The art of being Californian, it seems, is to cultivate a loose-limbed insouciance while secretly working away like a frantic ant.

--Richard Fortey The Earth: An Intimate History

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

a brief interlude in my travel recount

So, I am training for a marathon. Not only is this my first marathon ever, it is also the first time I've seriously run in almost 11 years (because of foot injury) and am running for myself and not for a cross-country team member boyfriend. So this is no joke.

But somehow isn't as bad as I thought it would be. An interesting dichotomy.

I am still having trouble with the distances. The problems aren't being winded or tired but just straight up being in pain (foot and many other places) which happens, I'm told, regardless if you have a prior injury or not (in fact, I've been informed that this training can give you new injuries) or just straight up being bored. So I am always looking for a way to quit.

That said, I was running about a 10k today and had the following conversation with myself.

Me: Just run to the end of the block, then you can walk.

me [relieved]: Oh yes. Thank you. . . .

me: Wait a second. You are just saying that. You won't really let me stop. You'll trick me into keeping running.

Me: No. this is isn't a trick. You can really stop . . . if you want to.

me: See. It's that "if you want to" crap you always pull. Of course I want to. I didn't want to run in the first place. But you made me. Now you are going to guilt me if I quit and walk.

Me: I won't guilt you. You are amazing for even being out here and running in the first place. Here you go: end of the block. But wait! Isn't this a great song! Why don't you just run to the end of the next block and listen to the song.

me: Yeah! I love this song too! Okay, the next block. But then I am walking.

Me: Or you could keep running to the end of the song . . .

me: I could. This beat is awesome. WAIT A MINUTE! You just tricked me into running farther.

Me [smarmy little smirk on my internal face]: I did? Wow. Look you're almost home now. Why don't you just run it out?

me: You always do this to me. It's not fair. What about what I want? I am hurting here.

Me: But look how tough you are. Here, stop. You did it. Now aren't you proud of yourself.

me: Stop patronizing me. You're a jerk. But you are right, I am awesome for running all that way.

And that, with a few variations from time to time, is pretty much what goes on in my head for the duration of the run. Oddly enough, I told this to my roommate, and she confessed that she too talks to herself when she runs. But rather than cajoling herself into running farther, she berates herself for being weak and wanting to stop: "You weak bitch--keep running, pansy-ass."

It must be a West Coast/East Coast difference.

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