Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Phoning It In: Audubon Park Edition

On Saturday, I ran the Overton Park 5 Mile Classic, as I do every year.  Unlike every year, I ran ten miles before the race; I’m training for the Chicago Marathon and my long runs are up to 15 miles already.

My heart has not been in my training this year.  I’m getting through it – and I don’t hate it – but eh. Whatever.

My schedule only called for four miles yesterday, which…eh, whatever.  I made it three and then walked the last one.  I did all four at Audubon Park, which is where I used to run all the time before I started running with Breakaway.  The park has a paved, one-mile loop weaving through it that I would circle until I practically got dizzy.  But before yesterday, I hadn’t been back there in ages.

A more dedicated runner than I.
On my second lap/mile, I caught up to a man who had been running when I started.  He was going about my pace and purely because I could, I sped up and passed him.  To my annoyance, I could hear him right behind me for about a mile, but I finally lost him as I picked up the pace yet again to finish my third lap.

He passed me, still chugging along, on the mile that I walked.

“Good running!” he told me.

“Yeah, you too,” I said halfheartedly.  To be honest, it made me feel sad and dejected to be caught shuffling through my final lap.  I ran fifteen fucking miles on Saturday and two days later, less than a fourth of that seemed like too much to deal with.

He caught up to me again as I wound my way back over toward the parking lot.

“You’re still running!” I said.  He was smiling so hard it was infectious.

“I was only supposed to run ten!” he said, stopping to jog in place while he talked to me.  “And I wanted to tell you that I didn’t stop because of you!”

“Ten!  Are you training for something?”

“The Detroit Marathon!  I run it every year!  And I was supposed to do ten, but I saw you and I thought, ‘I’m going to do three extra!’  This is my last lap and it’s because of you!  I saw you and I knew I could keep going!”

Me and my pathetic, uninspired three (four) miles, that I didn’t want to do and didn’t particularly enjoy while doing them, turned out to be the catalyst to extend someone else’s amazingly good run.

BAM!  Proof from on high that there really is merit in doing things half-assed.

Be lackluster; inspire strangers.  Truth.  Peace.  Out.



  1. I've had a rough half-year both in terms of work and personal life. Even though half-assing it seemed to feel OK for a while, I simply couldn't keep up with it.

    I've known that I have perfectionist tendencies for ages, but it wasn't until a recent chat with a friend that I realized that a large source of my unhappiness was coming from pressure both (needlessly) self-inflicted and that which I (incorrectly) assumed was coming from others.

    My goal is now to try my best at various endeavours, and be happy with the outcome.


    1. I am so with you on this, and I really appreciate you sharing your philosophy.

      Last night, I went back and read through all the entries on this blog from 2013 and I was shocked at how transparent it was that I've been unhappy this year. "Shocked," because I had thought I was doing a good job of either keeping myself in check or (at the very least) hiding the fact that I've been flailing...

      I wish you luck. :) (And if you find success, please let me know! Maybe it'll rub off on me...)

  2. A friend posted this on FB. I thought you might find it interesting.

    1. Very interesting! Some of it really hit home, some of it did not (or was overly simplified) but I resonated perhaps most strongly with the social networking part and how our constant need to broadcast our lives has given so many of us an unrealistic view of what life "should" be like.

      The advice at the end was beautiful and exactly the conclusion I've come to in my own life (even if sometimes I have a hard time sticking to all three). Thanks for sharing. :)