you can keep your numbers

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so, here’s a preview of the very polite and i’m sure well meaning email i received the other day from rock ‘n’ roll portland:

two things to note:

  1. time to start training
  2. 19 weeks out from race day

yep, in all of amy‘s enthusiasm, i just said yes. somehow she rounded me up into her stable of people who are just so thrilled about rock ‘n’ roll marathons making their debut in pdx. that was last year. i did it for the super cool early bird shirt. no matter, there are a couple of things i know. #1 ~ life is what you make it, #2 ~ anyone who can train in hilly new westminster can sure as hell run in portland. but, i think i’m supposed to be freaked out anyway.

here’s the thing. i don’t even know what a half marathon is. this isn’t the part where you tell me what it is because what you tell me won’t even matter. why? because numbers make me yawn. and so do measurements. when it comes to running, i just want to lace up and go. when it comes to health, i just want to feel good. i hate timing myself, i hate referring to minutes or to steps or to distance. i weigh myself very rarely and i will never in this lifetime have my bmi tested. ever.

to me, being healthy means feeling good and functioning efficiently. it is not how much i weigh, how far i can run or restricting myself from eating and doing the things that make me happy. all the factors need to be balanced. there is no equation to solve that and i refuse to live my life as though i need to keep a calculator (or even a pencil and notebook) in my pocket to sort it all out. in my world healthy is marked by a feeling of well-being. it’s that simple.

i am just so not interested in numbers. the only thing that bugged me about the last race i ran? the stupid signs that marked each k. all ten of ’em. they rattled me. they made me obsess and judge my progress and create expectations. they totally take me out of my body and put me into my head. i was just there to run around and have a good time with my friends. i didn’t know my finish time and i didn’t even care. it wasn’t until my folks called me the next day after they’d checked the newspaper that i found out officially. i just wanted to run. same goes for every day. when i train, i just want to do. i’ve recently been using a training plan app that beeps when it’s time to run and beeps again when it’s time to stop and i feel like a cat in a cage. it’s killing me and i just had to give it up.

half marathon, though? i mean that even sounds serious. thankfully, one of the guys i met with tonight did the vegas version. his take: it’s super fun. you’re going to love it. just have a good time. you bet i will, sir.

bottom line: pounds, ounces, calories, miles, kilometres, steps, minutes, hours, reps, etc., etc., and so on, you can have ’em. the only number i want to know is which one i’ll be rocking that day.

thanks for the advice, r’n’r. i’ll see you in < 19 weeks.

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5 responses »

  1. The only thing that keeps me running are my feet and all of the people around me. It’s great motivation when you feel like stopping or giving up and there are hundreds of people around you going in the same direction. You’re like, I want to go with, wait for me! I enjoyed Seattle a couple years ago and happy that Portland brought one to the city. As difficult as Seattle felt (in the moment) I was super happy that I finished and just seeing all of the people afterward that had made the same accomplishment!

  2. You have an interesting perspective on this. No numbers – hmm, I might consider trying that and see if it makes me hate running any less. For now, I’d love to know the app you have that beeps when to run and when to stop, as I need something like that. Last time I ran I used the stopwatch function on my iPod and it was totally annoying having to check it all the time.

    Have fun! R ‘n R sounds fun!

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