ALL OF MY EMOTIONS DURING A HALF MARATHON

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: running sucks. I do not enjoy running. I do not look forward to going on a run. I do not wake up excited for a workout involving a run. I do not like the monotony of it. I do not need the knee and shin pain that comes from a run. I do not want a constant reminder that my endurance levels are maybe not in an adequate range. Yet, I do it anyways. Because I know that it’s a great workout and because I’ve been doing it since high school, which was long enough ago for me to technically be a 10,000 hour expert at it. But it’s not a desire of mine to quickly move my legs, struggle to breathe, and give everyone I pass a mental image of me trying not to die.

It’s no secret that there have been times in my life where my decisions have been questionable. A bit of a head scratcher, if you will. Normally it’s other people who are confused by what I do. Recently, however, I shocked myself, which doesn’t happen as often as you would think. Despite some of my previous posts. In a weird twist, I agreed to run, not one, but two half marathons with some people that I care very much about. TWO?! What is wrong with me? That alone is cause for concern given how long a half marathon is, and my current struggle to complete a run that’s a mere third of that distance.

Here’s the kicker, this is not my first half marathon. No, sadly I agreed to run one a few years ago and I hated it. When I say I hated it, I was on the verge of tears near the end of it. Not because I’m an overly emotional person, but because it was a traumatizing experience. Now here we are, in the year of the vaccine and a hope for normalcy, and one of my first big decisions is to suffer through 13.1 miles of pain. Again. Twice. Why? We don’t know. Do I have regrets? More than you know, but I’m no flake so here we are. Can you get PTSD from a bad run? I certainly think so! I’m no medical expert, but let’s go through all of my emotions from half marathon numero uno to make my case:

Anxiety

13.1 miles is a long way in a car. On foot, you might as well be running to the moon. I was nervous about my ability to complete the race.

Excitement

Ok, yes, I was a tad bit excited about earning my 13.1 sticker so all the fake ones I’d bought could be validated.

Regret

Nothing makes you question your decisions like standing at the starting line knowing you have to run 13.1 miles in the woods on a 4 mile loop. Might as well get back in the car now.

Resentment

I’m not ashamed to admit that I felt some resentment for the person who convinced me to run the race at about the 5K mark.

Sadness

Also at the 5K mark, I felt a giant wave of sadness knowing that I had 10 miles to go. Which is still a long way in a motorized vehicle. On foot, might as well be walking through the whole Sahara.

Confusion

Somewhere on the second loop, I forgot how far I’d gone and thought I was almost done. Only to be told that I had 4 more miles. And I wasn’t 100% sure what my name was at that point.

Fear

You ever go for a run in the woods and wonder if there’s a serial killer just lurking about waiting to kidnap you? Thank you CRIMINAL MINDS for that! But also, I lost most of the other runners on loop 2 so it was just me and my confused thoughts hoping to make it out alive.

Regret, Again

Let’s be honest, this was the underlying feeling for the whole race. Specifically, though, near the 10 mile mark I hated myself. I hated running. I hated the race organizers. I hated the people who were so happily cheering like I wasn’t trying to simply survive. I was in a mood.

Anger

You know that feeling when you are trying to just finish something and when you do, after a giant struggle, you find that other people finished it easily, in a third of the time, with seemingly little effort? What a fun time.

Relief

I did feel a lot of relief when I finished. Mostly since I promised myself that I would never, ever, ever run a half marathon again. A promise that I broke. Now I’m internally conflicted. Who even am I anymore? We don’t know.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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ACCEPTABLE WORKOUT EXCUSES

Have you ever wanted to hate yourself and love yourself at the same time? Do a workout. The warm up sucks, the actual workout is challenging, and the cooldown is a demonic way to delay the finish … but the after effects are addictive. Addictive enough to give you temporary amnesia to forget how much fun you didn’t have during the hard part of exercise. Which, of course, is the exercise itself. What a fun life this is! Get in shape to live longer. Punish yourself to get / stay in shape. Is it enjoyable enough to make the extra years worth it? That feels like a personal decision. 

So why do people workout? I don’t feel qualified to answer that question for all of humanity so let’s pull the scale way down. Why do I workout? Ugh, because food mainly. And also because my doctor keeps not-so-subtly hinting about how great it is for my overall health blah, blah, blah. If we’re being honest with ourselves, though, not everyday is going to be a workout day. Not for recovery purposes. Nope. More from a ‘why cry when I could eat Goldfish, the snack that smiles back, and watch TV’ standpoint. Besides, have you ever wanted to hate yourself and love yourself at the same time? Sit on the couch all day eating snacks.

