I think, therefore I am.
I think about running, therefore I am a runner.
If you’ve thought about the word “running” beyond its primitive role of “running away from something,” you are, indeed, a runner. Your own objective for being a runner is insignificant, for you decidedly chose running over all the other -ings.
For the travel-on-foot type, what makes running more than just any other old verb?
It is not a comfortable endeavor, at least in the true sense of the word. Sure, one day’s mileage can feel more comfortable than another’s, but running is by no means a cozy evening by the fireplace, warm mug of herbal tea in hand. If it is not comfort we seek, then some other form of pleasure must be at stake. Is it the satisfaction of overcoming a competitor at the finish line? Is it the sinewy, toned reflection in the mirror, the stellar vital signs? Is it the “feeling of euphoria coupled with reduced anxiety and a lessened ability to feel pain,” more commonly known as runner’s high?
Regardless, the thread that weaves us all, whether one runs a 40-minute or a 20-minute 5k, is the complex understanding of comfort--the foresight to know that what is uncomfortable in one context is actually comfortable in another, the fortitude to persevere through discomfort in order to enhance one’s comfort thereafter.
No matter the duration of time between the start and finish line, every runner fights the same battles. Your relative success depends on your courage, resolve, and strength of character--in simple terms, your ability to grit it out. How do you improve your ability to grit it out? You practice being gritty. How do you become gritty? You tell yourself things.
On a recent weekday, I headed over to the track at 6:00am to complete a 8x600m speed-endurance workout. While packing for work the night before, I concocted a half dozen different ways to perceive the workout to make it seem easier in my mind. Put simply, I told myself things.
It’s just running fast for two minutes, then getting a break!
If I think about it as 2 sets of 4, or 4 sets of 2, it’s basically not even a workout!
It’s really just an easy run with some spurts of faster running!
I’ll finish before I would’ve normally woken up--not even a dent in my day!
I ate extra dessert last night--I have so much energy to spare!
In the grand scheme, I won’t even remember this workout!
Whimsical in nature, the things I told myself were somewhat therapeutic; they masked the things I could have told myself that would have brought worry instead of relief.
Upon my arrival, I threw my hair into a high bun, tightened my shoelaces, and promptly began my warm up jog. Within minutes, I knew it was going to be a “grit it out” kind of day.
There will always be times when discomfort is not as easily conquered, and that is when the things we tell ourselves are better left short and sweet.
Warm up done.
Water. Workout flats. Strides. High knees. A few quick stretches. Go.
Legs heavy. Run through it. Eyes on the finish. You’ll get a break. Zone out. Grit it out. Repeat.
Approaching the finish line of a hard workout or race is the definition of bliss; it is the moment you realize you have won the battle against discomfort. That very moment, that feeling, that sense of accomplishment--that is why you are a runner. But this version of success does not come easily. In order to get there, you have to grit it out. You have to tell yourself things. There is just no other way.
What will you tell yourself today?
Written by Amanda Marino
Men’s Age 60-69 in the 4x200 run 1:57.48
Noah Perlis 29:17
Rick Lapp 29:01
Michael Kish 27:26
Emmanuel Brody 32:03
“The order was Noah to Rick to Michael to Manny (not Tinkers to Evers to Chance of baseball fame).
Tony was there and the only one who took splits and we discussed in advance the difficulty that the break is after the 260 so the first 2 legs run all in lanes and when I gave the baton to Rick it is not in the normal zone where the middle is the finish line easy to spot and use for the split.
You can see that I have just about a perfect hand-off to Rick using an overhand pass.
The last one from Michael to Manny speaks for itself, where the baton just about came to a standstill as Michael runs into Manny. Rick practiced with Manny in advance, and without knowing how fast the incoming runner should be judged, this is what can happen, especially with Michael's speed and not a normal distance where most runners slow at the end.
If accurate in the hand-off from me to Rick and using the finish line for Rick when the baton passes to Michael, I think Tony said he had me in 28.8x, Rick in 29.1 approx, Michael in low 27 and Manny in 32+.
If the first 2 are correct or total is correct, we see that Michael's split is not his true speed because the baton came to a stop about 5 meters or so before the finish line where the split is taken, and with a moving start when he took the baton I would have supposed Michael would run very low 26.
What will also never show in the records is that Rick, like Tony in the same meet for his race that night, came the week before from a grueling schedule at nationals, the events and many trials and jumps speak for themselves, and they raced with tired legs. It is such a great thing to have Rick still be willing to come do this and took him 2.5 hours by train each way from Long Island just for this event!!!!!!
Michael also came that night to better his season times for ranking in the 200 later in the night and was willing to race this knowing it may affect his own time goals.
Manny came when asked to fill the 4th spot and did not hesitate to answer the call despite his main events being the 400 to road races and he is not a pure sprinter, even without his knee brace, or we would not have had a chance to set the record.
I look back and say maybe any of us could have, should have, may have done our leg in the 4 tenths needed etc etc, but we ran our hearts out, and am so very very very proud of just being part of the great group of guys to answer my request and make a real good shot at the record from Houston and Bill Collins.
I think from all the comments and postings on several Facebook Masters Track groups,and the Armory choice to place us on their cover, that the team and club have earned a very well deserved amount of respect coming this close, and you guys made it happen, thank you from this one leg who bothered you about it.
On to Penn. AND please all of us wear the team jerseys all the time? (David Friedman always brings extra with him to go with his spikes just in case....)
And just for fun 4 stayed and raced the 4 x 400 at the end!!!”
Written by Noah Perlis