Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Remember Why I Started Running

Not that I should be surprised about that ugly little rodent predicting six more weeks of winter. We don't really have much of a choice, considering it is literally six more weeks until the spring equinox.

No, it wasn't a surprise, but the beginning of February is always a harsh reminder of how much longer we have to wait until going outside isn't such a chore. To top it off, this month typically hits us with at least one final wicked wintry blow. February is the most dreadful of months. And the first half of March isn't so great either.

This is why I started running back in 2006. Cabin fever had left me ravaged, and there was no end in sight. My apartment felt cramped. I felt sluggish. It seemed like I hadn't been outside in eons.

And fuck! Why was it so cold?

My plan was combat the S.A.D. with outside activity -- namely, running. I breathed out a cloud that was thicker than those smoke-filled exhalations I had given up for good a couple months prior. The dense cloud of breath hung in the air and joined the morning fog. (Yes, I even went out in the morning for my first run.)

I wore a pair of charcoal gray sweatpants, a T-shirt under a heavy sweatshirt, a skull cap, scarf, gloves and a pair of Etonic tennis shoes (as in, court shoes) that were too small. I ran for what I thought was two miles, but I think I was way off when I measured it later.

I returned home, having created a trail of fog as I panted from the effort. Little spots flashed before my eyes like I had just murdered a small colony of brain cells. I was lightheaded like whoa. My friend Martini talked about running like it was an addiction, and I suddenly knew why.

A couple weeks later, I started training for my first 10-K. A year later I was in the middle of training for my first half marathon. Four months after that, I would run my first marathon. Now, almost four years after that first run, I look back in search of motivation.

13 comments:

Xenia said...

This is one of the reasons why I like England so much--we get such mild winters here. Yes, I bitch about it being cold and the very, very occasional snow, but I know I have it so much better than most of you poor sods. And that's what gets me out to run.

Here's hoping that stupid land-beaver was off the mark and that Mother Nature will soon stop PMSing.

The Sean said...

One more step. When we stop looking we find what was there all the time. Go out and enjoy your run today!

GeorgiaSnail said...

It was gray and overcast yesterday, mid way through my run began a light drizzle. I practically had the streets to myself. The nearby church bell informed me the six o'clock hour had approached. As the bell was joined by other bell towers in chorus I thought to myself, "This moment right here is why I run."

BrianFlash said...

Look how far you've come in four years! Time to put some races on the calendar to drum up some motivation for training!

Roisin said...

I think that memory should serve as as motivation, right? Yeah, it's cold out, but you'll feel so good when you return home! To Dobson! And booze!

Vava said...

How about taking up smoking again, do the whole pack, then quit again? Motivation reinvigoration!!!

The Enthusiast said...

Consider this: Your running is a source of inspiration to others. So keep running so they can be inspired!

Julie said...

I think that everyone goes through a little burnout every now and then but you will shake out of it. Your little how you started running story is pretty inspiring! Go back and look at your pictures, running bibs, medals and pull out some good memories. Think about how your running progressed and what great moments are still ahead for you in the future:)

southofthecliff said...

Dude, I don't care about your lack of motivation or inspiration. You have a blog to keep updated, and I need amusement. Entertain me, Booze Hound!

barefootjosh.com

PS have you tried psychedelics? That would mix it up a little.

misszippy said...

I hear you...I'm in the mid-atlantic where we are supposed to get out second blizzard of the year. I am beaten down! Got in my long run today in anticipation of a couple of days on the treadmill. Ugh.

Check out my interview with Chris McDougall at www.misszippy1.blogspot.com

Carolina John said...

we all have our reasons. as long as we can get out there and pound that pavement, i guess we're all doing ok.

Jess said...

I always lack motivation in the winter. The cold and the darkness really make it tough for me to get outside. I need to man up.

Ms. V. said...

I'd love to see some race plans on your site...maybe that's it. You need a goal...a plan.

Winter sucks in the foggy Central Cal Valley, so I can only imagine what it's like in Ohio.

God.