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calling it quits ...

Posted Jul 13 2010 4:01am
Yesterday, my little sister said something that stuck with me. I was trying to convince her to join my running cult ... I mean, running hobby. We were talking about doing a half marathon when she said, "I could never do it." To which I replied, "I didn't think I could either. But now, I run marathons." And then she hit me with it.

"Yeah, but you get an idea in your head and you just do it. I'm not like that."

She's right. When I decide that I am going to shoot for something, I make sure that I accomplish it. Failure is not an option. I've always been that way. But, it got me thinking. Is a drive like that what differentiates runners from non-runners? Or the obsessive runner (like me) from the recreational runner?

I've mentioned it here before, G and I gave ourselves a tag line after a run where we let our drive to finish win out over our common sense.

G and I are "Runinspired: Runners first. Logical thinkers second." (Our shirts are in the works)

I ALWAYS finish the run. If the schedule calls for 10, I am running 10. Not 9.92. It's just how I roll.

My obsessive nature was proven yesterday during my six miler. I had just eaten a HUGE lunch (with dessert) and it was 90 degrees out. Feeling guilty about lunch and knowing I had to get my run in at some point, I headed out without really thinking about how my body was going to handle all that food.

I started running and was feeling fine. Until about mile 1.5. Then it hit me. I was going to vomit. So, I stopped. Sipped some water and composed myself. I started running again and made it another half mile before I was vomiting on the side of the road. This pattern continued until mile three, when I decided I was going to walk a tenth then run half a mile until I got home. It worked, but I was on the verge of vomiting the whole time. It was rough.

The kicker was that I was running a zig-zag course. And even at the three mile turn around point, I was less than a half mile from home. I could have cut the run short at any point. But I just couldn't. I just kept thinking about what my sister said to me. That I decide to do something and then do it, no questions asked. I knew I wasn't really sick. I knew that I had just eaten too much and tried to run too soon. And since I knew that finishing the run wasn't really detrimental, except maybe to the front yards I yakked on, I kept going. I didn't quit. And it will make me stronger. If I can run through vomiting, I can run through mental fatigue and self doubt. Getting through the tough spots is what makes you a champion. But, I'm sure to most people, I just looked like a lunatic puking on the side of the road ...

Like I said, I'm a runner first. A logical thinker second.
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