Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Runner’s angst competes with runner’s high | TheUnion.com

Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Runner’s angst competes with runner’s high

Hollie Grimaldi Flores
Business development manager
Hollie Grimaldi-Flores
John Hart/jhart@theunion.com | The Union

My husband is a runner. Having recently celebrated a milestone birthday, he decided to give himself the gift of running in the form of a race of 26 miles or more for the 79th time.

He will be running The San Francisco Marathon on Sunday — that is 26.2 miles for the nonrunners out there.

The distance is, basically, the equivalent of a run from Grass Valley down Highway 49 to the Auburn on-ramp at Interstate 80.

The San Francisco Marathon is somewhat the same, but with more hills.

My husband ran his first marathon (also in San Francisco) at the age of 27. He has run ultra marathons (50K or 31-plus miles) and finished Western States Endurance Run (100 miles.)

He runs six days a week without fail. It does not matter where we are or what the weather is like or how he is feeling. He runs.

His biggest (current) complaint is that while he ran his first marathon in just a bit over three hours, he will have to fight to finish his next one in under six.

His body refuses to keep up with a mind that is firmly running away from the aging process.

I am not a runner. I have attempted running.

I have run a few 5Ks (3.1 miles) but I always have to walk for at least part of it.

I took an eight-week course called, “Train to Run,” thinking if I could just get my breathing and form under control, it would be more enjoyable. It is not.

I worked on my posture, how I breathe, where I place my feet and learned to pump my arms. It did not get easier.

I yearn for the “runner’s high,” but was recently informed that does not come until after at least three miles, and since I only run three miles — well, you get the picture.

I have been told it would be easier for me to run if I lost weight, and it would be easier for me to lose weight if I just ran. A paradox for sure.

My reality is I do not have the runner’s body. I am not built to run. I think I am built to farm — ancestrally speaking.

While I do not profess to be any kind of poet, I did pen this little ditty as a gift to the runner in my life:

I want to run — run away with you.

But from the porch to the driveway is the best I can do.

My calves are cramping. My knees are weak.

My thighs are chafing and my hips both creak.

I have bought the right shoes. And undergarments, like armor.

Seems my chest and my chin are not fond of each other.

The bouncing. The bruising. The burn in my lung.

There’s pain in my back that will not be undone.

I want to run, you know that I do, but first

I choose a bath, an ice pack and an aspirin — or two.

Don’t let my angst dissuade you. If you are so inclined and find the satisfaction that comes with it, keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I can’t say I will ever understand this love of running, but I can say it is difficult not to be in awe of the discipline and fortitude it takes for those who do.

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is the business development manager at The Union. Contact her at hgflores@theunion.com.

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