If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Guest Author Blog Post - "Running Sucks"

Yes, today's post is by a guest author, so to speak. I (Kathleen) have been in Blogger Hibernation the last few months but am slowly waking up, and a little cranky at that. I had to bare my teeth at Steve and wrestle the keyboard from his grasp in order to do this rant, er, I mean, post. And yep, you read the title correctly - running sucks. That phrase is what was on the ticker tape rolling through my head while we were out on our run today. In fact, halfway through our run, I had committed myself to go home, throw all of my many pairs of running shoes into a great big box (it would need to be a BIG box because I have lots of shoes), torch those puppies, and have a great big bonfire in the backyard (a shame, really, because I LOVE shoes). I had also made the commitment to become a full time cyclist again because running sucks. Put your hearts at rest, though, as it was only a moment of weakness and I have come back to my senses (a little coaxing and bribery of an extra chocolate-y iced mocha from Steve helped). Here's what happened:

Because we were LAZY and didn't want to do a post- holing run in snow on some of our favorite REAL and FUN local trails, we headed over to the Santa Fe Trail for some good aerobic miles. The Santa Fe Trail is a true local gem, on most days. It is fairly flat, for local standards, and is perfect for distance aerobic training on foot as well as on the bike. We have utilized it extensively over the years and it is a jewel - except for today. Today, for me, from the first step, was an exercise of torture. The trail represented a wide dirt freeway - BORING and MONOTONOUS. Yuck. That consistent ticking of an even foot turnover is the pits. Even the iPod couldn't save me. I tried to "think positive" but the positive-thinking mantra wasn't working. With every step, the thought "I hate this" echoed in my head.
Our goal was 14 miles on the frick'in wide dirt freeway but we settled for a measly, pathetic, and paltry 10. Did I mention I hated every step???

I have come to a self realization. I need interest. Scenery. Variety. Uphills. Downhills. Twists and turns. Singletrack. Running A.D.D.? Maybe. I am not commited enough to slog through long boring runs "just because" it's on the training schedule. Nope, not for me. If that leaves me in the realm of mediocrity, so be it. Life's too short to waste much time on BORING. I know, I know, it's a mind and focus thing but we (very thankfully) live in an area where we don't have to "settle" for boring runs. I love Santa Fe Trail but in most cases, it will have to be in short, fast segments - Git'er done - or speeding over it on a bike. Maybe I am not a REAL runner quite yet.

When we got home, I noticed Steve gathering up all of the matches, presumably to hide. I think we do have a local fire ban on shoes. I also caught him trying to hide Mountain Bike magazine Buyer's Guide under his arm (again, presumably to keep away from me in my frothing state. No worries - I can sniff out his hiding place). Hmmm, a shoe bonfire AND a shiny new mountain bike might not be so bad . . .
At the EVIL trailhead parking lot; Blodgett Peak is in the foreground with Pikes Peak sneaking up behind.
I LOOK happy here - it is an optical illusion.
Steve is genuinely smiling. He enjoyed himself. He had a marvelous run. My smile is really a grimace through clenched teeth.
A view from the trail across the USAFA. At least Pikes Peak is pretty.
Yep, it felt like 45 miles. When will the misery end???!!!

Ok, I have recovered from my earlier meltdown. I am not burning my running shoes (yet). I am not going shopping for a new mountain bike (maybe). Actually, I am feeling pretty good post run. I am certainly thankful for a patient hubby who still saw the beauty in the boring (and coaxed me back to reality that life is good and running is good). It certainly IS a beautiful thing just to be ABLE bodied and GET OUT, regardless.

And hopefully, those of you who really know me, also know I am just having a little fun messing with you! :-) Ha, ha! Fact is, I really LOVE the Santa Fe Trail and I truly was smiling, sometimes!

Get out, whether it's on pavement (sorry), a wide dirt freeway, or luscious singletrack - it's good to be alive - and have HAPPY TRAILS this week! :-)

Shoes: Asics Gel Trabuco - both
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