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Updated 9.5.18

My Dirty Little Secret

Ok, admit it. When you saw the title, you were hoping for some porno. Fuhgeddaboutit. This is the NERC newsletter you shmo. Its about running! Remember? Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah. Well, I have a confession to make. Some of you may have already figured this one out, but were too polite to say so. Here it is. I hate running. Ok, its out there. Let's try that again. I HATE RUNNING. (Apologies for shouting, we'll use our indoor voice.) So why then, you may ask, do you run if you hate it? That's a reasonable question. An honest question. And it deserves an honest answer. Because I hate not running even more. Try chewing on that one for a while. Fact is, when my nonrunning friends ask me what I think about when I go out on a 15 or 20 miler, I tell them I think about finishing, about it being over, done, kaput.

So why, I ask myself, do I marathon? (That's "marathon" to be used as either a noun or a verb in the same way as "The child learned to toilet himself," or "I basemented the cat for the night." The other way around would be something like "the Big Reveal" for those of you who watch "The Swan" on TV.) See, I don't actually marathon because I like it. I do it for a variety of reasons. First, it gives me numerous opportunities for complaining. Most of you already know what a kvetch I am (translation: a person who complains no earlier that mile 10 on 20 milers, and at the start of every other race or run below 10 miles: a person who sends the corned beef sandwich back because there are insufficient seeds in the rye bread). Training for the marathon is especially useful in the winter when the weather is so bad that it almost legitimizes all your complaining efforts.

Another reason I marathon is because when the race is over, I have many chances to sit without feeling guilty. And I do that. Sitting. It's great because it's not running. Sitting without guilt. I never can understand folks like John Ayersman. Ever notice that he's always smiling? Well, we won't speculate about the many possible reasons for that. But he does marathon a lot. And smiles. He's my hero. I want what he's taking. Of course, sitting does take its toll and when I reach the point at which my rear will no longer fit into the chair, I know it's time to plan for another marathon.

So there it is. Hate me if you will (or don't already). I've tried to remain silent on this but those of you who know me realize how unlikely that was. For those of you who train with me on a regular basis, and to listen to me complain, I'm open to bribes if you really want me to stay home. And sit.

A History of RunningAnatomy of a CrosstrainerBuckeye Trails 50KGot Guilt
Misery loves CompanyMy Dirty Little SecretNerc ComplaintRunning for Dummies
Size MattersThe 12 step runnerThe NERC HelplineThe Rules of the Road
UnmentionablesYiddish in the Running

This article was originally written By Aimee Gilman for the newsletter of the NERC, Northeast Running Club. It may not be reproduced without the express, written consent of Aimee Gilman.
Copyright 2010.

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