 30 minutes, and not worry about anything except how fast I could go X laps around the park.

Tonight was different -- tonight I could tell I used my frustration to motivate me. I beat the daylights out of my tired legs for seven miles in a one hour and ten minute run that was maximum effort although not maximum speed, and after a few miles, I felt less frustrated.

I've also found that I like running at night in all my stupid running gear. It was definitely a good de-stressor tonight, but I also think it's somewhat akin to having a secret identity. By day, I'm just another anonymous Embattled Mid-Level Business Guy, but by night I become Long Distance Running Reflective Idiot -- I feel like people in their warm houses or cars are staring and laughing at me as I run on these cold nights with a stupid light on my head, and I can't help but laugh at myself a little, too. Tonight, that laugh, and the miles, were much needed.

(Maybe The Cape, hero of NBC's hilariously awful show "The Cape",
just needs more reflectors on his suit.)

1 comment:

  1. 1) The night-running headlamp is the pocket protector of runners! LOL!

    2) The Cape is so awful, but I just can't turn away!