Unwarranted exercise

It seems like my new friends here are determined not to let me go gently into that good fall of keeping chin-stroking office hours and toddling back to my house for a grilled cheese and soup. Let’s hunt down a new dive bar! Let’s go see a play rehearsal! Let’s join a local meeting about how to provide an appropriate community for our local sex offenders!

The new thing is: Let’s run 6.5 miles in a race next month! Sigh.

As I keep telling people, 6.5 miles is a lot of running for a fat girl. At this point, everyone makes nice high eye contact and proclaims, “Preposterous! I’ve never heard such a ridiculous description of a human body in all my life!” Ugh, no, we’re not having the “Am I rilly beautiful talk?” now; we’re having the “bodies moving through space at a certain rate for a particular distance” conversation. We’re having the “I’m going to die alone in the woods during this race!” conversation.

I did used to run, about 6-7 years ago, for a brief while that I recall fondly as the year when I vomited every day. Some things I got better at, like breathing and getting my guts to hold themselves together. One month I ran 127 miles. But back then, let’s remember, I was 25 and the neurons in my brain hadn’t fully mylenated. Once they did, I realized that all I talked about was running, all I thought about was running, and I was in an unspoken contest with the bulimic girl downstairs for who could spend more time per day puking. I didn’t want to live that way anymore.

So the puking: It turns out I don’t really experience pain in the normal way. I don’t know what the normal way is supposed to be, but it tells people, in a sane and predictable manner, that they’ve gone too far, right? No matter what happens to me, from tapping a table too hard to the day after oral surgery, pain is like aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! oh no! ah! If I cut myself, I have no idea until I inspect the wound whether I’ve barely scraped the skin or sawed almost down to the bone. It’s just aaaaaaaah! oh no! either way.

When I run, it feels the same if I’m going slowly or quickly, short or far. I went for the first run in years a few weeks ago, and zipped through the first mile in a time that I still scarcely believe, it’s so fast. I was excited to do so well and thought about doing another, having stopped, and I realized my internal organs were about to leak out of my bodily cavities, having been pulverized by unaccustomed jostling. I was in horrible pain. I limped home, defeated by my own stupidity, and barely managed to draw a hot bath to pass out in. Never again, I thought.

This time, however, I’m running with some other people, who are good at keeping a slower pace and not being overly ambitious. When I’m running with them, I feel as if they’re killing me, making me do this bullshit that I don’t want to do, and fine, Jesus Christ, we’ll take a right up the hill assholes. But they’re saving me from myself, so I don’t get bored and tear off for home, only to barf on the threshold.

We’ll see if I make it up to 6.5 miles by a month from tomorrow. If you don’t hear from me soon after, you’ll know that I was the one the wolves decided was the easiest pickings.

7 responses to “Unwarranted exercise”

  1. F. P. Smearcase says:

    There’s that Couch to 5K (or something?) program but…

    I’m not one of these “listen to the wisdom of your body” people. I don’t think if I’m craving ice cream, my body needs some nutrient in ice cream. But running feels bad, like really bad. On the elliptical it’s ok. IRL, I feel terrible afterwards. Weak, headachey, sometimes nauseated. Even on the ellpitical, when I’ve done it for a few weeks, which is the longest I’ve ever done it, I never get any runner’s high or whatever you’re supposed to get. At the end I feel sweaty, tired, and impatient that I haven’t shed 10 pounds.

  2. A White Bear says:

    Running feels really bad the first few times, but luckily your core muscles tighten up pretty fast and you start more reliably churning out endorphins. I even find that the sensitivity to hydration/food eases up rather quickly and ahhhhhh shut up AWB shut up about running.

  3. lane says:

    i have to read this later… your style is so impactful, i have to take it in little bits…

    i crack up, and come back later… off to wash a kid!…

  4. Dave says:

    I’ve definitely exercised enough to almost barf. For me it usually happens through swimming, but sometimes with running. I’ve actually been running a bit all summer and it hasn’t been as bad as it used to be on my knees. Sometimes it feels bad, sometimes good.

    And 6.5 miles is probably completely fine as long as you don’t have to run it too fast. You could walk 6.5 miles tomorrow if you had to. I dunno. Good luck, though, and don’t hurt yourself too badly.

  5. A White Bear says:

    Speed is pretty crucial, and it’s the thing I’m worst at determining. Yesterday was the first day I went out for a training run by myself, and, even though it was only 2.5 km, I got bored and did it too fast and felt a bit yuck at the end. Luckily, my friends are better at pacing, I think.

  6. lane says:

    ouch!… i had to pause on this cause it made me sqemish… i’m pretty light weight when it comes to pain. blood too. i pass out in hospitals…

    although after all these years i can puke easy…

  7. lane says:

    biking is way better on your knees and all that too. swimming is too, but i’m not that great a swimmer. running sucks really, and not in a good way.

    i don’t know why people do that, but good luck! bust it out, and go the full 6!

    yeah AWB!