Second part in a series, here ya are:
Food: Food holds quite a hallowed place in our hearts. It’s the brunch we dream about during the last 3 miles of our Sunday long run, the junk food fest we carefully plan out for after our last competition of the season, the specific carb loaded dinner we insist on ingesting before every competition or tough workout. For runners, food has a special importance, because what you eat translates into how you run. What you put into your body as fuel will dictate the quality of performance you reap from that fuel. In a way, the food you eat the night before is the run you complete the next morning; it’s just a simple shift from stored chemical energy to actual mechanical and thermal energy. So yeah, we probably obsess a little more than necessary when it comes to food, but I think for a lot of runners who are already very dedicated to improvement, it’s only natural they would seek to further that improvement in whatever way they can. We certainly still eat a fair share of sweets and other junkie items, but I’ve never seen a more nutrition-conscious group of young adults than the teammates I sit with during meals.
Non-athletic regular person attitudes: we certainly joke about how jealous we are of NARPs at times, especially when we see them licking ice cream cones and downing french fries with utter abandon, but the honest truth is 95% of the time most athletes really love being athletes. That’s why they are athletes, cause they love it. And yeah, I’d say that most athletes take pride in their sports as well.
I get this question a lot: “So how much did you run today?” I can’t lie I usually relish answering it because I have a weak human vanity, and for the most part people are impressed by whatever I say. On my easy days I usually do about eight miles, and so it’s always fun to see the faces of my inquirers as their eyes widen and they reply with something like, “How is eight miles easy?” I appreciate the awed faces, but really you should all know when I say an easy eight, it really is an easy eight. When you run 60+ miles a week, you will eventually reach the point where the longer distances don’t feel so long, the quicker paces don’t feel so fast. For someone who hasn’t trained, going out and running eight miles may be extremely difficult, but I promise if they kept doing it everyday for months on end at some point they too would be able to call it an easy eight. That’s why runners have to always be pushing further, getting ready to go one more step out on the crazy scale; the things that once were difficult are now easy, and thus you have to start going after more difficult tasks, the ones you used to think were impossible. So please don’t imagine that I’m forcing my body through some trial by fire every morning.
Various updates on my own specific team:
The University of Tulsa recently won both the mens’ and womens’ titles in our new American Athletic Conference! It was truly a great day Friday to be able to sweep the conference championships, and I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to run for the team at conference. The boys dominated, coming in 1,2, and 3, and the girls were equally impressive with an underdog victory against favored SMU and placing 7 in the top 14. We all got little trophies and people took our picture and later that night we got to all sing a very off-key rendition of “We Are the Champions” together. What more can you ask for in a Friday?
This may be random, but hey it’s my blog and I can write and post what I want, so here you go, a small section I’m going to entitle, “Random Pictures of My Good Friend and Teammate Simon Greiner being Simon Greiner.” This section is here almost exclusively so I can have an excuse to post the grape photo.
Lastly, I want to end with photos that go all the way back to September, and speak of the love that exists between teammates.