Even though the training program I’m supposedly following includes lots of 8, 10, and 12 mile runs, I haven’t been on a single run between the distances of 6 and 19 miles since March. For some reason it’s really hard for me to go on middle distance runs. Short runs are easy, and long runs I actually try to mentally prepare myself for. Anything around 10 sounds easy because it’s so much shorter than my long runs, but when it comes to actually doing it I always realize that it is kind of a long run and then I get lazy and don’t do it. Except today I did, since I’m trying to actually follow my training plan for the month leading up to my marathon.
I’ve done the run from the zoo to Pittock Mansion a lot, and to make that run 5 miles one way you just have to keep running past the Pittock until you get to Cornell. That didn’t seem too bad – the route stays on the Wildwood the entire time, and is kind of hilly, but reasonable. Apparently it gets unreasonable right after the Pittock Mansion though, which I learned today. Pittock to Cornell is a straight drop downhill, and the bottom of each slope was covered in mud so I kept having to sprint through them and hope I didn’t fall and die (walking or going slowly wasn’t an option because Pascal was way too excited for that). It was okay though – the last run I did was the 20 on Saturday, and 10 is way easier than 20, even if there are a bunch of hills.
For a while I was running with other people a lot of the time, but I’ve kind of reverted back to always running alone, or just with my dog. I don’t really mind it, but it would probably be more fun to go with my friends more often. Unfortunately, marathon training has the negative side effect of intimidating people away from running with me. A common misconception is that because I can run longer and faster than you, I won’t run shorter and slower with you. This is entirely wrong. At least for me it is, I can’t speak for all runners. Usually I’m super excited if a friend wants to run with me – and if I specifically tell someone I want to run with them, I’m serious about it. Even with copious reassurance, somehow when I say “we should go running,” some people hear, “let’s go running together but if you’re slower than me I’m going to be super annoyed and run off without you.” For those of you who feel like that’s the case, let me break down for you the possible outcomes of a person accepting my invitation to go on a run:
- You are insanely slow and out of shape. You can’t even run at all and it’s super embarrassing. We have to walk the whole way. This results in two friends hanging out for a while while walking. If I’m training for something super serious and this walk is ruining my training plan, then I’ll go run later. But I’m never training for super serious things, so that’s not going to happen.
- You’re kind of out of shape and have a hard time keeping up with me. Usually this makes you try harder than you would have otherwise, and if you get too tired you can tell me to go slower and we will.
- You can run just as fast as far as me. Surprise, I’m not that amazing of a runner, and don’t train at warp speed.
- You’re actually in better shape than me, and I tell you to slow down. This happens a lot.
I’m not trying to make any statements here about my actual abilities, just how other people perceive them. I have a friend who works at the zoo with me, and we started talking about running one day (sidebar: I’m actually going to be on her Hood to Coast team this summer, which I’m super excited about). By the end of the conversation, which included nothing about past race times or training schedules, she had started talking about what a fast runner I am. There was no way of knowing how fast I was, she just assumed this. This kind of thing happens a lot. Maybe I subconsciously brag a lot and don’t realize it. Or maybe it’s more due to the fact that I never talk about being slow and in general try not to say negative things about myself. I feel like that just draws attention to the bad things, and I don’t want to do that. Sometimes people preface any discussion of running with how slow or out of shape they are, and maybe just not doing that makes you sound fast. Blah blah blah.
In conclusion, don’t tell people you’re out of shape, go running with them when they invite you, and wear sunscreen even when it’s only a little bit sunny. Skin cancer is real, as is gross old leathery skin.
Super erotic sunscreen how-to video:
Miles run this week: 10
Miles run in 2010: 383.5