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Friday, June 24, 2011

This is Your Brain on Running

I have now done four official runs in my lifetime. The "Edinburgh Half Marathon" twice and the "Arden 9" twice. Also, I meet Char about three times a week for an afternoon run. You could say I run semi-regularly.

HOWEVER, please don't call me a "runner."

First reason: Running SUCKS. It sucks. It has sucked all along. Running sucks. It's gotten more bearable now that I am "in shape," but only just. Every time I run it's still agony. I don't deserve the title of "runner" because I suspect that real "runners" actually enjoy it. I definitely do not.

Second reason: Runners are small, type-A bald men with the world's whitest thighs. Does that sound like me? I hope not!

So why do I do it? I must confess that it feels really good once it's over. The endorphins rumor is true. They exist and they make you feel spectacular- relaxed, yet invigorated at the same time. Running has a bizarre way of putting your mind in perspective. Also, it keeps you from suffocating in your own fat rolls. If you're anything like me and you enjoy a good tub of movie theater popcorn, running is pretty much a necessity.

First rule of running: pose when you see a cameraman (as seen above).
The alternative is looking TERRIBLE, like you're melting, in every picture.

I actually think I could be a decent runner if it wasn't for the fact that I HATE running. Unfortunately, my brain won't let me forget it.

For example, observe my brain during the "Arden 9" race last Sunday:

00:00:00 I feel great. This is going to be GREAT!

00:00:02 Woah, this instantly feels much harder than it should.

00:00:12 I think I am having a bad run.

00:00:30 This must just be a bad run.

00:00:40 It’s an off day. Sometimes you just have an off day.

00:00:50 All I can do it my best. My legs are so much shorter than most people's.

00:03:00 COME ON! That woman has cellulite and a water bottle belt. At least beat her!

00:24: 00 YES! Water station ahead! An Oasis in the desert!

00:24:10 Take a sip!

00:24:11 Take a sip!

00:24:12 Why is this not working?

00:24:13 It’s splashing everywhere!

00:24:14 I’ll just throw it on my head instead.

00:25:00 I feel refreshed. I feel AMAZING.

00:26:00 Maybe I’ll average 7-minute miles and surprise everyone!


00:40:00 Just quit.

00:45:00 Just quit.

00:50:00 Just quit.

00:55:00 Just quit.

01:00:00 Just quit.


01:13:30 Terrible idea. Stop sprinting immediately.

01:14:00 YES, free granola bar.

So there you have it. My neurotic brain is certainly my biggest downfall. If I could only get past that, I'd be winning races all over the place!


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