Thursday, June 21, 2007

Living Anyway

At it again. There are roads to drive, roads to run. I’m off to do the relay thing. It’s brand new to me, I really don't know what to expect. I’m doing it anyway.

I haven’t conveyed my anxiety about this event to anyone. There are a couple of reasons but perhaps the most important is I’m just not properly trained for it. In my mind I’m not, anyway. If you look at either of the training schedules and then compared them to my log, it is, in a word, frightening.

The race organizers encourage diligent training for this. From what I hear of my team and dozens of others, many choose not to follow the plan anyway. This does not make me feel any better. The plan has you running two or three-a-days (I have done a few), doing speed work (does not compute) and running hills (which I’d like to avoid but here in mountain land, I fortunately cannot).

I have not been running this way.

I have been running for fun. I have been running for stress relief. I have been running to get the travel weight off and the sun on my face. I have not been wearing a watch. I have been running just enough to not piss off my knees. People around me are very disapproving of this. They think I am crazy or "asking for it" by running. I am running anyway.

(Sidebar: These are the same people, however, that send me ridiculous email "surveys" that I never answer because they ask questions like: If you died and were trapped in a bubble and could see no one for the rest of eternity, what three things would you take with you? And then they get upset when instead of saying photos of my family or inspirational novels I respond with beer, birthday cake and Jimmy Buffett. I just don't think about being trapped in a bubble of the afterlife. I prefer to think about life.)

My doctor, the ever-wise, blue-eyed comedian that he is, says running cannot make my knees worse. It is up to my discretion and my pain tolerance, at this point. That’s sort of like putting me behind the counter at an ice cream shop and telling me it is up to me what to do with the ice cream that day. Does he not know me at all? I have permission, I CANNOT CONTROL WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

There’s another side to this, though. It’s the me side. The side that cannot wait to get on the road for 500 miles just to complete 178 more with my team. A team of men and women of all ages, from all over, of all different abilities. The fun, the running, the work, the up all night, the celebration, the smell of the van after fifteen hours or more. I cannot wait.

So there might be a little pain. So I might be slower than I’d like. So I might stink. Might. Might. Might. If I can’t make it any worse by running, then I’m going to go ahead and make everything else better.

I won’t live in the might, I’ll just live anyway.


Dawn said...

Good for you! I'll use a tired, old only live once. :)

Cravey said...

Or you might have the time of your life, make great new friends and impress yourself with your ability.

If you're gonna play 'might' play it on both sides of the net.

Happy running.

anne said...

Oh you are going to have a great time. Who cares about training schedules? It really is all about enjoying it.

Nicole said...

Best of luck - it sounds like fun and I'm sure you will do great.

Vanilla said...

Training schedules can quickly take all the fun out of running.

Have fun, peace be the journey.

sue said...

Go for it... and good luck!

Sempre Libera said...

Who cares about training schedules, indeed! My sense is that they're only necessary if you're looking to race all three legs.

So just do what you've been doing - run easy, run because it makes you happy. (Just remember to stretch between legs!) You'll have an amazing time!

justacoolcat said...

"speed work (does not compute)"


It looks to be a grueling experience.

You know me,
"running unless chased (does not compute)"

Have fun and good luck!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Good for you! Birthday cake is the correct answer to any survey question!

No regrets, baby, go for the glory.

GirlGoyle said...

Sounds like it's going to be a ball (minus the stinky van) so just go with the flow. It's about finishing not about winning.

singleton said...

Get behind that ice cream counter and dish it out, baby!

Sizzle said...

you know how might can mean strength in a different context?


The Exception said...

Run, Run, Run and have FUN!!! If it doesn't make your knees worse, then do it for the pure love of doing it!!

Danielle said...

There are plenty of studies that show that running is not bad for the knees...and in fact, running can be a way to prevent things (like arthritis) that runs in some families (mine is one!). I so want to do a relay race someday. I can't wait to read all about it.

egan said...

I'm trying to figure out if what your doctor said about your knees is a good or bad thing. I've been intrigued by these relay running races. There's a similar one here I was going to do this year, but baby kind of takes precedence. Have fun.

brandy said...

Good for you! I admire your attitude, to try something new even if you aren't 100% what the heck is going on. I wish you the best of luck. (And I refuse to wear a watch while running too. I find that I just end up staring at it all the time.)

Josh said...

getting caught up on your blog... The relay looks pretty cool!