Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Does This Make Me a Real Runner Now?

I've been wasting money for quite some time. For about the last year and a half I have purchased each Runner's World at the newsstand. I won't bore you with the math, but I'm missing out on a savings of 80 percent.

I do the same thing for the Sunday newspaper. There's just something about walking down to the local corner store (OK, in my case it's a Walgreens) and telling the nice old lady, "I don't need a bag, thanks. Have a nice day."

I've thought about subscribing to RW for a long time. This most recent issue I purchased while I was buying groceries Saturday night.

[Drunkard's note: I have a life, I swear. I had to grab some Bitburger for some hanging out later and decided to get my groceries taken care of while I was at it. I swear.]

Honestly, all the running-while-in-a-relationship crap in this issue didn't interest me much, but still I knew I'd read it from cover to cover like I always do -- in one sitting, reclined on my couch.

Reading is a ritual. I'm very meticulous. I have to read every word. As in my running, I am not very fast. However, I can shut out the world and lose myself in the words.

That same detachability is what draws me to running. Reading through those articles on relationships and running groups I thought about when I run with others and how I can keep up a conversation for only so long before I recede into my head.

Is this the loneliness of long distance runner?

After a while I might as well be running alone. I get lost in the footfalls and breathing and miles like I get lost in words and sentences and worlds.

Lately I've been lost in my own running world. The Cleveland Half Marathon approaches. My taper has begun. Moments of daydreamed goal achievement weave between moments of clarity.

I see myself passing supportive friends who in all likelihood will not be there when the day arrives. I see myself highfiving those friends as I hit the final half mile at perfect pace. I see myself surging into my final kick. I see the clock as I cross the finish.

Then I think back through those training runs that were rife with doubt, back to my final long run that proved to me that despite those doubts I am ready and back to the grocery store where even though I was preparing to go drinking with friends (I swear) I still could only think about running as I detoured from the beer aisle to the magazine aisle.

The next morning, I filled out the subscription card and walked down to the maildrop in front of the Walgreens before I grabbed my Sunday paper, placed the stack of quarters in the woman's hand and walked home under the azure sky. Some things are worth the extra money.


chia said...

I often wonder why RW has so many articles about the "interpersonal" nature of it all... it's like a chick magazine endorsing unnecessary chafing and creative hydration while in a relationship techniques.


Very well written. I think a lot of us can identify...

C said...

I don't know if they have RW over here in the UK. I'll check tomorrow. The fact that I'm willing to spend money I don't have for a magazine is a testament to the persuasiveness of your writing.

Good luck in the half marathon.

Nitmos said...

The RW subscription is certainly a telltale sympton of the disease. I wonder, have you started noticing the shoes other folks are wearing while out and about? And then, making judgement calls on whether or not they are A RUNNER based on their shoe choice and overall physique? That's another symptom. I will now post about this on Friday. Swiped!

B. Kramer said...

I didn't want to write about that crap anyhow! You can have your dumb idea.

As for the rest of you, thanks for the kind words.

Razz said...

congratulations on pulling the RW trigger. Good luck on the HM!