Don’t Be A (Negative) Nancy – Stevie Meek

Running isn’t always endorphin highs and smashing pasta dishes like you’ve just ran the Boston Marathon. Sometimes running is tedious and inconvenient; it makes you whiny and you wonder what the heck you’re even doing with your life.

Today is one of the latter. I hate running, hate it. Tomorrow I’ll like it again, but for today I hate it. This is a dedication to the whiny runner we all have inside of us.

We’ve all been there, sitting on the couch half dressed to go out and run when our brains start screaming “oh yeah, you’re cute…what are you doing? The totally awesome show- that will have 100 re-runs in the next week- is about to come on.” “You can’t seriously be considering going out for a run right now. It’s like 50 degrees and it’s windy.”

She gives you “the face” and begins her attack.

You set out on the trail to victory, you’re going to run and Nancy can get over it. A few minutes in you think you’ve won-Negative Nancy has shut her pie hole. But, she is 10 steps ahead of you. Apparently she has worked a deal with every one of your joints and organs. Your knees start aching, your stomach is hosting a rave, and suddenly you become very aware of the fact that your colon is considering an emergency evacuation; all of this and you’re a mile into your run.

“Man up” you tell yourself and that becomes your mantra. You crank up the volume on the music blasting in your ears in hopes to distract Ms. Nancy and for a brief moment you have caught her off guard. She begins to jump around like a toddler in a bounce house.

Mile 2:

You’ve become quite arrogant. Your breathing is normal, your pace is on track, guys are yelling at you as they pass; yes, you are the next Usain Bolt – nothing can stop you. Nancy gets word from the adrenaline and dopamine shooting through your body that you are ACTUALLY enjoying this run after all. Suddenly, your double-loop-de-loop-half hitch-reef knot has managed to come undone. Run through it, you say. Ignore it, you chant. You mustn’t stop!! Your pace is .16 seconds faster than any other run in the last .07 miles of your last 9 million runs, AND IF YOU STOP NOW THE WORLD IS GOING TO END AND YOU’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO RUN AGAIN!!

You’re bent over retying your shoe, feeling defeated. You double and triple check both laces. Nancy has struck again.

Mile 5:

It has taken you nearly 2 miles to overcome Nancy’s latest plan to sabotage your training run. Does she not understand you have a strict regimen to stick to?! Doesn’t she know you’re paying $15.00 a month to have RunnersWorld SmartCoach© make all of your training decisions for you; regardless of the fact that they have never even met you, don’t know a single thing about your physical limits or capabilities and somehow they create ‘plans’ and ‘goals’ based on false data/ times you’ve input, that Jesus himself wouldn’t be able to accomplish?! *takes deep breathe*  Of course she does.

At this point you’ve given up. You could care less about your time or your pace; you just want to make it home without walking. But, there’s a fire, an ember left inside of you that is burning and refuses to be put out. The fight to cross the finish line and to say that you made it! You completed a run and beat the elements!! You defeated Nancy!!

OH, who am I kidding?! That would be too cliché; besides we all know that on the ‘whiny-I-don’t-want-to-do-anything’ days, not even a forest fire can make you get your butt in gear. (Unless of course your house was in the line of the forest fire and you needed to run for your life. That of course is a totally different circumstance and now I have digressed and gotten sidetracked. *my Nancy has ADD, as you may have noticed).

My goals for the Disney Half in February look something like this:

  • No walking! I won’t let Nancy talk me out of doing anything less than running/jogging the WHOLE time. I plan to run through side stitches, snot rockets (beware to those running near me) awful songs that bomb my running playlist, shoes coming untied, and all the other things Nancy put in her carry on to Florida.
  • Stay Positive! No matter what my finishing time is, I will remain positive and remember why I am here, who I am running for, and focus on the beer, corn dogs, hot shirtless dudes, and the fact that I am at Disney World.
  • Stick to my training plan! Which means I actually need to get off my butt, put some duct tape (the cheetah print kind, of course) on Nancy’s mouth, and run. It seems that the first few weeks of any new fitnessy thing I partake in, are pure ecstasy. I’m always so excited to be doing something new and my body always responds well to new activities. Then the dreaded plateau hits and I get bored. This time however, I am sticking to my guns- in hopes that they get bigger and more deadly, and by deadly I mean like Michelle Obama status. (this is in no way a political campaign ad, but it would be cool if Barack Obama wanted to endorse it…just saying).
  • Don’t take myself too seriously! I must remember to keep my smile, keep my focus and drive, but maintain my sense of humor. Laughing at your self and taking a break every now and again is just as important as perseverance and training like an Olympian. (or training to run from wild fires, you know in case you live in out west someday; you’ll thank me later).
  • Mantra: Train (eat cookies) Laugh (crying is for Nancies) Wear short shorts while running major roadways or parks (it’s like a milkshake in that it will bring all the boys to your yard, and boost confidence and that last point there is the one you should take away from this run-on-sentence-of-ridiculousness).

I think what I am eluding to is this – we have great days, mediocre days, and days where we just want to lay on the couch and kill bowls of macaroni and cheese, pizzas, and Halloween candies (no? only me? Okay, fine) but what we do with EVERY day, good and bad, makes us who we are and people notice that. People see our attitudes everyday, some we know and some we don’t. It is important to be kind and embrace the ‘whiny’ days when Nancy won’t leave you alone.

Don’t be a Nancy. =]


Categories: The Team


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