It's been over three weeks since the run-at-least-a-mile-every-day streak began and I've been true (almost). It's an incredible nuisance.
Good news, though: the playlists are (sorta) back. So here's a link to my Spotify list for the week. It'll be just like old times.
"Six Days At The Bottom Of The Ocean," Explosions In The Sky
So I've been running every day. I wouldn't say it's been particularly physically demanding or anything—I've not run more than a 5K on any given day—but it's just the grind of things. Every. Single. Day. You've got to run. It just wears you down after awhile. Sometimes it's nice to not have anything to do, you know? Even though running one mile, if I'm taking my time, is like 10 minutes, it's still a whole process. I gotta put running clothes on. I gotta put sneakers on. I gotta go outside (or, worse, go to the gym). I gotta run one mile. I gotta come back home. Then I gotta shower. I can make this whole thing turn into an hour-plus-long project. And that's without factoring in procrastination.
"Bleeder," Alkaline Trio
Oh, yeah. I'll procrastinate the shit out of a one-mile run. I'll procrastinate it even more than a longer run because it's so short. Bah! 10 minutes. I can do that whenever. Turns out whenever is the last possible moment. The Wife will be home at 7:30? I've got until 6:30, easy. I ran the other day at like 9 P.M. It's a sickness.
I felt a really weird feeling in my knee the other day. The only way I can describe is like a cord or band running over the tooth of a comb. That's terrifying, right? There's nothing comforting about that mental picture. Your mind just zeroes in on tendons or whatever weird connectors there are in there and you just know something's going to snap. Nothing did snap, and weirdly, that run was actually my longest of the week, but I was thinking about it the whole time. Literally every step I was thinking this is the one. I was actually very close to using it as an excuse to cut it short, but I was planning on that being my long(ish) run for the week so I pressed on. It's not like anything actually hurt, it was just a momentary sensation, so I wasn't really struggling with anything but my own brain. Nothing new there.
"Obsolete," Saves The Day
When I came home I told my wife about it and she was like "oh, yeah, you're running every day. You should be stretching." Two things:
1. Fuck that.
2. Thanks for telling me now.
"Say It Ain't So," Weezer
OK, so I said I had been keeping up with the running streak since Thanksgiving. That was technically true until yesterday. It snowed all day and I was working and then—bam!—it was like 11:00 p.m. and I hadn't done it. I was actually really upset, but not upset enough to break my neck running on ice-sheeted roads and sidewalks in the freezing cold dead of night. It's annoying though, because there's just something about doing something perfectly or exactly as you planned it that is so satisfying and falling juuust short is the worst, in a really annoying way. Like getting a 99 on a test instead of a 100. Obviously 99 is awesome. You could literally only do one point better. That's great. But you could have done better. And, what makes it the absolute worst is that complaining about not getting the 100 is such a shitty thing to do. It's like Bill Gates complaining about the price of a TV or something. Just shut up about it, you're fucking Bill fucking Gates. Sorry you had to spend a wad of lint for a 700" LCD 7D HDTV that actually just teleports Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence to your living room. How do you not just wake up in the morning and reach for the rope in your nightstand and think to yourself today is the day I do it.
"25 Cent Giraffes," Lifetime
No one wants to hear someone complain about getting a 99/100 or 29/30 or whatever. No one takes a sip out of a glass of water and says the glass is one percent empty. But! If the entire point of having the glass is for it to be completely full, it is a level of frustration bordering on mania to have it sitting there, staring you right in the face, laughing, partially empty even though, yes I know it is pretty much totally full. I will have run every day for a month except for one day. The whole point of running three weeks straight was to do it for four weeks straight. Now that's out the window and all those annoying late-night runs have been for nothing. I needlessly aggravated myself and spent entire days putting shit off until the last minute when, now, I could have just not done it. I could have completely skipped the time spent agonizing and dreading. Now that there's no streak, I just ran for the sake of it. There is nothing worse than purposeless running.
"Stare At The Sun," Thrice
I have been running more in the cold outdoors, though, because when you're only running one mile it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to waste time driving to the gym, getting checked in, setting yourself up on the treadmill, running and then wiping down the treadmill and driving back home. It's a whole process that just adds on the amount of time you wasted not completing the month-long streak. Plus, no one wants to be judged by the people at the gym who got there before and left after you did.
Running outside is quick and easy compared to the gym, but it's been a mixed bag. I am really paranoid of slipping and killing myself in the trails. And that's before all the rocks and sticks and pebbles are covered in a sheet of ice, hidden underneath a few inches of snow. This is basically how I feel running out there:
So when my wife and I went back there for a little family jaunt with the dog, things got a little testy. I always run faster with her anyway, but the condition of the track was really concerning me and running that pace in that setting was already taking it out on me.
Her: [pulling ahead of me]
Me: [taking the babiest of baby steps while still technically running]
Her: Why don't you run next to me?
Me: [struggling, slipping] I can't hear you.
Me: I CAN'T HEAR YOU.
Her: Why did you say it like that?
Me: [knowing exactly how I said it]: Say it like what?
Her: You know exactly how you said it, snot.
Me: [digging in]: I just said it loudly because you were so far away.
Her: [disbelieving look]
Me: [What-of-it? look]
[Everyone gets divorced, dog lives rest of days as a woodland scavenger]
"Position," Hot Water Music
It's like, driving in really bad weather. Usually driving is annoying, but you can deal with it. You get places quicker than walking. But when it starts raining and you can't see well and you're worried about hydroplaning it becomes this super stressful event. Your hands grip the steering wheel tighter, you realize half an hour in that your brow has been furrowed the whole time and that it actually kind of hurts. You spazz out any time another car gets close and the constant fear of an accident is palpable.
"Father Christmas," The Kinks
That's how I feel running on off-road trails in bad weather except it's actually worse because I'm not sitting down, I am physically exerting myself. It is physically and emotionally stressful.
"Richard II," Titus Andronicus
So, a little housekeeping: I think I am going to part ways with the playlist concept and just make it more of a regular column-y feature thing with maybe some more interviews with capital-R Runners. But, you're out of your motherhumping mind if you think I'm not doing a final, Christmas-themed playlist next week.