Do you ever get the sense that people think you are crazy for running and training as much as you do? Of course it's the non-runners I'm talking about here. They just don't get us, do they?
- When you tell them you're training for a half marathon, marathon, or (god forbid) an ultra marathon, they give the token response, "Oh I haven't run that far since I was chased by (insert favorite bad thing here) a murderer, my mother in law, the tax man, my mom and her sweaty underwear." Or they'll make some crack about the furthest they ever go is to the fridge for a Hagen Daz bar.
- You can never complain for a second to these people about something on your body hurting because they will just remark, "Well that's what you get, you stupid shit, for running so much."
I bring this up because I have started going for monthly sport's/deep massages. I love my massage therapist (I say this as if she is my personal massage therapist, only existing for me and my needs, at my beck and call day or night, she vacations with me, comes to all my races with me...if only), but she is not a runner. Yesterday she was rubbing me down (anyone getting aroused?), and started commenting about things on my body: Oh, I see you have a huge blister. Is that from running? Oh, I see you've lost a toenail. Is that from running? Oh, I see you have a scrape on your knee. Is that from running? (we all know where the scrape came from: not running, but falling off the treadmill). Oh, I see you have a huge bunion. Is that from running?
Plus, when I came in the door I was fresh off of my tempo run and per usual, my intestines were playing dodge ball with the fecal matter inside so I had to warn her that I might at any given moment have to jump off the massage table and sprint to the bathroom (maybe even naked) if one of those cramps turned into a full fledged crap emergency. So, (again) she asked, "Oh, is your stomach upset from running?"
Then she reminded me that running is "hard on my body" and, am I sure I really need to put my body through these things? She also told me later that she thought I was addicted to running. Better than being addicted to rubbing people's bodies with scented oil while listening to a CD of waves crashing, isn't it? My mom even said to me yesterday, "I don't know how you got this way. No one in our family is like this" (can you say black sheep?)
Obviously non-runners. All of them.
What non-runners don't get is that runners don't give a shit about bloody blisters, colon distress, pulled muscles, wind seared skin, intermittent puking, minor dehydration, or scrapes from falls. Hell, we keep Icy Hot, Ben Gay, foamrollers.com, Dr. Scholls, Super Feet, and Advil in business. They count on us to keep running while we're hurt or uncomfortable just so we'll buy their products in bulk. Seriously, Costco should have a runner's section specializing in running care packages comprised of ointments, wet wipes, ibuprofen, band aides, Depends, gels, salt tablets, etc.
I should rephrase. It's not that we don't care about these maladies, it's that we don't let them stop us. A non-runner or someone who can give or take running will get a blister and decide, "Well, that's a sign. I'm out for the season." A more serious runner will train and race through all sorts of pain and discomfort, refusing to give up unless a doctor or God flat out says, "You must take a break from running or you will never run again." To a runner, only the threat of not being able to run in the future is enough to make him/her rest. I know this because I ran a half marathon with a stress fracture and despite the unbearable and ridiculous pain from miles one to thirteen, it never occurred to me to quit. I am just that stubborn. We all are.
So, is this stupid or is it just what it takes to run the miles that we do?
Do you ever feel judged by those around you because of your addiction to/love for running?
Guess what? I'm not even running today. In fact, I'm not even swimming, biking or going to yoga today. I am resting. See, here I am resting on the stairs. Usually at this time of day I am still in workout clothes and have smelly crotch syndrome. I even matched my pants to the dog.
Drinking: Vic's 12 oz. latte with 2%