Sunday, August 29, 2010

On Running II: The Runnenning

Well at least she's not fucking Kenyan.

Those of you who know me well know that I hate runners. Runners are terrible people. They think they are better than everyone else but they are not, and their smugness only makes their inevitable cardiopulmonary "event" that much more satisfying for the rest of us. I have sworn that I will never become a runner.

So yesterday I went running, guys.

Easily the worst decision I ever made. Worse than shower sexting, worse than building an entire playlist around two cross-genre covers of Miley Cyrus' "Party In the U.S.A." (actually a fantastic idea), worse than the time I tried to ollie a packet of duck sauce on the spine of a hardcover book onto my kitchen table without squishing it.

It started well enough. "It's just running for a while. I can run for a while," I thought. "I run all the time. I'll just be doing it without some other purpose. It'll be fine. I'll be great at it."

Man, I bought my first pair of basketball shorts since I was about twelve. I got powdered Gatorade mix to stick in my refillable water bottle. I found an old clip-on iPod case and my earbuds. I was going to head down to the high school track and be awesome. "I'll just run for the 30 minutes and figure out how far I went later."

Do you have any idea how awful an idea this was? Do you run? If yes, than you don't know. If you don't run, go out and try it. No, wait. Don't do that. It's a terrible idea.

It looked hopeful when I got their. Little 12 year olds on a skateboard and a couple of Razor scooters rode by me asking for high-fives. I figured I'd make their day and put some feeling into it, and for my trouble I was told that I was "cool" and asked to come talk to them and meet their wives. I believe by high-fiving them I completed some kind of "Sure, we'll marry you if you high five [x-number of] random strangers." The wives, for their part, told my my mustache was cool and looked good. (I do not need middle school skanks latching onto me. I look like enough of a pedophile as it is hanging around my old high school with a bachelor's degree and baggy shorts.)

I stretched, I loaded up my Party and Bullshit In the U.S.A. playlist and I set off.

Horrible idea. I have no idea how to run, but I guarantee you I did it wrong. Sure, I can sprint in a game. I do well. But I have no stamina. Zero. In the time it's taken my to write these last two paragraphs I could have started running, gotten tired and quit already. And running around a track is just worse. There is absolutely nothing to do but think about how lousy of an idea running is. Every single step imbues me with nothing more than the fervent desire to stop running. My only thought was of not feeling like this anymore.

So I backed off. I figured I did pretty well for a first lap. I did a whole circuit pretty fast. I past the walker mom and even the track kid already sweating his balls off. I should take walk to ease back and then start again a little slower. I took a half-lap walk, set my drink down in a shady, out of the way spot and resumed a brisker pace, intending to cycle through full-lap runs and half-lap walks. Get a nice little stagger pattern going.

I'm a fucking idiot. I kept telling myself. How can people do this? Why do people do this? This is the worst feeling ever. I want nothing more than to end this feeling immediately. So desperately. Maybe this is a wall? There's a wall these people break through and then it's good. Then you get the endorphins? Dolphins? Milhouse was the real dauphin. But he'll never be a meme … holy Christ I am about to pass out or throw up I need to get hidden in case that actually happens stop running you fucking lunatic.

So yeah, that happened. I got a whole half-lap in of my second heat before I was hit with shin splints, side cramps, chest pains, throat knives and all the good fun that comes with completely over exerting yourself without any proper prep or training. I tried to very calmly walk back to my drink, and then out the back gate of the track so that the little kids and their child brides wouldn't see my skulking away in shame and defeat. I rounded the front of the school and got cruised by some seventeen year old assholes in a busted-up El Camino who might have thought I was someone else. That or they just like idling next to shamed runners.

Moral of the story: running is a horrible, horrible thing and the only people who can actually do it are the kind of people to stupid to listen to their body saying, "Ow this fucking hurts stop it stop it now there has got to be a better way you are hurting me ow!"

For reference, I came home feeling light-headed, nauseated, and in terrible pain throughout my whole chestal region. Also my left shin for some reason. How far did I actually go? Well one lap plus two half-laps makes it a grand total of half a mile. In eight minutes. Give me a pool or a goddam bike any day of the week, brother.

Do you know what I did afterward to make myself feel better/punish the fuck out of running as a general concept? I ordered a large pizza. Half pepperoni, half cold mozzarella on top. With three pickles and a glass of milk. I ate five of them in the first hour. I'm going to eat the last three out of spite.

Running is for chumps.

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