Saturday, September 1, 2012

Red Gatorade Season

Normally I'm not a big fan of sports drinks.  While I think they're great for hardcore athletes... Tour de France cyclists, soccer players, professionals in the NBA or NFL, etc. I fear that they are mostly consumed by teenagers sitting on the couch and playing video games.  They have a ton of sugar, multiple servings per bottle, and for anyone completing an average workout on a given day, they may very well consume more calories drinking a Gatorade than they actually burn exercising.  There.  Rant over
That said, every year around August I get the itch.  I play around on and look at training plans.  I plot out my weekends, making sure I have a few hours open.  I (quite literally) dust of the treadmill, and I pick bottles of Red Gatorade off the shelf at the grocery store.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is marathon season.
Of course, some of us are happier about this than others.  For my mom, it means one more thing to worry about, as she is always convinced that I will have a heart attack/get kidnapped/break something/wear myself out/or have some sort of undefinable problem that she hasn't come up with yet.  For Clyde it means a few hours outside because he will either bark at or attempt to jump on the moving treadmill.  For Mike it means refilling my water bottle, putting up with the noise, and loving me even though I'm a sweaty, snotty mess by the time I'm finished.
I realize that marathon training is something that seems insane to a lot of people, especially when you're completing a lot of your long runs on a treadmill.  The questions inevitably come up from friends and family members... Don't  you get bored?  How do you do it?  Don't you get tired?  Mostly I just hear, "I don't know how you do it."
To that I say, it's like anything else.  If you want to do it, you'll do it.  People can get used to just about anything... 14-hour work days, waking up every two hours to a crying baby, a 2-hour commute, going gluten free, giving speeches in public...they just have to have the right motivation.
For me, that motivation is the feeling I get on Sunday night knowing that I accomplished something I can be proud of over the weekend.  It's the belief that my body is strong, and that even though I will never have a six-pack, a face free of wrinkles, freckles, and brown spots, or arms that look perfect in pictures, my body works.  It's that belief that I can spend the rest of my day watching reruns of The Hills and eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches (not that that's what I'm doing right now or anything) without feeling remotely guilty about it.  It's raising money for a charity that I care about.  Mostly, I guess it is just getting to do something that I enjoy, that is just for me... and if I end up getting to drink some Red Gatorade in the process, well that's just dandy.

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