A while back I shit on running, hard. It’s stupid, I don’t get people who run. It’s as if they’re happy to willingly subject themselves to what refugees do to survive. It’s almost insulting, quite frankly.
Running isn’t even that healthy for you. I mean everyone knows if you care about your joints, the absolute best thing you can do for them is repeatedly stress them for long periods of time over pavement.
It’s not even fun, either. For the most part, it’s just constantly trying to convince yourself you can stay alive for one more mile before collapsing, when there’s absolutely no reason to. People who run must hate their lives. You’re seriously telling me people derive pleasure from this horrible self-torturous activity? I hate intense runners, too. So obnoxious in their little neon pinnies and spandex shorts.
However… if you remember, back around New Years I wrote this article…
Because after that hungover New Year’s Day, I needed something to kick my ass into gear. And now, unfortunately, that date is fast approaching… t-minus four days, to be exact. Thankfully, I’ve been training up for it. I’ve slowly building up the stamina and running the 5k or 3.2 miles regularly over the last couple of weeks in order to get it down to a not completely embarrassing time. I usually run in the mornings before starting my day, but lately I’ve been doing evening runs and as long as I can avoid the neighborhood crackheads that shuffle out at night, I find it a relatively enjoyable time to get my jog in.
So here are some things I’ve learned during the course of my “training.”
First, everyone always talks about “the runner’s high”, that’s bullshit. The runner’s high, is when I finally get back into my apartment and collapse on my couch. There’s absolutely no such thing as a runner’s high and anyone telling you otherwise is lying through their teeth. Ice cream… is enjoyable. Going for an afternoon drive along the coastline with the windows down… is enjoyable. Running is just not enjoyable… in any world.
Running is all mental – sure, anyone can move their legs and run fast down a street. But it’s the ability of your mind to tell your legs, lungs and rest of your body to go fuck themselves when they’re clinging on for dear life… that’s what makes you an invincible runner. Once you’ve figured out that your mind is stronger than your legs, you’re pretty much unstoppable. So, in essence, you can run a hundred miles, it’s just your mind that’ll tell you you probably shouldn’t. You just gotta fight your mind, that’s half the battle of running. To combat this, I’ve started using the “Guided Run” feature from the Nike Run Club App. Basically, you pick a set time or a distance, throw your pods in, and a Nike Run Club Coach named Bennett coaches you and motivates you to keep the run moving. Kind of like a “virtual coach.”
The whole point of the Nike Run App is to continuously pump as many prompts and thoughts into your head to essentially distract you from the fact that you’re running. It started off alright with Yoda-like sayings such as “Every run should have a purpose.” and “celebrate the little wins.”, which was fine and motivating at first. But then it delved deeper into my psyche by asking me horrendously personal questions like “are you happy every day?” and “what are you doing with your life?” From there, it almost turned into an intense therapy session I did not sign up for. I’d be running, trying to focus on not getting hit by a car on Venice Boulevard, and next thing I know I’m having an existential breakdown while psychoanalyzing my parent’s divorce. I guess that’s the one thing I can’t escape from on a run… my own thoughts. Poetic, yet terrifying.
Two weeks of running makes me feel like I have the ankles and knees of an eighty-three year old. Maybe I’m just out of shape, or maybe the Nike Run App is working in cahoots with every orthopedist in LA. What if Coach Bennett actually gets a kickback for every “injured runner” he sends their way? Wouldn’t be the worst business plan.
For all the taxes we pay, the LA Public Works department has done a horrendous job of maintaining our sidewalks. At any given moment, it feels l can turn a corner and I’m walking down a street that faced the wrath of a thousand earthquakes. Sheets of concrete just randomly burst upwards out of the sidewalk and I’m supposed to just fly over it like I’m an Olympic long jumper. Running in LA is almost like traversing a rubble filled war zone.
Next, do not attempt to “train” one hour after eating three Quesotacos, two mulitas and a bellyful of comsommé from your local birrieria truck. You will upchuck hard on Centinela. Dank Mexican street food unfortunately does not provide for the best running fuel.
Lastly, a beer tastes soo much better after you’ve just run three and half miles.
Wish me luck this weekend, gents.