Running sucks. There. I said it.
One foot in front of the other, over and over and over again, the endless trudgery of running kilometre after kilometre hypnotises otherwise intelligent people into thinking it’s somehow good for them. But it isn’t. It’s just not. It can’t be.
Running ruins your knees, stresses your back and makes you gaunt & desperate for semi-digested fistfuls of proteinate goo. But it’s not the Walking Dead cosplay that worries me the most. It’s the ice baths. Any activity that inspires a person to immerse their tired, battered lower body into a tub of ice water has to be the work of Satan himself. Come on, people — this is torture we’re talking about.
I hate running. Hate it. Like, with all my soul. Related: anyone got some whitening strips? Yeesh.
I started running last summer — irregularly, I’ll admit — as part of my training for our world record-setting Table Hockey Extravaganza. I worked out with the fine folks at Fitness Science Corporation, who offered to make us fit and trim for the attempt. I was fine with the squats, the situps, and the Russian twists. Hell, I even agreed to a regimen of freakin’ burpess. But somehow, evil genius Dr Rob Tarzwell convinced me to run recreationally.
It started innocently enough: “Hey, wanna run 4k after you finish those push-ups?” How could I say no? Look at this face, I dare you.
Rob Tarzwell celebrates his new addiction to setting world records in obscure Canadian pastimes. Part of his genius is that doesn’t look evil. Photo by Clint Trahan for Pucked in the Head.
Six months later, and I’m training for my first half marathon. My iPhone app (RunKeeper) tells me what to do, and these days I’m putting in well over 20km a week and soaking my stanky tootsies in a demonic arctic tea while reading up on VO2 max and heel strikes. DAMN YOU, TARZWELL!
Just like running, Dr Rob’s evil genius has no discernible beginning or end. It’s eternal, and no matter how hard you fight it, it will beat you into submission and assimilate your ass into the bizarro world of DAMN YOU, TARZWELL!
I originally thought running might be a cheaper way to exercise than the old trap of unused gym memberships and seasonal beer league registration charges. Need I say it? DAMN YOU, TARZWELL! Money flies out the window, dammit, on neon Coolmax, GU Roctane gel and a rotation of two to three pairs of Mizuno sneakers at any given time, not to mention race fees that include ‘free’ tech shirts but then plop oxygen deprived finishers in the midst of tents and tables full of retailers hawking yet more gear.
Okay, okay. I’m getting fitter and faster. Yeah, I think more clearly and to make sure I’m ready for the next run, I tend to watch what I eat more carefully. But that doesn’t mean I enjoy the rhythm, the fresh air or the fact that compression calf sleeves — no word of a lie — make me feel ten years younger. It certainly doesn’t mean that I’m thankful for that push out the door that bastard gave me last year; in pure Tarzwellian fashion, he doesn’t even run more than twice a week his bad self.
Look, I’ve got to go. RunKeeper just told me I have 6.4km to do tonight. Damn you, Tarzwell.