My Running Thought Process

I started feeling sort of cadaverish sometime Wednesday afternoon and by early evening, I definitely had the sense that I was coming down with something. So, instead of being up at 1 am last night because I couldn't sleep, I was up because I had a slight fever and my body was aching.

My solution was to down about four cloves of garlic over the past 24 hours and drink plenty of herbal tea. I'm sure I smelled potent enough to drive away three or four vampires, but I'm definitely feeling better. I'm telling you, garlic works! In fact, tonight I felt so much better that I went to the gym and ran an easy four miles. I guess I figured I'd sweat the last remnants of whatever is ailing me out of my body. Plus, I don't want to get behind on my marathon training.
On the way home I talked to a friend who shared with me how she hates running and she's never able to get into it because she gets bored after ten minutes. "What in the world are you gonna think about for 26.2 miles in a marathon?" she asked.

I've noticed that I think about totally different things depending on where I am in my run. Starting is especially hard. It's like both my mind and my body are rebelling when I first start out, and that's whether I feel physically 100% or not. For example, this was my thought process while running four miles tonight:

Minutes 0-3: I feel like crap. I feel like crap served up on a platter with rancid tofu. Why did I ever decide to do this f*&^ing marathon? Why am I even here? I should be home on my couch.

Minutes 3-6: Get over feeling like crap, missy, because you just started this run and you have like 40-50 minutes to go. Picture yourself running across the finish line... roses being thrown at your feet and a shiny medal being handed to you by Orlando Bloom. And remember, Diddy ran a marathon. Gosh, what's up with him wearing sunglasses all the darn time? Does he wear sunglasses while he's having sex?

Minutes 6-9: Yeah, you want to quit but you better not. You are not a quitter! Was Barbara Stanwyck a quitter? Nope! Hmm... I wonder what Barbara Stanwyck's workout plan was. Gosh, no one does noir-ish evil like Barbara Stanwyck. Actresses need to get that vibe back. She was sooo good in "Clash By Night", especially this scene here:

Minutes 9-12: But you are not a, "Big ideas, small results," person. You can make it to 12 minutes! You already know that after 12 minutes because your body is burning fat instead of sugar, it's gonna get easier. You'll feel better. You'll see! Picture yourself crossing the finish line! Besides, you're not going to let that guy on the treadmill next to you beat you, are you? Oh, wait, we're not racing, are we? Hmm... yes we are. I see him looking over here to see how fast I'm going. And, isn't this the best trance mix ever?

Minutes 12-15: Yeah, you did 12 minutes! Good job! Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Yeah, I'm a rock star! Take that you haters!

Minutes 15-18:
Hah-hah! Homie just got off the treadmill! I win! You're almost to two miles! Keep going! You can do it! Put your back into it! Hmm... I want a black corset. I wonder where I can get one.

Minutes 18-infinity:
I feel really good. Maybe I'll go five miles instead of four!

And after about 20 minutes, it doesn't really matter what I think about. In fact, after a certain point I don't know what I'm thinking about at all. I just sort of get into that zone and tune everything out.

I don't know if this pattern of feeling like I'm going to die at first and then feeling great after about 20 minutes will change over the course of my marathon training. Maybe the beginning will start to feel easier and mile ten will begin to feel like death. I guess I'll find out. But in the meantime, all I know for sure is I can't stop now. It's actually sort of fun to see if I can do this.

And so, I'll be out in Santa Monica at 6:15 on Saturday morning, ready to run five miles, trying to psych myself up about the first mile or two and then, hopefully, feeling pretty good about the rest of it.

But gosh, wouldn't it be cool if Orlando Bloom really was there at the finish line to hand me my medal?


Toni Campbell said…
I think a lot of people are afraid to be alone with their thoughts. That can be quite scary.
...Do you think that Barbara Stanwyck had a workout plan?
Unknown said…
Garlic really does work, doesn't it!!
Aloe juice does too. I'm weak though, have to buy the stuff that has citrus in it cuz I can't stand the taste ;)

Toni is right...alot of people are afraid to be alone with their thoughts! Thank goodness for blogging!
Liz Dwyer said…
Good point that folks are scared to be alone with their thoughts. It's so true.

As for Barbara Stanwyck, gosh, I don't know but I imagine she must have. If you look at photos of her throughout her life, she never got any pudge at all.

Garlic is a serious lifesaver! I think it's harder to be alone with your thoughts now than it probably was even a generation ago. There's so many distractions and we're encouraged to distract ourselves. Maybe because then we won't think too carefully about what's really going on.

OMG, I'm having a, "We're living in the matrix," moment!
the last noel said…
this was hilarious. you go, GIRL!
the last noel said…
Oh, and Ms. Stanwyck is amaaaazing.
Liz Dwyer said…
Barbara Stanwyck is amazing. Wouldn't it be phenomenal to have someone do a biopic of her? I can't imagine who'd play her but it would be something to see if done right. She had a terribly hard life but I've always read how, in contrast to many of her film characters, she was such a nice person.

And c'mon, you know you want to run the marathon too. I'll bet you could do it, no problem.
Anonymous said…
I feel that way about any form of exercise. After 18 minutes or so I'm good. if Boris Kodjoe was single and waiting for me I'd be really happy.
Anonymous said…
Oh yeah I forgot to mention you can also boil fresh ginger and make a tea.
Liz Dwyer said…
Yes, ginger works very well. I tend to always have some garlic in the house but not the ginger so I think that's why I never use that method. And Boris would definitely be a good alternative if Orlando just happens to not be available on March 1st!
1969 said…
Back from vacation! Great post. I don't know what I think about but I am usually cursing the treadmill out and wishing I had newer sneakers.
Liz Dwyer said…
LOL! Yes, the treadmill sometimes gets a few words yelled at it, especially early on!
Anonymous said…
Los Angelista,
TREADMILL?! Oh my … whatever, lol. I cannot stand indoor workouts, barring lifting, and then only because we don’t have outdoor gyms. I find it so mind-numbing to just be static, going nowhere. You gotta run outdoors, especially as you are blessed with a great location – So Cal weather! I always run almost every day when I’m in LA because the weather is so much better in the winter/early spring than where I live. How could you not go outside? And nothing helps the mind like running in the neighborhood, to clear out the cobwebs and to experience the day as it really is, whether it’s warm and beautiful or cool and crisp. There is also no better way to ‘connect’ to a neighborhood either. Funny, I always meet someone or have something interesting transpire when I run in LA (like the time I changed a lady’s flat tire just off Western Ave and almost got a date, lol. Most gratifying moment – a carload of ‘hotties’ slow down and start honking and yelling out the window at me as I’m crossing about W 93rd; how ego gratifying for an old guy).
I run year-round outdoors, rain gear and all. It is actually very refreshing to do a long run or a hard tempo run in the rain, almost like cleansing the soul (or something, lol). Do yourself a favor and experience the real joys and benefits of running by doing it where it’s suppose to be done, outdoors, in the neighborhood or on the trail. You’ll learn to love it.
Liz Dwyer said…
Not always on a treadmill. I'm mostly an outside runner, always have been, but I do both treadmill and outdoors. It just depends on my schedule. Sometimes I have to run indoors on the treadmill and it's mostly for safety reasons.

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