Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Puppet Runner

I've been running on a regular basis for the past 5 months. Heck - since mid June I've racked up almost 150 miles over 58 different workouts, running for a total of almost 29 HOURS! So yeah...I've been calling myself a "Runner" lately. Would you argue with me?

Tonight I was reminded just how much of a Runner I am NOT, however. Or at least I am not, YET.

I usually take a day off every 2 or 3 days. I find I can run better, faster, and farther when I give my body and my mind a break. But I'm almost to GREEN! (My Nike+ color status changes at 150 miles and I want to get there!) Orange = Blah. Green = My Favorite Color! I even bought a new GREEN sports bra and GREEN running shorts as a reward. Obviously I wont let myself wear them until I'm I've been running daily in hopes of going Green by September.

I can tell within the first mile what kind of run I'm going to have. My body feels way different on the nights it says "can we please just do 3?" than on the nights it says "4 is totally do-able! Try for 6." But tonight, before I even left, I could feel that it wouldn't be a good run. It was gonna be night #5 in a row, and even my usual "just 3" was gonna kick my booty. I wasn't looking forward to it like normal. So I decided to do just 1. One mile, but push myself the whole way. Run hard, run strong, set a new personal best.

And that I did! This is about the fourth or fifth time I've improved my mile pace. Each time, a sweet voice comes on my iPod at the end of my run and says "This is Polaroid Cliff. You just set a new personal best for the mile. Congratulations!"

And each time I've thought to myself, "Awesome!! Sweet!! (But who in the HECK is Polaroid Cliff?!)"

Obviously a woman. With an accent...British maybe? Australian?

Tonight I decided to Google my curiosity away. I mean, if someone's going to congratulate me, I want to at least know who she is!

All you "real" Runners out know where this is going, don't you?

Male, Female, British, matter. Not a single Polaroid Cliff to be found in all of Google-dom. That's because Polaroid Cliff does not exist.

But Paula Radcliffe does!!

And if I were a "real" Runner...I would have known this. Cause she's only like the most awesome runner in the history of mankind walking on two legs. She runs a mile in 4:24, people. That's INSANE! She runs 26.2 miles in 2:32:38. MINDBLOWING. She could run TWO marathons in the time it would take me to run one. (That is, if by the Grace of God, I actually finished!)

I had to laugh at myself. If I'm gonna call myself a Runner, I should probably know who Paula Radcliffe is. So maybe I shouldn't be calling myself a Runner at all. I mean, I've never peed in the bushes while on a run. I've yet to lose a single toenail. I'm still only on my first pair of Magic Shoes! (I just learned "real" Runners replace theirs about every 500 miles.) So maybe I'm more of a Puppet Runner. Someone going thru the motions, learning the ropes, and trying my best to become a "real" Runner.

Coming from Paula (now that I know who she is) those words at the end of my run are way motivating and SO satisfying. I just set a personal best! Granted, it's more than double her personal best...but at least I'm out there. Learning. Improving. RUNNING. Now that I know who she is, her congrats feel like my own personal Blue Fairy. They sit softly on my shoulder and whisper as I run,

"Prove your legs brave, strong, and unyielding, and someday, you will be a real Runner."

Tomorrow I'm taking a day off. I may be on my way to becoming a real Runner, but tonight my legs still feel like they are made of wood!

I'm off to bed. (And to wish on a star!)

I'm thinking the Man in my Magic Shoes just got a name.
Can you guess?

(Apropos with Green being my favorite color and all, don'tcha think?!)


Jennifer said...

Great post, Erin! I love it!!! I am so proud of your accomplishments, and yes, I would DEFINITELY call you a're kicking ASS!

LauraC said...

Erin you are a RUNNER! Being a runner is a state of mind. If you feel like you want to run and need to run to be your best self, you are a runner.

In fact, I think I will write a post about the day I knew I was a runner!

Joanna said...

I've never been so intrigued by running!

Libby said...

Jimminy Cricket?

Bert Bell said...

I agree with Libby...the man in the magic shoes is Jimminy! Bravo on the new personal best. I don't run...found it could be very hazardous to my health. We get different things from our parents...from my father I got a head FULL of luxurious hair. From mother....her cleavage. I am almost too afriad to run....what if one of them whapped me in the head! LOL Running is actually too hard on my knees. I walk or bike! Hugs

Jax's Mama said...

I need you to go back to the beginning, before you were doing 6 miles. You see I am attempting to follow in your footsteps (literally) I am only at 2 miles, how ever will I get to 6..especially without my Nike Magic shoes :( I feel so lucky that I am actually one of those people who get the HIGHEST HIGH from running. And, I have bigger boobies than anyone..and I still run!! Erin, you are the best!

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