Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rants and Ruminations

The first half of today was rough, and I had a lot on my mind throughout the run and afterward. Nothing weighing seriously on me, just literally a bunch of little thoughts:

1. I would not recommend the training program I'm in to anyone. I'm glad that I've made some running friends, but honestly, I don't think there's much point otherwise. I ran the marathon without a coaching program last year so it clearly can be done. I thought I was paying for guidance and support, but that is apparently not the attitude of the coaches! Scratch that- one is good, one doesn't seem to care much, and one is awful. (And unfortunately, when the good one isn't leading my group it means we're stuck with the awful one.) He just doesn't seem to have any patience or respect for the slower runners and just acts like we're a waste of his time. Rude! Especially considering all us 'regular Joe' slow runners are the people who provide a good amount of money for the sport—in races, training programs, etc. Running isn't so popular today because the number of elite runners has grown exponentially. It's a bunch of people like me, with our 10 minute miles.  Regardless, no matter what, and no matter the program fee, I shouldn't feel like I'm being penalized for getting my butt off the couch attempting to run 26.2 miles.

2. That said, I really REALLY do appreciate the people I've become friends with in the group. Today's run was a total shitshow (I almost quit to just do the long run tomorrow) and I separated from the group, but then I saw Katie and she got me going again. Then we found Allison and the three of us spent the next 2 hours encouraging each other. They really talked me out of letting the coaches' attitudes get in my head. No matter how I ran those 14 miles, I was still running them. When we passed the larger group I couldn't even be sure the coach knew we belonged with them. (The smiles from our other runner friends that stayed with the group were also nice, and I'm sure everyone can sympathize with wanting to just do your own thing.) What started out as a totally daunting run ended up feeling easy because I was with the right people.

3. I really don't want to get old. Ever. I think I've managed to convince myself that if I run—today, tomorrow, and into my 70s—that I can avoid old age. I feel so sad and anxious every time I see an old person walking so slowly and hunched over a walker, or just sitting in the park or bookstore with their nurse. I always want to stand up straight. I never want to 'just sit there.' I really hope that if I ever AM a dependent old person, it will be after very many years of doing things, instead of sitting around wasting time. I think I just get especially sad because every old man reminds me of my grandfather, who died last October. We weren't terribly close, but I feel like something big is missing without him. Man, who ever invented taking things for granted?

4. I don't know what to do about my shoes! I've only had this pair of sneakers for 3 weeks and already I am busting holes in them. I was put in a light stability shoe rather than neutral, so maybe it's just the new shoe and different areas of mesh that are easily worn down. I know I have wide feet but geez! If I get a wide shoe, will I need a smaller size? Will my orthotics still fit? Too many variables!!! Plus, these ones come in a great orange color not available for people with fat feet. What a dilemma...

5. Just because you think you know better than me when it comes to running, does not mean you need to share your thoughts. As I sat shaking out my shoe this guy walks past me and noticed the tape on my leg so he stops to say: "What's wrong, shin splints? Shin pain is fake, you can just run through that. If it's your hip or knee then you have a problem but shin splints are nothing."  Excuse me? I politely said "okay thanks." But what I wanted to say was: "You probably think I just waddled my way through 5k don't you? And that I don't know anything about running? How about 14 miles? How about I have a sports medicine orthopedist, sports podiatrist, have already run a marathon, and might know just a little bit more about my body and bones than you do?" Thanks, guy, but you just keep running through your shin splints and leave me alone to run though mine.

6. Speaking of kinesiology tape, I do love it. K-Tape is awful and doesn't stick to you. But RockTape is my best friend (which is good because my OTHER shin is starting to hurt now). And it comes in a million colors. Some people accessorize with neon arm warmers and bright shoelaces, but I like to slap on some hot pink sports tape. I mean, if I'm gonna wear it then I'm GONNA wear it. Today's was definitely the best so far. Running in style-in argyle!

And I didn't even mean to color-coordinate with my shirt :)

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