28 July 2008

Running By Dummies

ok, so, you know that FOR DUMMIES how-to book series? like, FLY FISHING FOR DUMMIES, or BETTING ON HORSE RACING FOR DUMMIES, stuff like that? well, this post is just like those books, except instead of containing advice FOR dummies, this holds pointers FROM dummies. or just one dummy.

the yours truly dummy.

(as a side note, "dummy" and all derivative forms of the word are strictly verboten in my household, so i keep waiting for an unseen buzzer and/or electric shock to go off. typing whilst cringing is more difficult that i would've thought. but moving on.)

RUNNING BY DUMMIES
helpful tips from a running ignoramus

1. so the thing about running is that how you feel during the first mile doesn't really count.

every morning i roll out of bed and onto the pavement, stiff and half-asleep, and i find it hard to blink with any modicum of coordination, let alone direct my limbs with synchronized grace. the whole time i'm thinking, seriously? this is a better idea than sleeping? but by the end of mile one i've morphed into that effortless jog where i feel like i could just go forever.

i know all you exercise-gurus are going to tell me this means i'm not pushing my body hard enough (or, you know, at all), but hey, i'm in a zone. let's leave me and my zone alone.

2. the other thing about running is that it's fun to wave at people. i'm an indiscriminate waver myself--i wave at ladies being dragged along by enthusiastic dogs; golf guys; old dudes sheepishly retrieving the morning paper in their pajamas, etcetera. but mostly? i wave at passing cars. here i get about a 70% waveback: the over-sixty crowd (they're my favorite) saves the rest of y'all from what would be a dismal 40%.

3. the other other thing about running is that wearing actual running shorts is loads better than those basketball or soccer shorts that hang to your knees. because, really? after about 3/8ths of a mile, you'll be sweating like a pig in a parka, legs drenched and blotchy, and you'll be wishing for something, um, breezier.

trust me when i say that running gear is not about identity statements. running gear is about not dying of heatstroke in the imminent future.

4. the last other thing about running is that how flabby you feel for the first ten minutes following your run also doesn't count.

most of the day, i'm cool with me. i mean, i don't belong in a swimsuit calendar (well, no one belongs in a swimsuit calendar, but you know what i'm saying), but i'm comfortable in my own skin. immediately after a run, however, i'm a flagrant disappointment to myself and, probably, the whole of humankind. i firmly believe that if i just slogged over six miles of pavement, i ought to have earned the chiseled figure of artemis, so it's quite a nasty shock to glance in the mirror and instead see me. i glare at all non-muscley areas and fight the urge to shriek at them: WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?

the rest of the day, though? i feel just grand.


so there you go. free tips that you will probably never need, which is mostly why they're free. go forth and slap some pavement.

11 comments:

Denny said...

I am still working on that first mile, so I am not yet feeling "the zone", or at least not a good zone. My zone is more like "please let me make it home before I die" zone. But thanks for the tips for whenever I do get somewhere near the zone of which you wrote. I promise not to invade your zone however.

Rebekah said...

Six miles? You rock, Nic :) I'm just proud that I can finally go 3.5 without stopping to walk!

And I am in complete agreement with #4 :)

Eileen W. said...

Oh I can so relate!! I go about 4 miles 4-5 times a week and wonder why I don't like the the chiseled runner on the cover of Runner's World yet. I'm a waver too- and I "hi, y'all." The over 60 set does say hi back, the rest, ignore- what's up with that? Grumpy much?
Your sweaty counterpart in VA- run on!

stinkypeteandcompany said...

I have a love/hate relationship with run shorts; regardless of their intention and practicality, one cannot possibly feel good about shorts with panties attached.
I love miles 2 etc. and waving and nodding too - I'm big on nodding and "morning"s.
I avoid return angst and thus mirrors of all sort until at least 2 hours after run, and have found that I am a much more pleasant person for having done so ;)

yours in sweat,
Sarah

Kimberly said...

I'm almost tempted.

Only almost though.

mncgirlfriends said...

I just want to mention that I feel flabby BEFORE the run, DURING the run and AFTER the run---- and "the zone", I guess I'll have to get past just being able to run a little over a mile to feel that. But on a positive note--remembering how far I have come is pretty amazing for a fat old lady. Remembering how out of breath I was from just jogging for 30 seconds and now I am up to a little over a mile---that thought could put me in "the zone".

Stephanie said...

I agree with the issues with the first mile. In the first 5 minutes of my run I'm convinced I'll either die or at least I'm certainly not going to make it as far as I like.

Then after the first 5 minutes or so I feel great. It's just getting over that hump! What's that all about?

janae said...

You are so funny! I really admire you. I've wanted to start running for awhile, but I just need someone to kick my butt out of bed in the morning.

PamperingBeki said...

Umm, at least you run.

I sit.

Tiff said...

More power to ya! Some day I will get motivated to run. . . .Nah!!
Stop by www.sewforless.com/embroideryblog

for some fun reading!

Stephanie said...

I agree with the issues with the first mile. In the first 5 minutes of my run I'm convinced I'll either die or at least I'm certainly not going to make it as far as I like.

Then after the first 5 minutes or so I feel great. It's just getting over that hump! What's that all about?