Sunday, November 1, 2009

Once a Runner

Well, child #1 is down with what seems to be H1N1. Thought we might escape, but no such luck. At least this illness was nice enough to wait until after his birthday and Halloween to hit. I hate it when my kids are sick. I worry like crazy. I know he'll get better, I know it will pass, but he's my baby (even if he is 12) and I worry. That's what us mamas do.

I went for my first road bike yesterday since the fated injury. Only did 15 miles, but it was windy with snow still on the ground and I just wasn't feeling it. I rode up towards the foothills. As I did the big turnaround to head home, this huge peleton of dudes screamed past me leaving me in the wake of their whooshing pedals and their talk about horse shit on the road. I was a lonely rider on a lonely road. I started counting the road kill and thinking that if I were a taxidermist, this would be an ideal way to gather my specimens. I kept a pretty good pace going the whole way (16-20 mph), really wanting to get and keep my rpms up.

What I found is: this bike ride made me miss running even more. In fact, I passed a runner along the lonely road and I longingly gazed in his direction - wishing it were me. My question to you is: what is it about running that does it for us? Really gives us that high? Cycling is challenging and speedy and there is no better place than Boulder County, CO to be on your bike. Yet, it is missing something for me. Maybe it's feeling my feet on the pavement, feeling grounded. Maybe it is that running seems so pure to me: no gear required, just me and my shoes (and a few articles of clothing). It is hard to put into words, but running bests everything else for me. Can you put it into words?

Today I got his book from the library. I've read so many of the running books, but not this one. Runner's World calls it, "the best book ever written about running." So, sit tight and I'll give a review here in a couple of days. If you've read it, let me know what you thought.

I also learned that there is a documentary on Dean Karnzes' book about running the 50 marathons in 50 days. It's appropriately called "Ultramarathon Man." I just ordered it from Netflix. I'm a total sucker for this kind of inspirational stuff. Here's a teaser.


Happy November. Happy it's already dark and it's only 4:45pm day.

18 comments:

  1. I'm looking for a new book to read. Let me know if this one is good! What I love about running is that it is such a visceral and uncomplicated activity that's as good for your body as it is for your soul. It can be solitary or social, and it's completely flexible: You can ride your adrenaline or relax into a meditative trance. I also love that you can run practically anywhere in basically any weather - no elaborate or bulky equipment needed. You're always just a pair of shoes (and a running bra) away from the open road.

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  2. I've heard that ONCE A RUNNER is out of print. Can't wait to hear what you think about the book!

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  3. i wanna see dean's movie! it looks sweet!

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  4. p.s. sorry to hear about your son being sick! i hope he gets better soon!

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  5. Hope your son feels better soon.

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  6. I think there is something very pure about running that appeals to the yogini in us. Anchors us to the earth with our foot strike, the self-reliance and the boundaryless notion of distance. Loving this doesn't mean you won't incorporate biking fully into another fitness event. It just means you love running. Rock on. I'm sorry about Sam.

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  7. I am in the same boat as you! I have not run for 2 weeks and the first week and a half I think I went into a deep depression - I was in a total funk!! It wasn't unitl last Friday that I decided that I had to get out of the funk and move on.....I know that I probably need to take some serious time off from running BUT I can't figure out what else to do and I just want to RUN. I guess once a runner, always a runner!!!!

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  8. I read that book. I found it slow, but worthwhile at the end. It was kind of hard to relate to (being all about competitive college track)... but still a good read! Enjoy!

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  9. You just made my day with that movie clip! I just finished reading 50/50 and I think I'll stay in one night and rent this movie too!!! Awesome. Thanks!

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  10. Sorry to hear about your son, hope he feels better soon!
    I don't know what exactly makes me want to run all the time, but I do know that the feeling you have after a great run is what makes it all worth while. I try to capture that feeling everytime I run, even on the bad days. Glad you got out on the bike! :)
    P.S. I hear there is lots of money in taxidermy! ;)

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  11. Best wished to your son and your family with the flu. I hope he beats it in no time!

    I wonder the same thing about running/bikng. I think the problem that I have with biking is that you sit on your butt and your upper body doesn't really move. With running - you are in the most natural body position it seems to me and you are just moving. Plus - you are doing all the work, not the wheels or the frame, etc, etc. Also, you burn more calories and get more energy in a much shorter amount of time when running.

    Anyway, can you tell I'm a fan of running?

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  12. I hope your son feels better soon! Being sick sucks.

    I love to bike, but I do not miss biking when I don't do it often enough. I've often wondered the same thing, why I love running so much. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I am totally focused on me when I run. I solve problems and get lost in my own thoughts when I run and everything else seems to disappear. That doesn't happen with biking.

    I haven't really thought much more about a marathon. I've looked at Rock N Roll Phoenix in January or several in February (my doc says I could run one then). I am definitely running the Colorado Marathon in May. I ran the half last year and really liked it; you should look into it.

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  13. I cant put it into words either. Oh wait, yes I can. I hate cycling. LOL! (Total fear of crashing, scraping, busting, falling, etc.)

    Glad you are keeping up the cardio, even if you wish you were running.

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  14. I hope the kido is better soon! :(

    I am anxious to hear what you think of the book! RW had a huge excerpt from it, and I couldn't get into it, so I was wondering if the book is any better.

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  15. It's not out of print anymore. We got it in May. Here is my husband's review: http://www.arunnersblog.com/once-a-runner/

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  16. Being injured was sooo difficult for me too. But I found that it also gave me time to learn to slow myself down. I started doing yoga and like you reading and that really got me excited again for when I could get out there. It stinks for now, but it will get better says all the athletes who like you have been laid up before.

    sorry about the kidddo!!

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  17. Yikes, hope the little one feels better soon!! Injuries suck, but mine have taken me from runner to triathlete... enjoy the book!

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  18. I've been wanting to read that book, too. Just never remember when I am at the library. Must. Go. Reserve. Now.

    I feel the same way about running. I have done some swimming in my days, and though I do like it, it simply IS NOT close to being on par with running. I think I also like that running is a simple sport and you really just need your shoes and a sportsbra to get out there an do it. You are close to nature (I don't do treadmills) and the air is fresh and you are alone with your thoughts...or lack of thoughts...sigh, it can't be beat. Now I am longing to go run right now and wishing I had brought my shoes to work for short lunchtime dalliance.

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