running...WTFI’ve always been a run when I’m chased sort of person. But I wasn’t chased so much so I decided to run with my one other fat friend. We have started week four, and we are alive. That is about all I can say. I need you to tell me some things. Those of you who run.

Runners high. Is it just the feeling that you get when you stop running? Is there really some sort of endorphin thing? Does the motion that I make have to be easily identifiable as a run to any onlooker for me to get this purported high?

Shin splints. I feel like I am wearing metal braces. And like they are bolted directly to my leg bone that isn’t a femur. They make me scream out “fuck fuck fuck” and not in a good way. Do I need to do something different? Other than stop running which seems like the obvious solution to each and every one of these problems, and in time I’m sure I will, but I have at least 2 months left of running before the Santa 5k. Every Jewish couch potato’s dream.

Breathing. Can the rest of you do this? Even when you are running? Can you, like, talk, breathe and run? At the same time?

Hunger. I am always hungry. Always. I am hungry before eating, while eating, and after eating. Before I started running I would often make healthy food choices. Now I am eating fried chicken and donuts. I used up my willpower making myself run. There is none left for food planning. Oliver is reading over my shoulder (including the fuck fuck fuck part) and asks me. Do you think the running is helping you more than it is hurting you? And that really is the question. If only I could check my heart…and I mean that literally, not like, what does my truest self want, but like, are my arteries more or less clogged. Running > donuts?

Which them makes me wonder about calorie consumption while running. It seems too low. I mean, running up a hill (which I do) is actually the hardest amount of work I can do. At least the messages from my body are that this is the worst worst worst idea ever. So how can I do that and burn, like 120 calories or 1/3 of the donut?

Are you just the shit? Do you feel better than the rest of us? Do you sometimes say to yourself…well, it doesn’t matter if I am cut that person off on the highway, I’m a runner.

Does running make you not want to kill your pissing cat? Because that seems to be the one other positive statement I can make. Before the run he was yowling at me, telling me that something wasn’t exactly right, perhaps in fact telling me that I had shut my bedroom door so he couldn’t soil my bedding, and I screamed at him at the top of my lungs. Now, post run, I watch him curl up between my pillows with a sort of neutral noticing. I attribute that to the run. Or the new meds. Or the sex. But I’ll give this one to the run if you want.

Onlookers. When you see a fat person running do you feel judgemental or rah rah you go? I always feel proud of them, like they are representing my clan well. But the people we pass seem a bit put off by us. One old man in particular stood in his open garage and half cackled half choked. Look! Look! They are running/ Look at them run. He may have been talking to his dead wife, but she wasn’t visible to us, so it sort of seemed like the 90 year old was mocking us. Which was fair, because neither of us expect to be alive at 90 if we don’t make some big changes. I would have clarified, but that would have meant either stopping or speaking, and neither of those things are possible.

Which I guess gets me to the bottom line point.

Does running ever not feel like dying? Is there a level of fitness that you can achieve…actually this isn’t about you. Is there a level of fitness that I can achieve that will make running feel less like dying. Or is that just how running feels?

OK. Pile it on. I’ll be panting on the couch waiting for your answers.

 

 

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.