Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hilo Half Marathon


Running hurts.  There is no way around it.  If you don't like pain, this is not the sport for you.  Your knees will ache, your quads and calves will have uncontrollable spasms, you will bleed in places that should not be legal, you will walk bow legged for a while, you will find clothes without tags because after 10 miles they cut your skin like a knife, you will spend more on socks than you do on a fancy dinner, your underwear will cost more than a full tank of gas - but you will love it.  It calls to you.  It is not the incessant pounding of your feet on pavement, nor the bright lights you see that come with dehydration and tropical sun, but it is the quiet.  You will hear just how quiet the world is, and it is amazing.

We live in a world where we are bombarded with sensory intake.  When you run though, life is on hold.  No one wants to talk to you.  You only need to nod or wave at another runner and your conversation is done.  They are in their own world, and you are in yours, and for a brief instance in time, your paths crossed.  the amazing thing about running for a few hours is you have many instances such as that.  An animal you ran past, a person crossing the road, the car that almost hit you, the sunset, raindrops on your face, but you remember none of it.  It is a meditative state.  As a person who is almost never able to live in the moment - this is as close as I will ever get.  Running is my Zen meditation.  It is my Nirvana.  No, it is more like Valhalla, where I run all day and rest my aches and pains at night, then run again the next day.  Valhalla is a much more apt description.  

Running is my friend and it is my mortal enemy.  No one to impress but myself - no one else gets it or even cares.  Except for runners - and they know better than to judge another runner.  To outsiders we are slaves to a system, but to our sado-masochistic club, we rule it.  We may run 4 minute miles, or it may take us an hour to do a 5k, but we know we are fast.  We are faster than we were before.  We will be faster tomorrow.  We are so much faster than when we walk.  We want to run through grocery aisles, we want to sprint across a parking lot, to jog to the copy machine at work, to constantly move, we need it like a heroine addict needs drugs.  We need speed.  It only ever hurts when we stop.

So yes, to any runners out there.  Be proud of that mile you did.  Be happy with that 5k time.  Congratulations for completing a goal that many people just talk about over alcohol induced headaches on New Year's Day.  You won, you beat the system.  

Welcome to the club.