The Breakdown: Better than mayo
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
There are some things that I’ve sworn I would never do in my life. For instance, I’m extremely afraid of heights. So, I would never, under any circumstances jump out of a plane that wasn’t about to crash; skydiving will never be an option. Neither is eating anything with mayonnaise on it. I wouldn’t say I’m scared of mayonnaise, but if I were trapped, starving to death on a deserted island – and all I had was a jar of Mayo – I’d try eating sand first.
Paying money to run for an extended amount of time would be another item on that list.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that some people love running and love running in races. It’s just like how some men enjoy wearing capris: Everyone has different tastes, and running just isn’t my thing.
Somehow, I was talked into it on Labor Day.
It was a 10-mile run in Denver. It started in City Park, traveled through a couple other parks and wound up in Washington Park. It was aptly named Park To Park.
Why was I doing this? The answer was pretty easy: The race benefited pancreatic cancer research. As I’m sure is the case for nearly everyone reading this, I know people affected by the disease. Really, when there’s something you can do to support a cause that you believe in, it’s pretty hard to turn down. (Note: There was also an extreme amount of nagging, whoops, I mean encouraging from my wife, who enjoys these types of races.)
So there I was on Monday – running and running and running.
Now, I know that some of you out there have ran marathons or ultra-endurance races and could probably run 10 miles backpedaling. But for me, 10 miles is pretty friggin’ far. My commute to work isn’t even that long. In fact, it’s farther than I have ever ran in my entire life.
Before doing this, I had people constantly telling me that once you get into a race, the miles and time just fly by. Well, when I was on about Mile 4, you would have had a better chance convincing me that the Easter Bunny was real. Needless to say, I was dragging. But it wasn’t that I was tired – no, that came later. I was just kind of bored.
This is when I thought of a question to ask you avid runners out there: Why do people run at a fast pace, stop and walk, then continue the fast pace, then stop and walk, then run again? Why don’t they just run at a slower pace from the beginning? I had countless people sprint by me, only to jog past them a couple miles later. Really confusing.
Anyway, besides battling a little boredom, I was feeling pretty good through most of the run. Sure, it felt like hours between each mile marker, but at least I was running with my wife and some friends, which made it go a little quicker.
Then as I neared the end, my body fell apart. My feet all of a sudden weighed 47 pounds each. My knees felt like they’d crack at any moment. I felt the way Bruce Willis looks at the end of every Die Hard movie: He’s been shot about eight times, hit by a car, beaten up by a terrorist, but he’s still dragging his mangled body to take down the last bad guy.
That’s what I felt like as I approached the finish line, and I doubt I looked much different.
Regardless, I made it across. It wasn’t a triumphant moment or anything like that, especially with the 60-year-old runners that finished – seemingly with ease – just ahead of me. But I was glad to be finished.
My wife asked me afterwards if I enjoyed it. All I could tell her was that it was a hell of a lot better than eating mayonnaise.
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