Featured, On My Mind, Running

#runnerproblems.

As I sit here at work my legs are completely wasted, my bowels are, shall we say, ‘unsettled’, and I don’t know if I would rather eat a cow or sleep for 24 hours straight.  Crazy part is, this was all self-inflicted.  Now, why would anyone willing make themselves feel like a broken Gumby toy? (do you remember Gumby? I would rush home from pre-school to watch him!)

The answer is a thing called running (hello 16 miles with 7miles of it at tempo pace).  A couple nights ago Nate and I went to a dinner for all the coaches and boosters at SUU.  We sat across from the head basketball coach and his wife, Meegan.  His wife and I got to chatting and I told her how I ran in college and I was a distance girl, blah, blah, blah.  Then she asked me some pointed questions, “What makes racing and running fun? Do you have to keep yourself thinking certain things? It’s probably easy for you runners, huh?”

It took me a little bit to answer right off the bat.  ‘Cause really, running isn’t all ‘fun’.  I am a ‘retired’ basketball player and whenever someone asked me about basketball and why I played I would say because it is fun!; without missing a beat.  Running is much different.  I informed Meegan that racing and running aren’t necessarily fun.  It is rewarding.  I told her I am competitive and a pain junkie, and racing was the perfect combo of both of those.  I tried to describe the satisfying ache I get laying bed at night.  I told her that, no, my mental state was probably the hardest thing about running and I definitely had to keep myself mentally positive and relaxed if I was ever going to get anything accomplished. I also threw in that the high metabolism was also a plus as I polished my second plate of food and started onto my cheesecake 😉

Since talking with Meegan and trying to describe why I actually like to train and  race it has been on my mind.  Because let’s be honest, the day-to-day process of training is not a bowl full of sweet peaches.  I’m talking training, not casually running.  Those are very different in my mind.  Running to run is definitely fun.  You can go as far and as fast as you want and just enjoy nature.  Training is much different.  You have a grueling schedule that makes you want to cry when you look at it.  It consists of nights like last night for me.  I couldn’t sleep much after 5:30 because I was nervous for my workout.  It means beating your body up day after day.  It means not knowing the last time you didn’t have sore muscles or bags under your eyes. It literally intends to break your body down each and everyday. I have to laugh as I see so many people ask about ‘the secret’ to running.  I feel like most of the world views runners as salad-eating health nuts that live some mysterious life style.  This quote from “Once a Runner” sums it up perfectly….

“And too there were questions: What did he eat? Did he believe in
isometrics? Isotonics? Ice and heat? How about aerobics, est, ESP, STP?
What did he have to say about yoga, yogurt, Yogi Berra? What was his
pulse rate, his blood pressure, his time for 100-yard dash? What was the
secret, they wanted to know; in a thousand different ways they wanted
to know The Secret. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to
believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental
tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart-rending process
of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised
the bottoms of his training shoes. The Trial of Miles, Miles of Trials.
How could they be expected to understand that?”

That’s exactly what I love about running so much.  It is so real.  It isn’t about special diets or any of the fads that this world is so full of.  It is about putting one foot in front of another day after day; mile after mile.  I often feel so suffocated in this world.  There is so much crazy technology, trends, fads, and such a fast paced way of life that I feel like I can’t breath.  But when I run, I can breath.  I can better myself each day.  I get to know every inch of my body better than any doctor will ever know about a human body. Running makes me free…

“Running to him was real, the way he did it the realest thing he knew.
It was all joy and woe, hard as diamond; it made him weary beyond
comprehension. But it also made him free.”
Once a Runner

A few more quotes from Once a Runner that explains how I feel perfectly…


“It is simply that we can all be good boys and wear our letter sweaters
around and get our little degrees and find some nice girl to settle, you
know, down with… take up what a friend of ours calls the hearty
challenges of lawn care… Or we can blaze! Become legends in our own
time, strike fear in the heart of mediocre talent everywhere! We can
scald dogs, put records out of reach! Make the stands gasp as we blow
into an unearthly kick from three hundred yards out! We can become God’s
own messengers delivering the dreaded scrolls! We can race dark Satan
himself till he wheezes fiery cinders down the back
straightaway….They’ll speak our names in hushed tones, ‘those guys are
animals’ they’ll say! We can lay it on the line, bust a gut, show them a
clean pair of heels. We can sprint the turn on a spring breeze and feel
the winter leave our feet! We can, by God, let our demons loose and
just wail on!”

“Cassidy sought no euphoric interludes. They came, when they did, quite
naturally and he was content to enjoy them privately. He ran not for
crypto-religious reasons, but to win races, to cover ground fast. Not
only to be better than his fellows, but better than himself. To be
faster by a tenth of a second, by an inch, by two feet or two yards than
he had been the week or year before. He sought to conquer the physical
limitations placed upon him by a three-dimensional world (and if Time is
the fourth dimension, that too was his province). If he could conquer
the weakness, the cowardice in himself, he would not worry about the
rest; it would come. Training was a rite of purification; from it came
speed, strength. Racing was a rite of death; from it came
knowledge. Such rites demand, if they are to be meaningful at all, a
certain amount of time spent precisely on the Red Line, where you can
lean over the manicured putting green at the edge of the precipice and
see exactly nothing.”

The last one, promise…

“When you’re a competitive runner in training you are constantly
in a process of ascending.  It’s a simple idea, but the more I though
about it, the more profound it became to me.

It’s not something most human beings would give a moment of
consideration to, that it is actually possible to be living for years in
a state of constant betterment.  To consider that you are better today
than you were yesterday or a year ago, and that you will be better still
tomorrow or next week or at tournament time your senior year.  That if
you’re doing it right you are an organism constantly evolving toward
some agreed-upon approximation of excellence.”
 

Amen.

Now, some pictures of my #runnerproblems 

A few of the shoes in my current rotation

 

running into this view

 

craving this

 

life. freakin’. savers.

 

 

3 Families… Blood Family, In-Law Family, Team Family.

 

 

 The end.

2 thoughts on “#runnerproblems.

  1. Kacee I love this. This is fantastic. I have been trying really hard to get into running and it's been so hard. I keep waiting for that moment when I'm miraculously a lover of running, but the LOVE isn't sparking. But I do love how I feel after a run. This is so good to hear from someone who I see as a champion runner. This is quite inspirational and admire your passion and dedication to running. You're amazing!

    xo
    Amanda (Hallsted)

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