I figured the running gods were trying to tell me something yesterday when not one, but two separate articles popped up about why running either doesn’t have to suck (here), or if it does, make it a good suck (here). Which led my dollar machine brain to start thinking…there’s basically three types of run/suck attitudes among runners. Pay attention here. This might actually be entertaining. Or not.
Runners whose main reason for living is running. And think everybody else sucks: I like to call these the “serious” runners. You know who they are. The ones always up front at the start, jumping up and down, and running sprints to warm up, looking down their noses at those “other runners” who judge whether or not it was a great race based on how many silly selfies they got or how many beers they were able to refuel with before the last mile. They always look hungry, grumpy, and just plain miserable. And don’t dare talk to them! You may end up with either a dirty look, a rude comment to leave them alone, or a faceful of gravel as they can’t get away from you and the pre-race beer in your hand fast enough. The only thing they think sucks about running is, well, other runners. You know…those runners.
Thankfully these types are few and far between. Either that or they just don’t lower themselves to running the same events I do. Yeah, I’m good with that.
Runners who love all aspects of running, including the suck: I think that’s pretty much where us semi-normal, real peeps fall. We know it’s inevitable that we’re going to have sucky runs. We kick ourselves for lacking motivation, energy, or drive. We throw the woe-is-me line out to both our virtual and in-person running buddies, hoping for just a little bit of “it’s okay, come cry on my shoulder and then I’ll kick your dupa back out there” time. Which we do and inevitably once again find everything is right in our sweat, snot, dirt, aches and pain laden running world. We embrace the suck and make it work to our advantage. It helps us keep everything in perspective and reminds us we’re only human. Who love our margaritas, Moose Tracks, and mutts.
Runners who don’t run because of the suck: Yes dear sister, I’m thinking this is you.
Instead of embracing the suck, these poor peeps shy away from the aches, pains, sweat, and snot. Why, is an absolute mystery. Just the thought of putting one foot in front of the other with the only thought in mind being – a) time, b) destination, or 3) how many calories do I need to burn to have both a margarita AND a bowl of ice cream?, is enough to bring on a severe case of tremors, nausea, or the sudden need to lay down and take a nap. Poor peeps, they just don’t know what they’re missing.
So whether you embrace the suck, or the suck scares the crap out of you, have no fear. You’re going to have to deal with a certain level of suckiness no matter what you do, whether it’s falling on your dupa in yoga class, dropping a 10-pound weight on your foot in the gym, or swallowing gallons of dark, scary, possibly shark-infested water on your first attempt at a tri, right Danielle? It’s all okay. The suck will not defeat you. It will not overpower you. It will make you faster and stronger. It will become your new BFF. And the best part, it will provide you with the perfect reason to rationalize having that second margarita. Or third. Or sixth. I don’t judge.
Enjoy the ride.
Do you embrace the suck or shy away from it?