If a stranger witnesses you in the midst of a long run, which you do they see? Do they see a George Costanza ‘serenity now’ version of you that is calm, relaxed and powerful or do they see a fatigued, slumped over rolling sack of potatoes that looks ready to burst any instant?
Or, if you are like me, do they see a complete enigma? When I run, I often feel as freaked out and scared as Leon Robinson, a.k.a. Derrice Bannock, looks while bobsledding in Cool Runnings. Only difference is that I have a much cooler (pun intended) facade. Sure I am likely to be dripping with sweat, have a white-salted face and
power-walkers runners might pass me but I don’t feel like I look like I’m struggling; at least I don’t think I do…
Regardless of how I actually look, the truth is that I usually feel terrible for nearly every second of every mile. My body refuses to enjoy the struggle and my mind is full of an astounding amount of ‘quit.’ The cruel irony is that if I increase my pace thus allowing the run to be done sooner, I exert more energy thus fatiguing myself which makes the run feel even longer. However, if I slow down to conserve energy, the run feels just as long since I have more running time to go until completion.
As St. Vincent knows, it’s cruel.