For the past several years, I have been running half marathons (13.1 miles) almost every month. For me, being in shape to run a half marathon at any given time keeps my belief alive that if a zombie outbreak or any other dystopian situation should occur, I might have a fighting chance. I train by running a set number of miles per week and then go to the gym to work any muscle group that is presently disappointing me. I am in a constant state of sore.
This routine has become pretty easy, mostly. Sometimes I am more prepared for my monthly half marathon and the run seems fast(ish) and easy. Other months it isn’t, but I know that I can squeak out the miles even when I’m not looking particularly pretty or happy while running it.
Recently, two of my beautiful girlfriends decided to run a full marathon. Peer pressure has been a problem for me since I was a teen. I decided to join even though there was really no pressure or consequence to me personally. I have only run one marathon in my life and I thought that was enough, but apparently not. I guess I just wanted to belong to the small group of self torturers.
Torture is in short the deliberate infliction of pain (psychological or physical) in order to fill some desire. Typically, there is a person or entity doing the inflicting, but in the case of marathon training I am both the dispenser and victim. I could make the leap and say that as a marathon trainer/runner I might exhibit some of the same traits as those who self-harm. I tend to work out a bunch of emotional garbage while I’m running, and it is a way to control and allocate the amount of pain being inflicted. The striking difference is there are no sharp objects involved. Running shoes are the chosen weapon.
This past week I ran almost 50 miles in total. And I ran out of all ideas of getting needed nutrition during my runs, so I didn’t. I ran out of water on my 16 miler. Note to self and other runners, don’t bring nuts as nutrition. Especially, don’t bring nuts when water is in short supply. On the positive, I have not crapped my pants yet or laid down in an attempt to have passerbys just bury me in a shallow grave.
Parts of my brain have stopped communicating with one another. I am not sure if it’s because of some infighting that I am not being kept in the loop on or if all the running has just over heated a few circuits causing permanent damage. However, when the part of the brain tells me to put on my running shoes, I do. I don’t even argue anymore. My brain is the drill sergeant and my body is the recruit. However, it is important to note, I don’t believe what is presently being made is a warrior set to fight.
When I hit the road, I only hope that I put on all my running clothes, because I could see myself forgetting my shorts and not caring enough to turn around. I can already imagine the internal argument for not turning back. I will be too hot with them, less friction is better anyways or I’m sure nobody will notice. I have had similar thoughts about forgetting my water. It’s Portland, so it is typically raining anyway. I am sure I can find a semi-clear mud puddle to quietly sip from or I can wring out the collected rainwater and sweat from my running shirt. I’m sure it would be similar to the electrolyte drinks that I consume from time to time.
I’m less than a month away from my marathon. I am hopeful that I stay healthy enough to be at the start line, but I also dread the idea of running all 26.2 miles on this given day. In the back of my mind, I do dread and love the idea of a zombie attack happening during my training. It would be anti-climatic for both me and the zombies. Most likely, I would not have the energy or will to run. Instead, I would just lay down and welcome sweet death. Perhaps I would just saunter up a one of the soulless and present my neck as a gift. The zombie will most likely be disappointed with the muscle atrophy and lack of salt in my blood and will be looking for some type of condiment to add to make the kill a bit more satisfying.