Runemployment Compensation

I am trying hard, people. Can you tell? So sorry this blog has been a den of dysfunction lately. My running has just felt uninspired, and it’s seeping into my general attitude. I know I’m not typically your online place for pep, but the lack of motivational potency on this blog seems to be hitting a new low.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think the spammers can definitely tell. It’s all Xanax and Prozac and Valium these days, like they somehow think this is a web site written by a suburban housewife who would trade anything to work instead of reading one more god-forsaken Magic Tree House book. Oh wait.

Even the spammers want me to shut the hell up about my angst. For the first time yesterday, I actually had a spammer heckle me. At first I thought heckling was an odd way to inject a bot into my blog, but then if you think about all the Valium junk they’re sending me, I wonder if spammers really do know what I need.

There are a couple things I usually can count on to invigorate my running. One is rage, and the other is… well, a girl can only send friend requests to Daniel Craig 3,491 so many times. I have my pride and Tiger Woods is too easy, so rage it is. I could really use some, but this time of year, everyone else is either mopey or giddy, and there’s no one available to piss me off. It’s almost to the point of hoping a quasi-anonymous troll would make an appearance.

I do realize that I am basically runemployed and that work is not always stimulating. Also, when your job pays you in lactic acid build-up and not real money, it’s pretty easy to lose vigor. Which is why I typically would either need uppers or rage to compensate for my missing mojo.

Or a tete-a-tete with a member of the E Street Band.

When I woke up yesterday, I again was feeling draggy and uninspired to run. I stared at my various screens for a while–phone, laptop, coffee maker–then went to the gym. The gym rarely helps any kind of mood problem, but yesterday I left feeling a smidge better. I got home, called a friend to bitch and moan, and she slapped me upside the head in a way that only a good friend can. That helped a little more, then I spent the afternoon Christmas shopping with Henry, which more or less sent me spiraling in the other direction.

So last night I chatted with Steve Vand Zandt on Facebook. For real. I’d friended him a few weeks ago and last night I noticed his little green dot aglow, and I thought, why the hell not? So I made SVZ my therapist and I told him the E St Band had trained me for every marathon, played me through every race, and had been the soundtrack to getting me through some hard life stuff.

And he wrote back.

Among other things, SVZ told me to “stay strong.” And if SVZ tells me to be strong, well shit, I think I can do that.

So I did what I do when I’m feeling run down and needing to show some strength. I registered for a race. A long one. A really long one. My first 50k. Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival, Memorial Day weekend.

Nothing boosts an ego like thinking of yourself as an “ultra” something. In my world of runemployment, it’s like giving myself a promotion. And you know what they say, if you can’t qualify for Boston and you can’t ditch the family to go running in Peru, go to Maine and run through a field (a game plan that is in perfect alignment with a new article I have up on Chi, incidentally–check it out).

But as a back-up, I’m going to look into rage. Or maybe the 3,492nd time is the charm with Mr. Craig. I hear he plays hard to get.

11 responses

  1. I saw the link and after reading your status updates recently, figured I would give it a read. Sounds normal enough considering I read your blog regularly, but this is the first time I read it via an iPhone (and commenting via mobile also). So that cool I guess.

    So congrads on registering for your first Ultra. I did my first in September and am highly considering my second 50k in Feb. I can’t wait to read all about it. Train hard, stay strong and realize that your first 25 miles are a warmup for your fabulous finish.

  2. I need this too. B.a.d. Real bad. My running has been poop for far too long now. Nothing like a little fear to kick start something, right? Plus I want that damn COWBELL!

    Hmmmm wonder if I can friend Britney and we can chat . . . :P

  3. I feel ya! I didn’t even attempt to run a marathon this weekend that I had signed up for months ago, showed up to the start even and freaked because it was 29 degrees out. My running is a funk and I need some help!
    Hmmm….an ultra, I wonder if that will cure me? Have a good week

  4. I hope the race registration soothes your woes – I’m totally impressed that you signed up for an ultra. At the very least, hopefully you’ll out-run your funk with all your upcoming loooong runs. It’s got to give up eventually, right?

  5. I think you just might get a little vim and vigor injected into your running sooner than you think. And hey, you heard it here first–those ultra’s, they are just a bit too fun. You might never go back!

  6. It’s easy to empathize given that I am close to finishing my second week of sickness. Yes, things are not rosie and I decided to give me permission to stay in a funk for a while, run slow, be blah, whatever. It’s actually helping. AM

  7. You’ll love the Pineland Farm trail race. I enjoyed the inaugural race (the 1-loop 25K). It was well organized (YMCA) on a scenic trail consisting of x-country trails through hilly farmland. Their trophies were pretty unique: a framed plaster cast of a trailshoe footprint. Lucky you get to run it twice!

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