I’m Denny, and I’m a runner.
I’ve been what I would consider a “real” runner for a little more than 4 years, and in that time I’ve gotten noticeably stupider. Or more stupid. Whatever.
In the real world, I like to think I’m a pretty intelligent guy, but since the start of 2012, my runner IQ has been trending downward as my mileage totals have gone in an inversely proportional direction.
I Can’t Be the Only Stupid Runner, Can I?
Seriously y’all, how stupid are we?
Sure, there are numerous health benefits to being a runner. Running strengthens your heart and lungs. Running helps you lose weight and keep it off. Running helps tone and sculpt your legs.
Running also brings people together and can help to create friendships across generational, cultural, social, economic, and any other lines that exist.
But on the other hand…
Running beats us up!
Who among us hasn’t had to deal with plantar fasciitis on occasion? What about a barking IT band? And don’t get me started on shin splints or stress fractures.
So what do we do?
We go for a run and come home and sit in a bath tub full of ice water!
I’m sorry guys, but we’re just stupid!
Or better yet, we cover ourselves with compression gear, Chopat straps, or Kinesiotape to try and prevent our bodies from falling apart during our runs!
But wait, there’s more!
When dealing with an injury, we are even more idiotic!
Almost every runner I know coming back from a running injury does so too soon.
“Take six weeks off and then ease back into it”, the athletic trainer advises.
Instead, we say “Screw the pro’s advice, I’m feeling good after three weeks, so I’m jumping back in and now I’ve got to make up for three weeks of missed mileage!”
And we end up injured again.
Usually even worse than we were originally.
I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots
Without question, the dumbest of the runners are the 26.2 mile and up crowd.
And I admit, with equal parts pride and shame, that I am a part of said crowd.
As of this writing, I am still refusing to join the “and up” crowd, but I’ve gone 26.2 miles in one sitting on multiple occasions.
And as I’m on a quest to join the 50 in 50 club, I have no plans of giving up on marathons any time soon.
Clearly, that proves that I’m no rocket scientist.
But I’m holding on to my last shred of sanity and not going past the 26.2 threshold and venturing out into “ultra” territory.
At least not yet…
Why Even Bother?
I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked why I would ever choose to run a marathon.
Before my first 26.2, my dad reminded me that he’s heard several stories of people dying after running a marathon.
Thanks for the support pop.
That’s kind of the story of the original marathon, you know. (FYI, more people die from not exercising than from overexercising, so at least us morons have that going for us.)
But instead of learning from Pheidippides, we keep running.
We buy more body glide and skin lube.
We look for Bio-freeze by the gallon and know which frozen veggies make the best ice packs for knees and calves.
And we keep signing up for races, torturing ourselves and spending money for a t-shirt and a finisher’s medal.
You’d think at some point we’d see the light and hang up our running shoes for good.
But seeing that we aren’t as bright as most of said running shoes, that will probably never happen…