Friday, February 27, 2009

Keeping It In Perspective

For your reading pleasure, the latest installment of my "From the Editor" column for my running club's newsletter:

In the time-honored tradition of the women’s magazine questionnaire, a quiz of sorts:

Q: What is your motivation for running and/or training this year?
a) To lose those pesky 10 pounds you got for Christmas.

b) To FINALLY hit that race time you’ve been after for 10+ years.
c) To raise awareness for a charity or cause.

d) No one thing- you just love the feel of the wind on your face.

e) To keep your sanity for one more year.

Q: When training for a specific race or goal, you:

a) Do all of your workouts on a treadmill at the gym.

b) Strap on the latest in GPS and heart rate monitor technology.

c) Turn into a loner no one sees except on a training run.

d) Try a little too hard to recruit friends to train/run with you.

e) Keep telling yourself that all of this running keeps you sane.

Q: When discussing your training schedule with others:

a) They look at you like you’re bat-*!#$ crazy and roll their eyes.

b) You spend more time explaining running terms (fartleks, tempo runs, etc.).

c) They ask their doctor friends if what you’re doing is “normal” or “healthy.”

d) They desperately try to change the subject.

e) You justify your running with the phrase: “It keeps me sane!”

Q: You choose your races- marathons, half-marathons, trail runs, 5Ks- based on:

a) Proximity to where you live- no more than an hour from home.

b) Whether or not the course is known for being a fast “PR” course.

c) The size of the racing field- the bigger the better! Its a party!

d) Whether or not costumes are allowed & what the t-shirt looks like.

e) Logistics: Will training for and running this race make me insane?

Q: While reading through these questions:

a) You are proud of yourself and the goals you’ve set for this year.

b) You are really thinking of your next training run & if you have enough Gu.

c) You set the newsletter down because its messing with your mental energy.

d) You’re still thinking about costumes your running group can wear. Super heroes, anyone?
e) You look at your answers and think: People must think I’m insane!

What I really hope you’ve done is laugh at yourself and all of the running community. We tend to get a little caught up in how important we think we are, how special we think our sport is, how noble we think our causes are, and how our lives need to fit around our running rather than how our running can find a comfortable spot in our lives. Spring, more so than New Year’s Day, is the perfect time to reevaluate your life and make changes- new beginnings, you know? And for the record, I answered all of the questions “E!”

Have a great weekend.

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