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Something Funny about Speedwork and Running-Life Alignment

Best thing about speedwork? Crackin’ up on the bleachers after a hard workout.

Ok, that was a total bait and switch title. There is really nothing funny about speedwork. Well, except maybe waaaay after you’re done and you slap your track buddy on the back the next day and  joke about how you almost died on that last 800.

“Yeah, and I’m so glad you were in lane 1 so my  wild-and-windy-loogie didn’t hit you in the face.” Yep, thems were good times.

Red, Carly and I are were our way to a PR in the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon a few years ago and I was feeling pretty confident. I usually don’t announce how confident I feel about a race (and I’m not always confident) because I might jinx it. But, I was doing ok. I thought I’d even let myself have some “Hey, I just might kick ass” thoughts about Sunday. We had done our speedwork. We were ready. The last week it was slow, easy and time to reflect on the training.

Red said to me recently,

“Running is something great to align your life with.”

So true! Here’s why…

  1. Running helps me with my schedule. I plan everything around my workouts. No, really.
  2. I use it to stay fit. It  helps me kick my teenager’s butt on the basketball court. I look pretty darn good at age 50 something and I can maintain my guilt-free addiction to good cheese.
  3. It does wonders for my confidence. Nervous about an important meeting? Scared to confront hubz about the car rolling down the driveway backwards and hitting a tree?  Worked up about a confrontation with a crazy neighbor? (These have never happened to me, of course.) I just conjure up a tough patch in any race or even the fact that I’ve RUN marathons, ultramarathons, or up steep hills, in the dark, at 5:00am and WHAMO! Bring it, people.
  4. I use it to stay centered. Being a parent is like being on one of those rides at the county fair where you strap yourself into a giant metal circle with 40 other crazies and the whole thing spins 100 miles an hour. Then, the entire ride tilts and you become a human centrifugal force experiment, hoping you don’t throw up or get thrown up on. Everything is up, down, spinning, sideways and sometimes there is barf. Running is like the opposite of that.
  5. I use it to solve problems. The longer the run, the more problems get solved. I’m a type A, so I go on reeeeealllly long runs. I get more done (or is it because I have more problems? Hmmm.)
  6. I use it to feel alive! I get girl time, nature time, sweat time, pain time, joy time, dirt time and me time. Running is multi-tasking-happy-place paradise.

And ok, yes, maybe I use it to find humor in life. Just today as Red, Carly and I were enjoying a slow, easy 5 mile taper-inspired run this morning, Red says, “You know, even after this race is over on Sunday, I’d like to keep doing speedwork.” We all had a good laugh.

What do YOU think is funny about speedwork or running or county fair rides?



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