Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Print Worthy Insanity

Insane In The Membrane went to press last month, but I'm a slacker and I didn't share it.  Since I have ZERO time to blog with all the homework and training I'm doing, I'm using it as a fall back Blog Post.

Here's the Text Only version...  Above is the link to Miles & Minutes where it actually published.  And actually, technically I should probably cite this now, since it's owned by them...  

Insane in the Membrane
by gba_gf (ok, in the M/M version they use my "real name", but it's dull compared to galactically bada** girlfriend)

Right before his deployment to Iraq, my brother cornered me at a family gathering.  “You’re not going to become one of those ‘crazy running junkies’, are you?”

As my mouth and brain worked to form an intelligent response to the unexpected question, the non-runner in my life chimed in with, “too late… already insane.”

Me?  I’m not crazy, and insane certainly seems a bit strong.  Passionate about the hobby I enjoy?  Sure.  Dedicated to the training plans that I tackle with single-minded determination?  Absolutely.  Am I addicted, as the word “junkie” implies?  I am not sure that’s a fair assessment.

I run almost every day, so it is possible that the non-runner was referencing the Albert Einstein quote, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  Then again, maybe not.  Non-runner loves throwing unrelated words together all the time.  Like cheese and crackers.  Peanut butter and jelly.  Crazy and running.

Regardless, in response to the non-runner, I see my running efforts as something slightly more refined than insane.  I approach my running with sense and reason, using cool-headed logic and a detailed agenda that helps me reach my goals.  At least, that’s how I like to think I approach it.

I am not a running junkie.  I am not an addict.  I am able to stop at any time, but I choose not to.

Besides, there are plenty of people out there who are far more zealous about running than I am.  Just because I haven’t found many is inconsequential.  I truly have not looked that hard.

Like many runners, I am interested in the mechanics and mental aspects of the sport.  I think about both things frequently.  Sometimes that thinking leads to reading, which builds up to research.  Plenty of people spend hours each day reading and researching about their hobbies. 

Who even notices if I log into a forum to catch a few lines about running while the pasta is boiling?  The box clearly states I have 8 – 11 minutes to spare.  If I happen to peruse an article defending the running skirt, written by a favorite author, as I’m getting ready to plate dinner?  Well, honestly, the kids complain all the time that the food is too hot to eat right out of the oven, so letting it cool for a few minutes while I read is actually a service to my family. 

Admittedly, I sometimes catch myself getting distracted.  Once in a while this results in over cooked noodles or blackened grilled cheese.  This usually only happens when I study my training log, but it’s not like I am over thinking every conceivable aspect of my run.  I am simply reflecting on the valuable information it contains. 

Details like splits, training plans, form, cadence, routes, hills and number of miles run each week are carefully cataloged in a database, just waiting to be analyzed from every possible angle.

The non-runner in my life loathes the time I spend generating reports nearly as much as he resents the time I spend collecting the data.  Recently I have considered the possibility that my coach dreads my lengthy e-mails about splits, training plans, form, cadence, routes, hills and miles run; though he has never actually said so in as many words. 

I guess I can see how a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder might be a bad combination with a detailed training journal.

Sort of like combining a Jack Russell Terrier and a 6-foot sliding glass door that over-looks a bird feeder occupied by squirrels.  The obsession becomes toxic pretty fast.  For the squirrels, the JRT, and the sliding glass door. 

Maybe I’m not making a great case for my sanity here. 

I still argue that I am not an addict.  I am not junkie.  I am just like any other runner.  There’s a small part of me that wonders:  Is that a little like how everyone thinks they’re a good driver, but that’s just not possible?  Or, how everyone thinks they have a good sense of humor, but that’s just not true?

As for my brother, he has returned safe from overseas.  He was bored on the base though.  Apparently there was not a tremendous amount of entertainment after hours, so he took up running.  He learned how to do track repeats and tempo runs, and even completed a few 5K’s, a 10K and a 15K in his time abroad. 

He has also recently remarked on how much easier it would be to record accurate data in his training log if he had a Garmin.

Don’t worry though, he’s assured me, he’s not a running junkie either.

~savor the run~


James said...

Good post! Sounds like you've "converted" your brother. My wife recently has become obsessed with running her first HM next November with my sister and is also trying to recruit more family members...

"Resistance is Futile!"

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Another amazingly crafted piece!

Earth Momma Mer said...

great job, g!

Pam said...

I absolutely love this!

Jenny said...

Great post! So funny how people see you enjoying running then they try it and get hooked too! I can def. relate.

Jessica (Pace of Me) said...

I tried to comment on this post yesterday but for some reason blogger wasn't having it. Grrr.
Anyway so I will try again: what I want to say is that you are a runner through and through and you are also a gifted writer. I always want to hear what you have to say and how you have to say it. Each time I visit your blog one or more of the following happens- I smile, I laugh, I cry, I feel, I relate. Thank you for this and for all your posts. I'm so happy this was published so others in the world of running mothers can have the opportunity to experience your writing. Yay!