Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Can Running for Three Hours Really be Fun?

I once heard this gruesome tale about a man who had been in a motorcycle accident.  Immediately after the accident he was fine, but when they took his helmet off, his skull fractured.  Apparently, his helmet was the only thing holding things together.  Now, I don't know if this story is true or not, and since I heard it decades ago, I have no way of going back and checking.  It apparently stuck with me though, because after all these years that is what popped into my head on Sunday when I peeled off my compression calf sleeves.

Given the 3.5-hour run I did on Sunday, and given the lower leg issues I have been feeling lately, I couldn't help but wonder if I would experience something similar once the compression gear came off - an instantaneous shattering of bone - as though the sleeves were the only thing holding everything together.  Luckily for me, this didn't happen.

Since that fear didn't pan out, immediately following the bone-shattering daymare I started thinking about my toenails.  I really should have cut them a week or so ago, but I have been neglectful of that particular grooming ritual, and as a result they are a tad longer than I would like - especially for a long run.  After running, I could feel that my toes were a bit sore at the tips and I was half worried I would take off my socks and see the dreaded black toenails.  I mean, I have never actually had black toenails, but my husband has and there is a first time for everything.  When I did take the socks off, lo and behold several of my toenails were black, but as it turns out that was just the fuzz from my black SmartWool socks.  The relief was palpable.  (Okay, not really, but I thought that sounded cool.)

All of this begs the question, Why do we do this again?  I mean, a 3.5-hour run?  Really?  I can almost understand people's reaction when you tell them that and they look at you like you have two heads.  It does sound crazy.  In fact, I think it goes right over "badass" sounding and really just sounds insane.

So, why do we do it?  Are our lives so boring that there are no real challenges out there for us anymore?  Do we have to put ourselves through such torment to find peace within ourselves?  Or is it that on some weird level, we really just enjoy this?  I am starting to think the latter.  I mean, how else could I run a half hour outside and then three hours on a one-tenth-of-a-mile track? I mean, really!?

The thing is though that I rather enjoyed the experience.  I really just enjoyed the rhythm of the run, the company of a friend for 2.5 hours of it, and the feeling of getting it done.  Did it always feel good?  Obviously not!  However, it felt better than the lethargy I feel if I sit on a couch for too long, and there is something to be said for that.

So, how am I feeling today?  Two days later?  I am still happy about getting that run done.  After skipping yesterday's run in lieu of the elliptical and yoga, I actually feel good today.  In fact, the lower legs are even less unhappy than they were last week. Go figure.  Of course, will I go out of my way to run the track again?  NO!  But, that's fine too.  

Happy Running!

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