slow like the wind

October 13, 2004

josh and i are planning on running a 5K at the end of october. it’s a very low-key race sponsored by the b-school. people are actually encouraged to wear halloween costumes! i haven’t thought about what i might like to be (any ideas? let me know!), but perhaps if i wear something cumbersome enough i can blame my pitiful time on my outfit rather than my own inherent slowness.

yeah, i really am that slow. i’ve always been a slow runner, all the way back to gym class in elementary school when we were lined up in order of fast –> slow for the fifty yard dash after the first time trial. as an aside, how horrible were gym teachers back then? seriously! i hope they don’t use their shame tactics of having kids ‘pick teams’ anymore. and having kids run in order of slowness is no different than seating the kids from smart –> dumb in the classroom. not a very nice thing to do to a slow kid’s self-esteem.

no wonder i resorted to cheerleading.

anyway, so i started out slow, and i still am. i started running in high school, when my parents bought a treadmill. i needed something to do during the cheerleading off-season (which was about 2 months long), i guess. but i didn’t really start running regularly until college, when i realized that not getting any exercise at all aside from walking to class was not a very healthy lifestyle, no matter how much salad i ate in the dining halls.

college was the only time i ever succeeded in consistently running outside. this was for several reasons:

1. in my rural college town, there were really nice places to run outside, with no stray dogs running around whatsoever

2. after being cooped up all winter long (seriously, there were months when other than scurrying crazily from class-to-class, i didn’t get any natural light at all), it was an amazingly exciting thing when the temperature went above 50. you just wanted to bask in it. this usually happened around may.

3. it was the normal thing to do. in fact, at my college, if you didn’t run or play a sport, you were sort of weird.

then i moved to durham. i’ve been running fairly consistently since i started medical school here more than two years ago. 98% of this has been of the sweaty-indoors-with-headphones-blasting variety. i average anywhere from 20 – 32 miles/week, and i aim to always go at least 5 times in any given week. there are gaping holes in my records (yes, of course i keep track) during surgery and medicine, but i’ve been pretty consistent as a whole.

but: i’m slow. this may be because i’m genetically programmed to be slow. or, it might be because i rarely (if ever) run outdoors anymore. i suppose it’s partly because there are too few nice areas to run and too many dogs and emails from the school warning of rapes and muggings in the nearby forests for me to want to venture out. mostly though, it’s because i really, really like running on treadmills.

i know it makes me weird and not a ‘real’ runner, but i don’t care. i like reading entire magazines while running 9-minute (or slower) miles (not many people can do this, you know!). i like playing cds that i forgot about in my cd collection and remembering the lyrics. i love the completely zoned-out feeling that i get when i’m running in place. people who run in the real world (ie, outside) always say they love running in natural settings so that they can appreciate the beautiful nature surrounding them. i guess i’m the opposite — i love being able to completely forget about my surroundings and to instead run away (sorry) with my thoughts and ideas.

if only i had that ipod . . .

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so i’ve been in a rather unproductive state as of late. things in lab have been lagging. i’ve decided that this has to change. if i’m in lab, and i’m getting bored, i’m going to try to think of more experiments to do to pass the time. or, i’m going to leave! i only have 2.5 weeks left of my rotation, so i might as well try to get out of it what i can, whether it be data or more sleep.

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