Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Running out of excuses.

Random rambling ahead. Proceed with caution.

My reluctant feet this morning post workout.

Okay, y'all. I have a confession. Well, maybe not a confession technically. . . but more of a declaration. . . .yeah, a declaration.

I want to be a runner.

Yes, people. A runner. As in a "Hon, I'm going out for a run to clear my head" kind of runner. As in the person who wakes up on a vacation and says  "Who wants to go for a run?" kind of runner. But--as of June 14, 2011--I am not anything even close.

There. I said it.

Hold up--now, let's be clear on something--I am fairly fit and I do work out. I weight train (when I can) and can roll with the best of 'em in even the most choreographically hell-atious step aerobics classes. (Yes, I'm one of those obnoxious ones that yells out "Wooooohhh!!!" when the teacher does a 32 count combination only once and then asks, "Y'all got that?") I've survived boot camp experiences, 11 grueling days of the P90X and even that creepy Tae Bo kickboxing craze. But running? Sigh. It's the final frontier for me.

Sure, I can run. But I can't run-run. See, the problem with me and run-running is that never have I ever reached that nirvana place with running where:

a.) It feels good.
b.) I feel this alleged "high" that my former Grady doctor friends, Julie E. and Julie J-M., are always talking about.
c.) (and most important) I am not constantly thinking about the fact that I am running, how long I have been running, and when I will get to stop running.

The Crazy Running Julies (on their runner's highs.)

Dr. Julie J-M--This morning after running. Doesn't she look happy?
Dr. Julie E. right after running a marathon, and yes that is her infant and toddler. Grrr.

See what I'm up against?  This is what I am faced with in the workplace. I'm just sayin'!

Then there's the home front. . . .man. Like, I see these people of every conceivable age running all through my neighborhood 24-7. I cannot pull out of my driveway without almost mowing down someone jogging behind their family Labrador retriever. Some of them are in their own little iPod worlds. A few hard core ones are just one with the wind and completely void of electronics. Then there's those folks I see running together while holding full on conversations, complete with hand gestures.

What the. . . . ?

Let me just tell you from my own experience--it's impossible to gossip while concentrating on the fact that you are running. Especially when you've been running for less than a mile yet it feels like a marathon and you're busy calculating how many more steps you must take before being respectable and not a quitter.

Now. I am sure that some of my favorite keep-it-real people (like Ms. Moon, for example) are reading this and thinking, "Uuuuh, so how 'bout NOT running then since you hate it?" To which I quickly rebut with what I heard way too many times as a child:

"That would be too much like right."

Seriously. . . the thing is. . .I realize how crazy this quasi-obsession with running sounds. But as of late I just can't give it up. I'm convinced that I've yet to get over some invisible hump that will surely lead me to the Flo-Jo promised land. Surely.

Next confession: Yes, I want a healthy heart and the joy of beating my chest in triumph at the end of achieving my goal of running anything longer than three miles. But. There is another reason that I must come clean about.


Now check it--I've been keeping a gym membership and going to gyms since my early twenties. So trust me, I have some working-out perspective.  In all those years, I've been conducting a little observational study with unmistakable and unshakable results. Yes, people. The numbers are in.

Without further delay, I bring you the statistically significant findings from my fifteen year longitudinal observation of human beings in gyms, parks, and other public places associated with working out:

Hotness = Running.

Wait--before you say, "Whaaaat?" let me explain.

In every single class I have ever done, there are always a couple of women there that are at the exact level of fitness that I aspire to attain. Yes, there are those scary buff chicks that look like they haven't eaten a carbohydrate in the last ten years with muscles in their faces and such--but I am NOT talking about them. I'm talking about the ones who run out ten minutes early to get their kids from the gym playcenter like me and the ones that see me on soccer fields and say, "Don't I know you from the Y?" Those women. Them.

And so, like always, I ask. "What else do you do besides (fill in the blank) class?"

Without fail, the answer is either in the form of the half-marathon t-shirt they are wearing or a simple shrug and this answer:

"Other than Body Pump, I just run a few miles a few times per week. That's all I have time for."

Ah haah!!

Today I walked out of the gym behind this woman who had to be forty, but this was only apparent from the neck up. From the neck down? Chile please! She had the body-Oh Lawdy! She jumped in her car (with the "26.2" bumper sticker) and drove off.

