Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Real Daily Mile by Dimity McDowell

I have become a fan of the Run Like A Mother blog.  The ladies are funny, self deprecating and enjoyable to read.  Which is why I'm re posting yesterday's piece by Dimity McDowell.  Haven't we all seen the Facebook posts like the ones she is talking about?  

If you’re not familiar with Daily Mile, it’s a training log that records your runs by asking where you ran, how far and for how long you ran, and how you’d rate it: great, good, alright, blah, injured. Then it asks the broad question, “How did it go?” Like most online training logs, it’s a great way to see your cumulative miles add up and your progress with each workout.

What I don’t particularly like about it–and it’s totally my (self-esteem) problem, I realize–is that you can then tweet or Facebook your results of your run.

When I see, “Jenny ran 5 miles in 40 minutes and felt great!” I, in turn, feel not so great. Why?
1. I estimate the pace to see if I can run faster or slower than the person. Nine times out of ten, it’s the latter.
2. If I haven’t run today or yesterday, I instantly feel like crap. When am I going to make time for my daily mile? (Or, if I’m injured, it’s even worse: will I ever get back to daily mile?)

But those updates, like all things related to FB, show the world what you want to show. This is me on my great vacation! This is my kid being so cute! This is the hip restaurant I just ate at! This is me running so fast! (Lest you think I’m above FB, I’m so not. Just stating fact here.)

So it got me thinking: what happened if people dropped the facade and bared their sweaty souls on Daily Mile?

Megan* ran 4 miles in 40 minutes, and swore at herself and wished she would’ve stayed in bed and hated running for exactly 3.9 miles. When she turned the corner and saw her house, she instantly loved running and remembers it now, 5 hours later, as a great! run.
*Real names have been changed to protect identities.

Anna ran 4 miles with her girlfriends. Last night, she indulged a little too much at Chipotle, so she spent the entire time 4 miles pretending as if it wasn’t her farting every third step.

Pamela ran 5 miles in crowded Washington Park. She subconsciously compared the size of her butt to that of every woman that passed her.

Gretchen raced a 10k, and beat her PR by 2 minutes. Now she will walk on clouds for the rest of the week.

Jenna ran 7 miles in 90 minutes. She did a walk/run because her freakin’ IT band feels like it might snap, but she was too stubborn to quit. She promises she’ll take a break after her half-marathon in three weeks. Maybe.

Kate ran 3 miles at a high school track. She attempted speedwork–6 x 400 meters–but, after 3 breathless, burning laps, she realized she’d rather run happy than run fast.

Joan ran 3 miles at a high school track. She finished a 10 x 400 speedwork session because there was varsity boys lacrosse practice going on. The coach was a hottie, so she picked it up every time she passed him. And then she stretched in the bleachers directly behind him.

Liz ran 5 miles. During mile two, she cried, not out of physical pain, and still isn’t sure why. But she feels so much better now.

Rachel reluctantly ran 4.5 miles with a faster friend. She was annoyed that even though the friend said she wanted to run with Rachel at her pace, she stayed three steps ahead of Rachel the whole time, making her feel both exasperated and slower than she really is.

Danielle ran 2.5 miles. And sang along at top volume to Milli Vanilli the whole time. (“Blame it on the rain that was falling, FALLING!“)

Kira ran 4 miles early this morning at that oh-so-special-monthly-time. Thank God for black capris.

Laura ran the 4-mile loop her in neighborhood for probably the 675th time in her life. The whole time she thought, “Throw me a freakin’ bone already, running. Why can’t you ever feel any easier?”

Joyce ran as fast as she could from home–away from the drama-queen tween daughter, the indifferent husband, the seismically loud twin sons. After 6 miles, she was centered and relaxed, and actually laughing at the dynamics in her house. She was ready to run home again.

How would you bare your soul on Daily Mile? Feel free to submit under a pseudonym if you’re feeling a little self-conscious.

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