10/20/15

Running: A Family Affair

In the anxious hours leading up to last weekend's Prairie Fire (Half) Marathon we hosted SLF's sister and brother-in-law (who also ran the race) and spent the weekend being busy but not stressed. While driving the course (yes - I not only run the course in the weeks leading up but drive it in the days before, just in case) we chatted about the impact of running on not just the person who will lace 'em up on the big day but all those who love and support them and/or share a home with them.

I get lost in my thoughts while running more than about 50 yards. I don't know if it is a way to fight off the pain and torment or just the way my brain is wired but I go out on the longest, frailest, most fragile of limbs and just ponder things. And one of the things I've frequently pondered in the last ten months - with runs scheduled five days of every one of those 42 weeks is how much of a drag this whole thing has been on the people I love the most.

Not ONLY am I a miserable bastard on any given day but imagine me after two hours and seventeen hundred calories of running. Not only am I am anxious mess on any given day but imagine me going for a family weekend knowing I have seven miles scheduled for Saturday morning. Not only am I a self-obsessed boor on any given day but imagine me when I am deep in the throws of "training."

I go to bed early. I get up early. I schedule our shared time around my runs. I won't eat or drink certain things. I am tired and sore no matter what they have planned. I roll my eyes at the mere suggestion of being flexible. So - for the entirety of 2015 I've held those I love the most hostage (no better word for it) under this desire to push myself and try to find some focus and joy in an activity I loathe but do - daily - anyway.

And I would argue that all of you . . . you Runners (capital "R" to show respect to you crazy, annoying, horrible sub-culture members) do the same and I can only hope you are mindful of it and appreciate it and respect those who may not log the miles or buy the gels and sodium packets or track shoe usage or drive/preview the course or do actual research on which body lube might be better for your body type but who still - no matter what - put in the time and make the sacrifices with you. They do it FOR you. They do it because they love you.

Someone asked me, once, if I would ever train for or run a full marathon. I looked them in the eye and simply said "No. My family is not willing to put in that sort of time or effort. Also, my heart would literally explode and I'd die."