Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Running Buddy

I'm training for a half marathon in May. I once attempted training for a full marathon during my junior year of college. Turns out a college lifestyle isn't exactly conducive to marathon training. After 6 months, one sprained ankle, 2 pairs of sneakers, countless blisters, and a minor nervous breakdown, I decided that running for 26.2 miles wasn't going to happen at this point in my life, so I put it on the back burner and went back to my standard 3-4 mile runs a couple times a week. Until now.

A full marathon still seems rather daunting, so I'm easing into it with the half. And this time things are different. I've found myself a running buddy. Running Buddy ensures that I get out of bed on Saturdays to go for a long run. Running Buddy texts messages me during the week asking how the training's going. Running Buddy won't let me slack. It's great.

We had a noontime run scheduled for today, which I was nervous about because I had been out of town for the past week, and so it had been that long since I had even seen my sneakers. Making me even more nervous was the fact that I was out last night celebrating a friends birthday where I may as well have bought stock in Yellow Tail, and woke up this morning at 11 am still intoxicated.

Under any other circumstances, I would've stayed in bed, BUT Running Buddy was expecting me, so I laced up my sneakers, and tried to think sober thoughts.

Drunk running is hard y'all. Your balance is off, and you can't find your rhythm, and your thoughts are all drunk, so it's not even like your working through any of your issues or anything. During the 10 minute jog to Running Buddy's house I was all, "Well this is terrible, and I'm just going to have to go home, because there's no way I'll last another 10 minutes."

Then Running Buddy comes down the street.
"I'm hungover." He says. "I was going to bring a barfbag."
"Ha!" I reply. "I'm still drunk. We are in great shape. This will be interesting."

So we took off. And after a couple of minutes I started to sober up, and he started to feel less hungover, and we had a great run. Running with someone makes you keep up the pace, it adds a level of competition that pushes you just a little harder than you push yourself. And it provides distracting conversation. As nice as running is for self analyzation, there are days when that much time with just you and your thoughts can be maddening. Conversation makes running an enjoyable experience.

So, if we can have a good run while drunk and hungover, I have every confidence that we will work our way up to 13.1 miles over the next 6 months. I'm actually looking forward to it.

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