Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Obsessed? Who, me?

Am I obsessed?  You tell me...

On FB the word I most frequently use to describe my status is "run", followed by "miles", "running", "marathon", and "ran".  "Lesbian", "Bisexual", and "Gay" are also high on the list, so maybe I'm confused about what obsesses me.  (Please help me figure out how sexual orientation is related to running!  I think these status posts must be about work.  I have a really cool job and I really haven't got free time to do anything other than... run.)

I'm happy to report that the word "happy" also appears all over my status posts.  I must be referring to running or work, but in any event I'm happy about it.

Obsessed or not, I sure have run, grown as a runner and simply grown a lot this year, and I'll never have a year like 2010 as a runner again.  Last January I ran a 16 mile race – and could barely walk the next two days.  Now I'm ready to run about 250 miles in ten (eleven if I'm lazy) days alone in a part of the world I barely know.  This year I've raced five marathons, qualified for the Boston Marathon on the first try, set PRs in the 5k, 10k, 20k, and 30k, 1/2 Marathon and Marathon, and run on average 200 miles per month.

I've run here and there (but not yet everywhere – though I am thinking about it), and – of greatest value – made true friends and gotten to know myself better from the experience.

As obsessions go this one's pretty healthy – it hasn't gotten me arrested, it has gotten me healthier in body, spirit, and mind, and the biggest problem it's caused is baggy pants – so I think I'll keep it, and I recommend it to all my friends.  Like a true pusher (err, fanatic)(err, err, runner) I'll run with you to get you hooked:  Name the time and place you want to drink the kool-aide and I'll be there. ;).

Running alone across Puerto Rico scares and excites me the same way standing on the line at the start of a race does.  I never know how I'm going to do in a race, and I always aim to run to fail – flat out, pushing myself as hard as I can to know just how far I can go.  In Puerto Rico the challenge is different – I'm going to have to be much more disciplined and pace myself to make it all the way.  My running friends know just how hard this is for me, politely observing that it's kinda stupid to start a Marathon at 5K pace and that I'd probably get a lot faster if I could just learn to slow down once in a while.   (Hey, its real stupid and after 5 Marathons it is classic me, but I gotta let my freak flag fly!)

I haven't been able to slow down yet – every time I start slow (i.e.: running smart) I end up faster than I ought to (i.e.: running without restraint), gasping and out of breath at the end.  What it comes down to is that I'm passionate about running.  It has changed my life, and every time I head out to run my heart beats faster and my gaze goes to the horizon.  I'm eager to see where else running will take me that I've never been before.  Yes, I run too fast but there is a lot left to discover.  Puerto Rico will be tough, and I'm going to focus on slowing down to enjoy it.

Status:  Obsessed, running, and happy!

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