Monday, November 16, 2009

I Now Remember Why I Retired Early!

I went back to work today. Yup, that's right-I'm a member of the working force again, a cubicle monkey, a nameless, faceless clerk, a very tiny cog in a huge machine-I don't know what part of my brain thought it was a good idea to say yes when my former boss called and asked me to come back, but that particular part of my brain needs to be punished severely. I had to get up at 4:00 am in order to get in a 6 mile run before work, and I was out the door and running in the pre-dawn chill, scared to death of cars or coyote or bears, oh my! I got home from the run with barely enough time to shower and dress and head out for work. I forgot about all that morning routine-stuff like makeup and actually doing something with my hair rather than just combing it flat and putting on clean clothes rather than the jeans and t-shirt I wore yesterday..

The good news is the work routine came back pretty quickly. When I finally started actually posting contracts and receipts and all the other flotsam and jetsam of my boring work day, things started to click and I actually started remembering account numbers and bits and pieces of information I will need to do my job.

The bad news is I have to wear nice shoes instead of comfy former running shoes that have lost their bounce for runs, but are fine for doing chores around the house and grocery shopping. But alas, dirty running shoes just don't work with nice button down shirts and skirts.

The question is-how long will it be before I start despising my co-workers, and I remember exactly why I needed to retire?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why I Hate Main Stream Media

What is it lately with inflammatory, inaccurate articles lately about marathons? First it was the "Plodders don't belong in marathons" thing that I posted about yesterday; then it was the CNBC article regarding the winner of the New York Marathon in which the writer believes that Meb Keflezghi's win is hollow because Keflezghi is not a natural born citizen to the U.S. And on top of all that, last night's news on the telly went on and on about all the deaths lately in marathons and whether people should even be attempting to run 26.2 miles. The part that really got me angry was when the reporter interviewed the obligatory doctor, a cardiologist, who stated that "he recommended that his patients only need to walk 1/2 an hour every day for optimum health". Well, of course he recommends 1/2 hour of walking a day. He's a cardiologist; his patients consist of heart attack survivors, bypass surgery patients, and people with congenital heart problems. I wish I had been interviewing the good doctor- I would have asked him if he thought a healthy person with no heart problems who has been running regularly for a few years was capable of training for and running a marathon-never mind what he recommends for his ailing patients. I'm pretty sure he would have answered in the positive to that one, but of course then NBC wouldn't have a really scary story about how you're going to die if you run a marathon. Now I have to deal with my mother in law telling me how scared she is for me and all this running I'm doing...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm a plodder, and proud of it

I just can't let this go. I've been thinking about the New York Times article in which faster runners are complaining that those of us that are plodding away at the back of the pack are somehow ruining the mystique of the marathon.

If there is some sort of mystique about the marathon that is based on how fast you can run it, perhaps the distance should be reserved for the Olympics-that would really give the 4 hour marathoners a goal to shoot for. Or go one step further-as one commenter put it, if we want to preserve the "mystique" of the marathon, then everybody who runs it should be naked, and die of heat stroke.

I'm thinking that the runners who don't want your average Joe running a marathon want to keep the race for themselves because running is how they define who they are and running marathons makes them really special; thus, if the average person can complete a marathon then the faster runners aren't all that special, are they?

The interesting thing is, since the article came out, I've read comments from some truly elite runners-the people who can actually win a marathon. They all seem to share the view that a marathon is for anybody who wants to train for it and complete the distance-the more the merrier.

Don't get me wrong-I think the 26.2 miles should be respected and no one should attempt a marathon without a solid running base and months of training. I will be the first person in line to discourage an inexperienced newbie runner from signing up for a marathon. It takes months of hard work and discipline to prepare for a marathon. But if you've been running a few years, and have a decent running base, and you've trained for a couple of half marathons-I say go for it. And stopping on the marathon course to have lunch-not cool.

Finally-one last comment about the runner in the article who will accost people in marathon shirts, ask them what their time was, and then make a nasty comment if she deems their time too slow-the fact that she is capable of doing something so mean and small speaks volumes about her character. I guess every sport has its bullies..