On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Emo Tracy

My brother called me yesterday and said that he and his friends were very worried about me because of how many depressing things I've said on twitter lately. At his request, I even gave myself a new hashtag, #emotracy:

Um, yeah.

I'm actually a-okay. Most of the depressio act is in jest. The heat gets me down, sure, but overall I'm fine. Okay, not totally fine. I'm cranky as hell. And running is NOT making me less cranky.

Something I hear people say all the time goes something like this: "I'm so glad I went out and ran! You only regret the runs you don't take!" Right. Because running is always better than not running. But is that true?

I love running, and I love running for the sake of running. I'm one of those weirdos who would keep running even if it didn't burn calories. Still, I've had a bad stretch of two weeks:
  • Last week, I went to put my running clothes on one afternoon and got such an intense, chilling sense of foreboding that I promptly sat down on the couch with some ice cream instead. I'm not superstitious, and I wasn't trying to get out of my run. But this wasn't like anything I've experienced before.
  • Then, this past Saturday, I had a run that was so bad that I honest to god ended up sitting on a park bench, crying. More on that later.
  • And then, yesterday morning when I was all set to get up and run, I rolled over to turn my alarm off and immediately felt the crazy vertigo that sidelined me a few months ago. I walked around all day, tenderly, with my head pointed only in one direction.
Bad runs exist. And it's possible that not running is better than running sometimes.

I'm trying not to beat myself up too badly, but #emotracy likes to take over and she's an angry one. She beats herself up, she doesn't accept excuses (even when legitimate), and she likes wallowing.

She also needs to go, NOW. Pollyana Tracy has a marathon or two to train for.


  1. Are you gonna make a hashmark tag for Pollyanna Tracy, too? 'Cause those tweets could potentially be pretty entertaining.

  2. Once Pollyanna Tracy comes back, she will definitely have her own hashtag. It might be fall, though - don't hold your breath :)

  3. Eh, everyone goes through good days and bad days (and a string of them) at times. And I go to a string of days with vertigo, so I know EXACTLY how much that fucking sucks. It was so bad back in December that everyone at my job thought I was pregnant.

    And maybe you need a trip to Asia to cheer yourself up. (Yes, I'm still talking about you visiting! You gotta add up those countries!)

  4. I was wondering about the #emotracy thing...

    Don't kick yourself about the bad runs. Those runs happen. The whole 'a run is better than no run' thing - bullshit. Some days your body screams 'no'. And the only thing you can do about it is listen to that voice and feel sorry for yourself while eating the entire jar of Frozen Yoghurt.

    If Pollyana Tracy wants to go out for cocktails in November, I'd be happy to take her. ;) And yes, Emotracy is also invited. I can handle it. I think...

  5. I'm in a funk, too. I had a good run last weekend, but I really think it was vacation- and weather-related (as in, I didn't have to go to work that day and it was under 90 degrees - what's not to love?). Since I got back to New York I've been grouchy and do NOT feel like running. Here's to hoping it will pass!

    ps - have you been out with the folks from the New York Running Company? I was half-committed to going this weekend and then remembered that I signed up for the NYRR supported long run on Saturday. Maybe I'll do both if I'm less miserable.

  6. If you want to run one of these weekends let me know. I haven't met Emo Tracy or Pollyana Tracy...I don't think I can transfer Yonkers to the half as I signed up the same way you did, I paid the $25 fee.

  7. @Carla - I will be there before you leave. Just not sure yet when... I haven't forgotten :)

    @SGR - yes, please :) Polyanna Tracy will go for drinks.

    @Aron - sure, let's set something up! do you have any runs/races you're coming in to the city for anyway? want to try the Palisades again?

  8. I like your emotracy hashtag.

    I go through such running slumps that I totally get what you are saying. Lately, I cannot get out of bed to run. I am just too tired. I miss the days I LOVE LOVE LOVED it. They'll be back for both of us! :)