“How come every blonde girl runs?”

– some non-blondes talking shit about the new little white girl running through their neighborhood.. for no reason.

So the Leadville Trail 100 race happened this weekend. I also ran my first legit “long run” of 2012. 11 miles. More than half of the year slipped by before I pushed my mileage into double digits.

Slacker. I don’t know exactly why I’ve been taking it so easy this year. Maybe because I was working in retail and standing for long periods of time? Maybe I was excited to have time and energy to hike with friends or go to a show? Maybe it was just laziness? Either way, I’ve been much more disciplined about running recently and decided it’s time for a new goal.

I’m debating between trying to run an ultra and trying to run a sub-4 hour marathon. I’m leaning toward the latter because it seems way more feasible if I’m going to continue living in Brooklyn, and here’s why:

~ I don’t live near any trails, and I haaaaate long runs on the road. Yesterday I ran from my apartment, to Prospect Park, ran around the park a bit, and then came back. I got lost on the way back because I zoned out and stopped paying attention to the street signs. Hence 11 miles instead of 10.
~ I could accomplish this goal in a much shorter period of time.
~ Long runs take up a lot of time!! The more miles, the more time spent running, not to mention waiting for traffic and dancing around pedestrians.
~ $$ ultra registration fees are way more expensive, as is buying enough food to keep me alive while running 50 miles per week.

Running around Brooklyn is definitely interesting. Not my favorite, but you gotta do what you gotta do. It reminds me of running in Arequipa, Perú except less hilly, less dusty, fewer donkeys, and the cab drivers don’t try to run me over. I don’t get as many cat-calls or whistles here, either. Oh! and Brooklyn gets bonus points for always having a hydrant or fountain for me to run through when I get too hot!!!

This past week has been really stressful for me in my search for a job and trying to figure out the whos whats and wheres of my near future. One particularly rough day after a job interview I felt so frustrated that I had to run just to avoid tears and hysterics. I went from my apartment, across the Williamsburg Bridge, and back again. Approximately 7 miles. Normally, this would be no big deal, but it was the farthest I had run since moving to bk.

On my way back, I started to lose steam and felt really worn out. I focused hard on my posture and my breath. Running is like a moving meditation for me, which is one of the reasons I never bring music.  I knew that if I let my form get sloppy I would just be wasting precious energy I could be using to move myself back to my apartment, where food and a nice show were waiting.

And then I had one of my major epiphanies: Stop wasting your energy on actions that aren’t helping to move you in the direction you need to go.

Once in a while I learn a lesson while running. From what? I don’t know. Running gods? The chemicals that flood my brain after pushing myself through something not-so-comfortable? I’ve been able to draw so many parallels between running and life that I feel there must be some kind of little spiritual guru affiliated with the exercise who only appears to the weirdos who go out and do it for hours. I don’t know. The important thing is, this was exactly what I needed to hear at that very moment, and I don’t know how or if I would have gotten the message otherwise.

I love you, running Yoda.

If anyone’s interested for whatever reason, you can check my geeky running stats here.

This album got me through a really tough summer once.

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