Friday, August 12, 2011

Hobby Jogger

In my prime, I really felt sorry for "runners" like me.

"Hobby Joggers" is what we called them. Definition: People who wanted to be runners, but lacked the motivation and commitment to run every day. Hobby joggers run sporadically, a few miles at a time, with days, weeks, and even months between runs.

Hobby Joggers often find it necessary to carry a towel and bring a snack on a 3 mile run. You will occasionally spot intense hobby joggers with fanny packs and/or CamelBaks.

Hobby Joggers often run in the same crowd as what we called "Night Warriors." Night Warriors, obviously, typically ran at night and started often sprinting a for a half mile and dying off and going back home. Both breeds were not true runners at all and therefore deemed lame by myself and my elitist teammates.

Typical "Night Warrior" form

The thing about Hobby Joggers is that you can spot one by the unbearable look of despair and pain on their face, while trotting by at an agonizingly slow pace. I would take one look at a hobby jogger and feel bad for them. "Well, sure, I thought, I would hate it too if I had to start over every run and feel like crap."I would internally scold the hobby jogger for not being dedicated enough to the sport. You never get used to running and experience it at it's full potential if you can't run several miles and hold a conversation at the same time. At this time in my life I was running between 50-70 miles per week and rarely took a day off. I took one week off between each track and cross country season and like most of the other runners I knew, that time drove me completely nuts. I spent the entire week planning the next season's running goals, formulating workouts and mileage plans. Those were the days.

This is no Hobby Jogger.

(P.S. That's me, in 2006. )

You can guess where I am right now. I've joined the ranks of the hobby joggers, temporarily. I hope. I have plenty of valid excuses. It's been so hot out this summer I've avoided running. I am a terrible, terrible indoor exerciser. It holds no value for me. I have an impressive collection of workout videos, all which have been done a few times each at best. I did P90X for four days. I have a treadmill AND an elliptical machine. They remain buried in the mess of the garage Reed and I try to keep friends and neighbors seeing out of embarrassment. I ate nachos twice at week (at least) for an after dinner snack and gained four pounds.

If only it was 50-75 degrees all year! I would always be in shape. Running outdoors is the only thing that really holds any appeal for me. Ok, I do enjoy cycling and yoga. But you have to cycle for twice the amount of time it takes to get an equivalent run in. I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of time. Plus it takes 20 minutes to put on all that gear and I'm not that patient. And I don't care what you Yogi's say, Yoga is not a cardiovascular workout. It may feel nice and be good for the mind, but it's not the heart pumping, clothes drenching, intense cardio my body craves. Not even hot yoga or whatever you call it.

Enjoyable, but NOT cardio, and by the way, in now way prepares one for the rigors of running.

I took the day off Wednesday and at about 3:30, it was only 83 out and I decided it would be the perfect day to start running again. It was a sad sad experience. I won't even go into the horrific details on this post, because any serious or once serious runner would cry. I tried again this morning and the results weren't much more promising. If I could manage to run a few times a week for a few more weeks, then it will feel great, and I know that. Hopefully my muscles will remember all the trauma and training I put them through over the years and rise to the challenge.

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