Regardless of your thoughts on working out, we have all made excuses at some point. Some more “valid” than others, but that’s all dependent on your viewpoint. For example, a valid excuse to skip a workout for Serena Williams is probably not the same as whatever random event you’re using as a way to lay in bed longer. But this is not a post for professional athletes. If you’re getting paid to workout, you and I are not the same and, thus, we do not have the same expectations on consistency.

If you’re gifted in the art of spinning things (AKA the art of BS), you can probably work anything into a legit excuse. If not, well, you may be getting judged by the workout buddy you keep standing up. Being flaky is only a good quality on biscuits, crescent rolls, croissants, and pie crusts. It’s a terrible trait in humans.  Ok, I’m done with my tangent – let’s look at ten of the ways you can get out of a workout in a somewhat valid manner:

I’m Hungry

  • What You Say: ‘I’m low on energy and won’t be able to push myself in the way I was hoping’
  • What You Mean: Food is more valuable to me than your company and picking up heavy things just to put them back down 

It’s Cold / Raining

  • What You Say: ‘I’m getting over a bug and don’t want to push it with the current conditions’
  • What You Mean: I’m lowkey bougie and cannot be getting cold / wet for no good reason. If the weather isn’t precisely between 62 – 75 with low humidity, sunny skies, and a light breeze I’m out

Injury PTSD

  • What You Say: ‘My shoulder has been acting up lately – I want to have a doctor take a look before jumping back into our routine and getting hurt again’
  • What You Mean: Life is too short to be forced to lay on the couch recovering from a sprained ankle. It should be a choice

Working Late

  • What You Say: ‘Today has been insane and I don’t think I’ll be able to log off for another hour or so’
  • What You Mean: Dinner is my priority and, while there’s enough time for both, I’m choosing food over you

Out of Town

  • What You Say: ‘Ah, dang, I’m out of town – sad to be missing it, though’
  • What You Mean: I’m conveniently unavailable due to circumstances

Dead Phone

  • What You Say: ‘Sorry, I left my charger at home and my phone died so I’m just now seeing this’
  • What You Mean: I saw your text and chose to ignore it until it was too late to respond

No Clean Clothes

  • What You Say: ‘I can’t today, unfortunately – left my clothes at home’
  • What You Mean: I actively don’t keep enough workout clothing options for times like this when jeans simply won’t do

My Dog / Kids / Roommates

  • What You Say: ‘My dog / kid / roommate is having an emergency that I need to deal with immediately’
  • What You Mean: I’m important, I have priorities, I’m responsible for someone else’s happiness and also my own, which is why it’s a no from me

Misinformed

  • What You Say: ‘I figured you meant 6PM, not 6AM – my fault for not clarifying’
  • What You Mean: When you said work out, I heard work’s out and added early so go home to celebrate with alcohol and food

Just Don’t Want To

  • What You Say: ‘I don’t think today is going to work for me, unfortunately’
  • What You Mean: No. Just no

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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WHY I PRACTICE YOGA

In case you’ve never opened an Internet browser ever, yoga has kind of taken over the world. It’s a huge buzzword in the fitness community, but its benefits impact all aspects of your life. With literally zero effort and preparation you can knock out a quick yoga sesh anytime, anywhere, with anyone, wearing anything. There are no rules to it, which is probably part of the appeal. I guess the only rule is to focus on your breathing and the mind, body, soul connection. But who would really know if you opted to daydream about all the vacations you’re going to crank out once our American travel ban is lifted by the rest of the world.

Like with most good things, there are critics who have “concerns” about the actual energy expenditure to physical toning equation and are “skeptical” of the health benefits. And thus you get a couple of different mindsets on the matter. The yogis, who are not only invested in practicing the yoga techniques, but are passionate about teaching others and spreading the word. The post-workout yoga stretchers, who see the benefits and like to supplement other, more intense workouts, with a good re-centering exercise to finish off. The yoga is the exercise devil group, who are very vocal about their dislike for everything yoga related and find joy in tearing yogis away from their one true love.

Feels a bit extreme, doesn’t it? I fall in the middle group, but would like to ride the yoga mat levels up to yogi. Everytime I practice yoga, I feel my stress disappear, my anxiety relieves itself for the time being, my energy levels spike, and overall my quality of life improves. It’s also a great way to protect myself against future injury. Not to humble brag or anything, but I’m kind of a yoga stud. I’m an absolute pro at yoga. Not everyone has mastered it in the way that I have. No mat needed. No awkward animal positions that are supposedly relaxing, but really just point out all the ways you aren’t remotely flexible. No overpriced leggings – any outfit will do. Did I lose you? Yo, ga to the next paragraph and catch my drift.

