Columns

A Guy Who Doesn’t Run’s Thoughts On Running

A Guy Who Doesn't Run's Thoughts On Running

God, it’s a beautiful day in Chicago today. 70 degrees in February? That’s unheard of. That’s the stuff legends are made of. When I’m old and gray, I’ll tell my kids the story of this day, and they’ll be all, “So an average February day? Is this another one of those tall tales you tell us about the cold white powder that used to fall from the sky?” Damn, those sons and daughters of global warming are going to be so lucky. I mean, I know I should be upset that we’re destroying the environment and everything, but damn if it doesn’t feel good to be able to expose my skin to the air without risking frostbite for the first time in months.

In fact, you know what? I may just take advantage of this gorgeous day and go on a little run. A yog, if you will. I know the last time I ran was three months ago, and I genuinely thought I was going to have a heart attack, but not this time. I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure doing nothing but eating various potato and bread-based foods all winter has put me in even better shape. I’m sure I read an article that said Michael Phelps ate 5,000 calories a day to train for the Olympics. Okay, I skimmed it. Fine, I skimmed the headline and didn’t click the link, but whatever. I’m still in the prime of my life, baby, it’s time to strap on my running shoes and hit the streets.

Apparently, my iPhone has decided to be a little bitch today. I’m out here, just leaking motivation, and it can’t get enough service to play SoundCloud? Come on, you piece of shit. Fucking Steve Jobs’s ghost, can you please play 3Lau’s mix?! I’m dripped in Nike gear right now and I look like a slapdick just walking down the street while people jog around me. Okay, guy-who-sprinted-past-me, why don’t you calm the fuck down? Everyone knows warming up is essential to getting a good workout in; I’m not going to feel bad about walking for a few blocks. It’s not like you’re training for a fucking marath– shit, is that a Boston marathon shirt? That’s actually really impressive, I’m pretty sure you have to qualify for that. Whatever, all that says is that this guy has run at least 200% more marathon than I have.

And we have liftoff! Thank you, Soundcloud for taking your head out of your ass and hitting me with that bass. I’m warmed up as fuck, it’s time to jump straight into a full run. I feel amazing. The wind in my hair, the sun on my skin; this must be the runner’s high everyone talks about. I’ve forgotten how beautiful this city is when it’s not covered in a foot of brown slush. I was worried I would struggle at this, but now I’m sure I can do this all day. My oxygen intake levels are spectacular right now – props to my lungs for crushing it. I can just feel my worries slipping away as I work up a nice sweat. Like that poster my ex used to have in college, “inhale the good shit, exhale the bullshit.” Wait, was that poster about smoking weed, not working out? Damn, it’s taken me five years to come to that realization. Clearly, my brain is working at max capacity right now. My body is a machine.

Whoa, almost rolled my ankle on that curb. That would have been a problem, although I am realizing that I expended a lot of energy awkwardly avoiding that injury. I mean, I’m not, like, tired tired, but I am a little tired. Nevermind, I’m a lot tired. Is this the “hitting the wall” that runners talk about? I told myself I would run for a half hour, so let’s just check and see how long this mix has been playing… six minutes? That can’t be right, my body is falling apart in less time than it takes to watch the Game Of Thrones intro. What happened to that great feeling? I’m covered in sweat, my knees are aching, and my willpower just took a nosedive. Gotta power through, think about something motivating…maybe looking better for my girlfriend?

Shit, I don’t even care about that. She made the choice to date me, although I have no idea why. Speaking of her, how the fuck does she do this all the time? She’s been training for some marathon or other for pretty much the entirety of the time we’ve been together, and I’m legitimately scared for my health as I round out mile one of this run. My lungs feel like that time I accidentally passed out in front of a campfire as it blew smoke and ash in my face, and somehow my torso hurts. Is this how people get abs? It’s completely not worth it.

Aaand I just realized I’m going to have to run back since I didn’t take my wallet. Fuck that, I’ll order an Uber from my phone. If I order some Chinese food through UberEats, will the driver let me ride back home with him? Maybe if I add it in the “food notes,” or – no! Dammit, I can’t go for a run and come back with fatty food. Not while my roommate’s home; I know he’ll just laugh at me as he eats his carb-free meal. I’ll just run a slower pace on the way home.

This “slower pace” has progressed to something that looks like I’m pretending to run in slow motion, like a child. I look like I’m doing an interpretive dance for the word “snail.” I’m pretty sure I’m actively getting further away from home since I’m jogging slower than the tectonic plate beneath me is moving me backward. Damn, Mrs. DeLarosa, that fourth-grade science lesson really stuck with me. I feel like everyone’s staring at how slow I’m running. I’ll just distract them by showing how much fun running is.

That was a mistake. There is no liquid left in my body, so my attempt at a smile just turned into me baring my teeth like a crazy wolf-person. I’m pretty sure I sprayed a mother and two small children with sweat in my attempt at a wave and they’re currently reporting me to the authorities as some kind of pervert. Thank fucking god, this is my block. I’ve come far enough. I’m walking from here. I feel like I’m fucking dying. My eyeballs hurt. How? Why? My entire body is shutting down. I’m going to take a sit-down shower when I get in.

Let me just check how far that was so I can brag about in on social- 2.1 miles? Fuck me. I’m sticking to the weight room.

Email this to a friend

Nick Arcadia

I moved from California to Chicago to pursue my dream of becoming a pale alcoholic. Email me with any questions or feedback at: nickarcadiapgp@gmail.com

39 Comments You must log in to comment, or create an account

Show Comments

For More Photos and Content

Latest podcasts

Download Our App

Take PGP with you. Get

New Stories

Load More