For those of you who have had the pleasure (horrific experience) of running with me, you know I like my routes how I planned them and I don’t take well to off-the-cuff last minute suggestions for changes to my carefully planned routes.
These same people know, I love hills so much that I feel compelled to throw a ridiculous amount of hills into my runs, which are typically strategically placed at the back end of a very long run. Or you may be one of those that had the pleasure to experience the route I created that went uphill both ways! In Victoria, that is possible and it is fun to run those routes with others. Some people think that I’m trying to give them a challenge and I kind of like the sounds of that, makes me seem all selfless and shit. Reality is, I’m a bit of a sadomasochist and I highly enjoy watching other people suffer, especially when it is in response to something I suggested and they have enthusiastically agreed to it.
But watching people suffer only entertains me for a short while, so I make my routes crazy hard in the hopes that people will not ask me to run with them again, it’s my passive aggressive way of telling them I prefer to run by myself. Not that I don’t directly tell these same people that as well, it is just they don’t seem to understand when I speak directly to them. It’s odd. I find most people are more receptive to my message if I speak in a language they understand. And no I don’t mean English! I mean passive aggressiveness-It is the language out here. And just like Kokanee beer it fucking sucks but it is what we got so we go with it.
Although I have a better idea, instead of drinking crappy Kokanee (does anyone actually drink that?!) why don’t we import our beer from Belgium (where the good beer is). I’m almost certain you can avoid paying crazy duty by having a psychiatrist give you a medical exception. Yes, in your psychiatrist’s clinical opinion, it is medically necessary that the beer you drink is not swill and that drinking properly brewed beer is crucial to your normal psychological self-development as a human being. And this is how you get your medical plan to pay your duty for you imported beer.
I know it sounds dubious but I assure you it will work especially if you’re borne from a family of alcoholics. And when you were only 1 year old, they decided to turn your nursery into a distillery because they found it more economically feasible to make their own beer rather than buy it. And I’m sure it is only a coincidence that the family’s alcohol consumption increased exponentially after your birth. Needless to say, the smell of homemade beer triggers all sorts of horrible traumatic events for you, so it is just best you only drink the good shit.
Wow! That was quite the tangent. Now back to the point of this post. To recap: I’m a crazy running Nazi when I run, which is fair seeing as I am that way with most people I run with…I’m a sadomasochist…prefers to run alone…passive aggressive…Kokanee beer fucking sucks…ok we are caught up!
When I run on my own though it is a whole different experience. Ok, maybe that is stretching the truth a bit too much…here is the true breakdown of what running with me is actually like (if you were me and you were running by yourself and not in the company of you [I mean the you who is not me in this hypothetical scenario]):
- 75% of the time my runs are blissful meditative experiences;
- 20% of the time my runs are pure torture sessions (hence the masochist of the sadomasochist); and
- 5% of the time my runs are so random they are like a little adventure and one could actually say, I’m having fun…yes, it’s ok to be a bit shocked by that but it is true I do have fun, like 5% of the time.
Take for example, today’s run. I set my alarm for 5:30am, managed to get my ass out of the house for 6:30am. Run felt good for the first 30 minutes than it became apparent that I would need to find a washroom STAT. And no a bush would not do and it is not because I’m all prudish (for reals!) it’s because it wasn’t that kind of washroom break that was being called for. Oh yes, this one would ideally require a toilet of some sort.
So I start calculating in my head how far to a toilet, at least 1.5 k to the closest public washroom (assuming it is open) or 0.5k to the closest Starbucks (which according to my iPhone Starbucks app, is open! Apparently this Starbucks opened when I was supposed to be getting out of bed for my run but instead I hit snooze for 30 minutes). Details, I know!
So I head off, thanking the capitalist gods for saturating the coffee market with Starbucks! Yay mass consumption!!
Arrive at Starbucks, visit the washroom for a much needed break and then decide to order myself a double shot of espresso. I think my logic was, the coffee would help warm me up because I had stopped running for over 30 seconds (usually how long it takes for my temperature to drop). Which fair enough that would have made sense if I lived anywhere else in Canada where apparently it does snow and the temperature does drop below zero. But no, it doesn’t make sense because I live in Victoria, where snow is a theoretical construct and it is balmy out today (above 10 degrees) and I stopped inside an exceptionally well-heated Starbucks. Ah, details.
So I stand at the bar and sip my espresso and decide to tweet obsessively to my followers about the coffee break I took on my long run. And then I decided to catch up on my emails, one of which was to my coach and it went something like this:
“Today's run is going far from perfect. Needed to hit a washroom 30min in, found a Starbucks, then ordered an espresso and now I'm catching up on my emails...I think I'm stalling to see if I need to use the washroom again before I leave...well enough procrastination, time to get back out there!”
Yes, I sent that message to my run coach. I’m not sure why I felt the need to tell him that, other than I have an overly obsessive compulsive need to share every detail about my running life with him. And yes that does include talks of bowel movements and menstruation cycles. And who says I’m not entertaining?!
Finally I leave, and I’m pretty sure by the time I had left I had spent more time inside the Starbucks than actually outside running at this point. Again, with the pesky details!
So off I went, pretending that little diversion to Starbucks didn’t happen. Ran the breakwater, avoided Dallas (because of the now increased potential of the run turning into more of a dodging dogs and dog walkers kind of experience). Instead I decided to travel through Beacon Hill Park. Here I encountered an eccentric woman with a delightfully dried fig-like complexion. She performed a complete song and dance for me and then insisted I was the crazy one for being a runner. Nope, not crazy, just eccentric!
Made my way to the water again and then down to one of my favourite run spots Ross Bay Cemetery. Wandered around the cemetery for a bit. Checked out the graves and made sure everything was in order. Yes, I like to make sure any flowers that have fallen over in the wind are put back upright again. I like things orderly, even in death. You may think that is a tad odd but I like to think of it as just something I like to do.
And then I headed home. I was gone over 2.5 hours but only ran 1 hour and 40 minutes…it was like a total time warp. I guess it is pretty easy to lose time when you stop at a Starbucks to enjoy an espresso in the middle of your long run.