So, yeah, I really don’t want to end this year with a blog that features a rant and a picture of a pork-faced baldo. So how about if I cap off the year by making a disjointed list of running-related things that I think have been fab in 2010 meshed with things that are stupid and tedious?
Look! I ran 2500 miles this year ! Actually, by December 31st it will be more like 2511.3 give or take a tenth of a mile. And my main sentiment about this stellar achievement is: So What? Really, it means absolutely nothing. I mean, running/exercise counts for something, but the obsessive piling up of miles in order to reach some mystical round number is inane (says the dorkwad whose blog site name is an estimation of lifetime miles run, rounded off to an even and tidy thousand). There are any number of things I enjoy doing, but I don’t keep a running tally of how many times I’ve done them. Holy Mackerel! This is the 1500th cocktail I’ve consumed since July of 1999! My word! I’ve just finished my 1000th book!
Anyway, yay me. Or whatever.
No Injuries or Illness in 2010! Aside from some groin grumblings and a couple of brief gastric phenomena, this was a healthy year. Even The Hag has all but disappeared after changing shoes and taking some breaks. Along these lines, here’s a pearl of wisdom for your new year: Stunts and Streaks Equal Illness and Injury; it’s not just good sense, it’s good alliteration!
I’ve never understood the whole streak thing. With a few exceptions, most people I know who streak end up sidelined. Like anally adding up miles, what’s the point? Some claim that keeping the streak alive is what motivates them to run. Sick? Run a few miles anyway! Hailing frogs? Put on an umbrella hat and run those two miles! Left leg falling off? Crank out a mile around the block, you pansy! Ah, motivation. I’m not sure where my motivation comes from, but if I had to look ahead into a bleak and murky future of always running regardless of how sick, hurt, busy, or entirely unmotivated I might be, I’d quit today.
Having belittled streakers and publicly bragged about my own health, I shall now contract consumption and revisit the land of GROIN injuries.
Girls on the Run! I didn’t do as much with this fabulous organization as I’d hope to this year, but I did get to be a running buddy to an 8-year-old at the December end-of-the-school-term 5k. As always, the race was an explosion of giggling, screeching, and taking off like elementary-school bats out of hell at the start, followed by a lot of walking, skipping, and discussion of the refreshments at the finish line until the finish line came into view and then it was back to bats out of hell mode for 10 seconds.
The little girl I ran with this year was extremely shy and wouldn’t look at me and barely spoke to me as we waited for the race to begin. Then, as we all walked toward the starting line, she suddenly grabbed my hand and didn’t let go until about a mile into the run. At this point, she became quite chatty and went on at some length about her very small dog. I gravely inquired whether her dog was larger or smaller than a football. The concept of comparing dogs to footballs made quite an impression on both her and her best friend, and this, in turn, made the last mile and a half fly by.
When we finished, she was shy again, but made a point to let me know that, “Anyone can come to our school’s Christmas party next week.” I’m not sure that was true, but it was sweet of her to say it.
Running with kids rocks!
I Created a Monster in 2010! If there’s one thing that really stands out running-wise this year to me, it has to be the transmogrification of Cheryl into a runner. Six years ago, Cheryl ran around a track a couple times and promptly collapsed in a heap of side stitches. Over the years, she ran now and then, but firmly proclaimed that she was not a runner and that, “I have one speed–SLOW.” Ack! Naturally, I was bound and determined to prove her wrong on this tired and overused girly point. I drew out charts and graphs and plans, gave her my Garmin (no tears over that), bossed her around on the track when it was 95 degrees, barked at her to relax her arms on long runs, happily explained that she should feel like she’s dying in a good 5k, and…
One year later she’s gazing lovingly at her log on RunningAhead (damn! Look at me with my links!) and saying things like, “How far in advance can you BQ for 2012?” and “I guess I’d rather have PF than a stress fracture,” and “The Monkey was fun.”
What’s next? Beating me at a race? HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA!!!!!
I Got a Fancy Shirt in 2010! So there was a lot of self-aggrandizing chatter back at the beginning of the year by those who announced they were now “sponsored” by Brooks. Oh please. I got into this program too, and it isn’t so much a sponsorship as it is a discount on Brooks gear in return for wearing their stuff at races and being a good ambassador for running (whatever that really means…). Those included in this program ranged from 35-minute 5Kers to elite runners.
At the start of the year, we all got “team” uniforms: eye-meltingly bright yellow and black singlets with BROOKS emblazoned across the front. I wore it once at the Country Music Marathon and then, I must admit, I was just too sheepish to ever wear it again. I can’t help feeling that unless I’m truly All That, I can’t wear something that suggests I’m All That when, in fact, I’m Just This. I’d like to be more Sue Heck (sorry, no link) about wearing a shirt that says Look! I BELONG! I am someone! , but I can’t.
What’s my point here? No idea. Anyway, here’s Sue trying out for the cross-country team:
My Final Year of Competing with these Wretched 40-Somethings! I don’t know what it’s like in your little corner of the world, but here in Nashville, there are far too many obnoxiously fast women between the ages of 40-49. I mean, just when you think you can easily cruise on by all these old hags by maintaining a solid 50 miles a week, you are left in the dismal dust of their pre-menopausal swiftness.
It’s maddening, I tell you. But not for long. In just over 6 weeks, I’ll be 50 and at the glorious bottom end of a whole new age-group world. I can’t say that I’m that excited about being labeled a “grand master” (sheesh), but whatever. If it means I can collect more useless trinkets and crappy pieces of plastic, you can call me anything you want.
Happy New Year, Runner Dorks! See you at the races!