It’s a simple principle, really. Find someone near you and send them where you were supposed to go. Like so:

  • Yo, ga to the store and get me some cookies
  • Yo, ga get me a second round – G&T, keep it classy
  • Yo, ga to the DMV and renew my license
  • Yo, ga to my meeting and take good notes – I have a presentation tomorrow
  • Yo, ga to my significant other’s house and take them a thinking of you present
  • Yo, ga to my fridge and make me a sandwich – throw some veggies on the side for health
  • Yo, ga outside and wash my car
  • Yo, ga to the gym for me – bring me back a you’ve earned it milkshake on your way home

See? Simple. Efficient. Realistic. Zero stress. Minimal anxiety. More energy. No injuries. Hard to get injured when you don’t put yourself in situations, after all. I wish all the nonsense articles online would stop promoting actual stretching, or exercise. Fake news. It’s a mindset. It’s an action. It’s a delegation. It’s living your best life. Success outcomes do tend to vary, though. Usually between ‘lol, you got jokes’ and ‘you thought’. I’m holding out hope that continued effort will eventually break through. TBD. Until then, keep bird dogging like no one is watching.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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WHY DO I WORK OUT? TO EAT MORE…OBVIOUSLY

Working out is an experience, not really sure how else to put that. It can be super intimidating because of the old-schoolers who still believe in the NO PAIN, NO GAIN mentality despite all of the research out there proving otherwise. Those people need to go somewhere else, preferably not at my gym. Maybe try some backyard “challenge” course your buddy built himself? Or, I don’t know, Crossfit? Better yet, create your own little niche franchise because we definitely are NOT oversaturated there yet.

If you’ve ever been to the gym, you’ve most likely realized the great divide that exists. Gymism, as I like to refer to it. There’s the weights area and then there’s the cardio section. And would you believe that those areas house very, very, very different kinds of exercisers?! Well, even if you don’t believe me it’s the truth so jump on board sailor. I can’t forget about the game courts where all the kids get stored while their parents suffer upstairs, but that’s more of a happy accident than an actual, conscious exclusion.

I’m all for staying in your lane in certain areas (ONLINE DATING, though, am I right?!), but at the gym I like to switch it up. Balance is key in any routine – diet and exercise, strength and cardio. Listen, if you missed the title of this post, I hate to spoil it in the middle but it is most certainly NOT about balancing your diet. However, it’s hard to do that when a wall of literal human Hulks are blocking the free weights. On the flip side, it’s hard for these unnecessarily ripped humans to fit within the treadmill arms and do anything less than an hour-long intensive sprint workout sans judgement.

So what do you do? Pick a side forever and either be jacked or toned? Be destined to run endless miles or do endless curls? No! I would have thought as my reader base you’d be slightly more creative than this! Forget the gym and all their judgement (and their monthly payments). Buy a good pair of running shoes, get a handful of weights and use the most powerful tool anyone on Earth has – the Internet.

Anywho, we’ve gotten over the workout portion of this post. Step 1 (in case it was unclear): workout. Step 2: eat like a wrestler who just came off a weigh-in and has 24 hours to gain all the lost weight back. Can we take a quick detour? Wrestlers…just why? What is appealing? You have to run in FULL SWEATS and frequently fast to drop a bunch of weight quickly just so you can stuff your face to gain it back. Then, because that might sound pleasant to some, you put on what can only best be described as the male bikini, and have very intimate contact with another person in public. While getting aggressively punched, put in uncomfortable positions, etc. Who invented this sport? No, more importantly, how is it still popular?! Personally, I don’t see the appeal in any of the above but maybe I’m the odd one here.

Alright, so the best part of working out is obviously getting to eat afterwards. And what do you get to eat? Whatever the hell you want! You freaking earned that! Did you do strength? Earned it! Did you go for a run (distance irrelevant)? Definitely earned it! Did you walk up the stairs today (number of stairs irrelevant)? You, my friend, earned it! Did you put all of the grocery bags on one arm to just take one trip in? Yes, that also counts! Earning it is easy, why don’t more people participate in this?!

My point here is that I may have an unhealthy obsession with food. Hmmm that’s interesting and also not something I want to press into with my anonymous Internet fam so…my (new) main point is this: TREAT YOURSELF! If I did a workout, then denied myself the third slice of cake, what was even the purpose of working out?! Pretty sure I heard that calories after a workout don’t count. Could have come from my own head, but either way that sounds pretty freaking great to me. Dieticians everywhere are melting at this, I’m sure. The actual health nuts may be having mini-crises but I do not care. Living my best life…after my workout clearly because the build up is honestly something I would prefer to do without.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who also believes that food is the sole motivation for physical activity then please share this with them! Maybe we can start some sort of support group for surviving the workout portion of the equation. Thanks for reading!


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