Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tales From a Reformed Headcase

APRIL FOOLS. Just joking about the "reformed" part.

Actually, I thought I had been doing a fantastic job the last few months reigning in the demons. Good workout? Bad workout? Great race? Horrible race? No problem! It's all the same, the world's still spinning and you'll live to run another day! No one even died as a result of your result! Dude it's chiiilllll.... All you can ever do is try! "Don't worry, be happy. It will soon pass, whatever it is," sings Bob Marley while smoking a joint. Well please pass that joint to me because I don't share your sentiments right now BOB.

It began with a bad 400 meter workout. This was followed by the abrupt realization that in one week I'm running my first track 5k in I don't want to think about how long. A ridiculously negative self-talk monologue rambled through my mind on a run:

"What if you run your entire 5k the way you ran those quarters the other day, you're going to get OWNED. Pansy."

"Oh hey, remember the Hams and Hamstrings 5k on Easter? Yeah, you BARELY broke 19 minutes. Remember that? A couple weeks ago? Who knows if it was even a 5k. Who cares that you ran across a median. Irrelevant. BARELY under 19 minutes. Remember that? You ran better in high school. Pansy."

"Hey speaking of hamstrings, how's that hamstring feeling anyway? Like it's going to explode off your ischial tuberosity? Yeah, it probably will. Pansy."

"Hey, check out your mile splits today. Have you even broken 8 minutes once this whole run? No? Pansy."

Aaand the downward spiral begins. I take off my watch and throw it in the bushes. I don't care that I've had it for 5 years! I'm sending it back to Timex because it HAS to be defective! I am not running that slow!!! There is NO way!!! Tantrum ensues. Ever seen a 2 year old in the cereal aisle pitching a fit to mom because he wants Fruity Pebbles and mom doesn't believe in sugary cereal? Yeah. Times that by about 50. The voice of Positive Polly is drowned out by Negative Nancy (that b***h...). Try as she might, petite Polly is overpowered by Nancy--who has the build of a roller-derby champ. But suddenly, like the eye in the hurricane, the overwhelming feeling of all-consuming guilt trumps all nervousness. The browbeating begins: You ungrateful booger! You cotton-headed-ninny-muggins! You jackwagon! You are SO lucky to do this! How dare you have an off-day! How dare you even be so consumed with something so self-serving and inconsequential! There are 7 billion people in this world who are in no way effected by how you run! This is an entirely selfish pursuit! You're a terrible human! What are you EVEN DOING?!!!

Oh crap. Here they come. There's no stopping them. Tears. I'm a pretty emotionally constipated person for lack of better phrasing (which probably accounts for a great deal of the reason why I have about 2 friends who are girls), but when I get all feelingsy and there are tears, there are OCEANS of them. It's actually sort of pathetic. Before I know it, it's not even about a bad run or an upcoming race. I mean, it started with that, then there was the guilt over even caring that much to begin with, and now all I can think about is the treatment of women and children in Africa and the Middle East, starvation, terminal disease, the Crucifixion, the current state of mental healthcare in the U.S., animal cruelty, and that needlessly mean customer last month who I had to be nice to anyway. For some reason much of this puts the whole running thing back into perspective, but now I'm in a total funk. And I don't know if you've ever tried bawling and running at the same time, but you actually start to asphyxiate a little, I don't suggest it.

Trust me, I know what you're thinking right now: you're thinking, "I thought I was the only one who did this!" Nope, fear not because you're in good company, I'm right there with you! Hopefully I'll have the mental trainwreck debris cleared away in a week. Payne-Train(wreck) OUT.

< Self-portrait.


  1. I love your honesty. Remember, its JUST running. Hope you have a great 5k! let it happen.

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