Friday, January 23, 2015

The man I most envy

Today's run (street): 4 miles

Envy is one of the "Seven Deadly Sins" and it relates to many aspects of running. Unless you are an elite runner, there's always someone faster than you. For the most part, I don't begrudge the running achievements of others. In fact, when I see my fellow Runsketeers PR and podium, I'm sincerely thrilled. A lot of that has to do with the work they do to get there. It's far more than I'm willing to do.

When it comes to running, the person I envy most is me. Huh? Let me explain. I don't envy myself while I run. That would be more like self pity. For instance, this morning's run was really cold and I was very uncomfortable. I tried to get some speed going, but my lower layers were restricting my full range of motion. My eyes were watering from the wind hitting me in the face.

It was then that I started to envy myself. Not the me of the moment, but the future me. The me who, thirty minutes later, would be sitting in my warm dining room with a hot cup of coffee and a Kind bar. Oh how I envied that lucky bastard as I ran along the uneven and unyielding sidewalk so that I could avoid all the cars, recycling trucks and school buses.

Just to be clear, I don't always envy my future self. Running can be hard, but it can also be a great experience that's looked back on fondly by future me. While envy is a sin, it can provide great motivation. How many of us have stepped up our pace during a miserable run just to get through it faster? Technically, that's impatience, which I don't think is a sin. But that impatience does lead to the fifth Deadly Sin, "Feet that are swift to run into mischief."


  1. Nice picture. That must have been during your Doug Henning phase. I thought this was going to be a magical post.

    I totally can relate to envying oneself and others. I do that mostly during races. I wish I could be me on the other side of that finish line. Sometimes while running around town I'm envious of the people in their cars or on their bicycles or eating.

    1. But in it's own way it was magical, right? I do the same thing in races, wishing I could trade places with the spectators while I'm pushing my HR Max to 95% and counting down the miles left to go.

      Interestingly enough, I do envy the people I see every morning running along the path parallel to the Cross Island Pkwy. In that case I'd much rather be running than driving to work.

  2. I truly enjoy a vast majority of my training runs, and I'm always glad that I ran when it's done. The only time I question myself is during races. I haven't run many races, but I have yet to run one without reaching a point of saying that I'm never going to do this again. But when it's finally over, I'm glad that I did it.

    1. One of my favorite quotes is, "I really regret that run - said no one ever."

      Running is a funny thing. We voluntarily accept that we'll experience discomfort and yet we keep coming back for more. I've been in a race that was so horrible that I swore I'd never run it again. And then I did.


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