Ah haaah!

Therefore, I maintain that the most fabulously fit people that I know and see all frickin' run. And they seem to run more than two point five miles. Before I get any push back, the quick exceptions are personal trainers and gym instructors who, by the nature of who they are, do all sorts of other equally heinous things to their bodies to keep them lean mean fighting machines. But that's not who I'm talking about. I'm talking about regular people. (Got that, fit-mama Claudine?!)

Oh, whoops. There was one other very important portion to my study that must be reported as well:

Hotness = Running.


Running DOES NOT = Hotness.

Confused? Don't be.  Check it out. The people I see whose bodies are consistently fit and lean all seem to run. However. I see a whole bunch of folks running that are not anywhere close to fit and lean. Which kind of sucks.

Case in point:

Every year, the kids and I cheer as the participants in the Atlanta Marathon run right through our neighborhood. First we see the elite runners, next some other speedy-but-not-elite runners, and then comes the crowds of regular, yet respectable, runners. Some of them are exactly what I described--lean, fit, yet not overly scary-buff. But often times, right beside them, I see dudes trucking it on 8 mile minutes with spare tires that look like a twenty week pregnancy.

What's up with that?

Anyways. That's really all I've got today. I have this plan to run a half-marathon, which initially was just me talking until Harry said, "Uhhhh, you're going to what?"  The moment he started hating on my pipe dream I got it in my head that I was going to be one of those women with the half marathon t-shirt come next year.  Besides, my other motivation is that since (YES) I DO intend to get a mini-van at some point in the next year or so, I need to ramp up my hotness for all the folks who will see me stepping out of my mom-tacular swagger wagon and have no choice but to exclaim,

"Oh WOW! YOU'RE somebody's MOM???" 

At which point I will pause for effect, point at myself and my washboard abs with a slow nod while flexing one of my guns--and THEN slowly saunter away with my hazards flashing in the carpool lane.

Yeah. That.

Oh and when you see me? Please, people. Don't hate. Congratulate. 

Happy Tuesday.

Oh yeah. And speaking of congratulate--shout out to my blog-friend Andi at On Call RN for just completing her first marathon!


  1. I want to join you on this goal as well. But I am so scared. I came to this conclusion about Hotness during the graduation events for my 5th grader. One mom, about to turn 40, had the body I want. She told me she runs.

    I started ramping up with interval runs last week.

    I will keep you posted!


  2. Oh yes, Marra! And just think--girrrrl, you already HAVE a minivan so you can do the slow saunter before you know it. . . LOL. . .

  3. I just wanted to say that:

    1) I definitely sympathize with your desire to make peace with the running thing. I'm not fit (thanks med school), but have found that the only people that manage to stay fit despite the craziness of our schedule are people that run. So, trying to get past my own 3 mile mark right now.

    2) I totally think you're already hot. Honestly, my guy friends that see me checking your blog are always asking - who's that hot chick? I'm sorry if this is an inappropriate comment, but just thought that you ought to know, since that is the topic of this blog and all :)

    Good luck!

  4. Emily. I'm sorry, but excuse me what could possibly be inappropriate about that comment? Ah hem.

    Okay! Rooting for us both to get to the runner's nirvana. . . .:)

  5. I would never say that- I promise you. At one point I wanted to be a runner too. And I ran for years. Believe it or not. And then I got the bad knees and then...oh well. I began to walk. And I walked VERY fast and it worked for me and it used to work SO well and then, oh shit. I haven't been walking regularly and oh shit.
    But hell, woman, if you want to be a runner, you'll have to quit hating running. That's all there is to it. Either that or be miserable a lot of the time.
    I never hit a runner's high either. Ever. Ever. Not even close.

  6. Two words "Jeff Galloway". He could help make it so you don't absolutely hate running all while you're getting better. Have you tried any 5ks or 10ks? Good luck!

    You seem to eat pretty well, but as some marathoners illustrated, you can't outrun a crappy diet.

  7. You WILL attain the runner's high- I know it! So excited that you are in training. I like Jeff Galloway and Hal Higdon's training programs, so be sure to check them out. Luv u!


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