Yesterday on my run I was approaching the final stretch before my house when a weird saying popped into my head. I can’t for the life of me figure out if this is from a movie or TV show or what. I’m curious if anyone will know what I’m talking about-maybe the Army Man will? Anyway, the phrase was, “You’re writing checks your body can’t cash!” It occurred to me yesterday just how accurate this phrase is when applied to my running.
Running is such an odd activity to me. It’s deeply personal, yet very competitive (at least to me). It drives me crazy that all of the runners in my life can outrun me. Yet at the same time, when I have a great run, I have only myself to congratulate. It wasn’t a team effort, it was all me. In addition, this is the first time a sport has taken over my life the way that running has. I played a fair number of sports as a child, and even played soccer for two years in high school. I was never very good at any of those sports, and sometimes even found myself dreading them. Not so with running. I make every effort to work a run into my day. I discuss and analyze my runs. I read about running. And I’m the first to admit that I’ve lain awake in bed more than once imagining my next run.
I think this fantasizing about running is where I run (ha ha) into trouble. In my mind, I’m flying down the street, covering ground quickly and comfortably. The weather is crisp and clear. I run for a good amount of time and always feel great when I’m done. In these imagined runs, there’s no flab jiggling as I run, and to quote my Mom, I look good while doing it. Then I get up in the morning, go out to run, and reality smacks me in the face. In effect, I’m writing checks at night that my body can’t cash when I run. I gasp and plod, barely manage to finish, never run as far or as long as I wanted to, and don’t really look all that good while running. But for all my moaning and complaining about what a terrible runner I am, I keep doing it. If you're a runner, I know you understand. And if you're not a runner, you should join me in this horrible way of torturing yourself. It's really quite fun.