Running peeves 2

I know, I know. I’ve been called OCD about it. Sean just thinks I get angry too easily. I think maybe it’s both at the same time. But for some reason, running (my once adored short workout) has become the kind of task that I think I can get upset about. So, I’m going to tell you what makes me mad, and then tell you what makes me unmad when I run.

Story of my life, dude.

For some reason, recently, I seem to have no endurance when it comes to running. Not really endurance, I suppose, but any ability to do a cardio workout at all. I don’t know what the deal is. Actually, here are some ideas.

Since I’ve started this new job two weeks ago, my exercise schedule has been drastically not the same. My major cardio workout, Turbo Kick, has been all but barely eliminated. I can usually only make it to half a class a week. I’m trying to make up for it in other ways, though, by running and swimming and trying new YMCA classes. But it seems, apparently, like Turbo is my main source of super cardio.

If only I were a super runner...

When I try to run, it’s like I’m instantly winded and can’t seem to get a good breathing pace or comfortable heart rate. So then I get mad at myself that my cardio abilities have essentially disappeared in two weeks. I was in such decent shape and now I’m one of those old/fat people runners who runs at a snail’s pace or stops to wog (walk/jog). I got so angry about it Friday that I just sort of quit halfway. Sean convinced me to start running again after I’d walked 1/4 of the way. It’s just hard to see yourself decline or get worse in something you once enjoyed or did well in.

The next running peeve leads off from the first. When I’m chugging along and my slow-and-steady-wins-the-race pace, Sean is speeding past me, slowing down, letting me get ahead, and speeding past me again. Meanwhile, I’m not pleased with myself for being such a turtle. Speedy Gonziti, acting like he could run circles around me for fun and then take on an Ironman, makes me even more angry.

Once I sped up just to hit him and make the motion for him to go on and run ahead without me. He took out his headphones (because he runs with music and I don’t), and he said, “No, it’s ok. I’ll stay with you.” Then I told him that it made me mad that he was speeding past me like I was a joke. So just go ahead! But then he complained about having to wait for me at the car while I caught up… Because he’d make it to the car in one second and because I’m a loser, apparently. I know that’s not what Sean was trying to say, but it sure didn’t feel like a compliment to me.

Guess which one's me?

Maybe I do get mad too easily. Let me rephrase that. I know I get mad too easily. You should have seen me in the 4:00 Friday traffic last week. I’m pretty sure I could have died from my own blood pressure at any point in that drive. It took me all night to wind myself down, and afterward I was exhausted from being so angry about it.

But there was one upside to our running Friday. I’ve noticed a lot of people who are often there at the same time I am. One is this stick-think lady with enormous fake boobs who looks like some weird cartoon character. Another is this runner guy who often wears very short, very colorful shorts.  Orange, neon green, red, yellow. He’s got ’em all. No one will ever hit him with a car when he runs near a road.

But the best of the repeat visitors is this adorable older couple. They park at the front in the handicap parking spot nearest the park. Then man gets out, walks to the trunk, and carefully gets out his wife’s wheelchair. He pushes it over to her side of the car where she’s been waiting patiently. He helps her into the chair, and then they set out on the trail.

He pushes her along the trail, and they talk and point things out. There are little wooden decks built along the river that they go to and watch the water. And sometimes he’ll pull her up to the side of a bench and sit down next to her, as if both of them were sitting on the bench. They’ll sit and talk a while, and then they’ll head back.

Like this.

When they get to the car, he helps her in. And then he takes her wheelchair to the trunk and carefully wipes the dirt off the wheels with a wet cloth. This happens every time I’ve seen them. He lifts the chair back into the trunk, and then they’re on their way.

It’s so sweet, their little routine. It reminds me of Carl and Ellie from the movie UP. And when I’m getting myself too worked up about how a particular run is going (or not going), I like to think of this old couple and how content and loving they seem. Focusing on the good makes it hard to justify the bad.


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