Monday, August 9, 2010

What's so bad about the word 'jog'?

When Jack emailed me my training schedule for this up coming week, the first thing I noticed was that he had written "easy jog" next to every mileage. This didn't come as much of a surprise since he had been reminding me all last week to take my runs very easy and apart from Monday's four miles, I wasn't exactly listening. It wasn't that I was deliberately disobeying. I was trying to be a rebel. I just couldn't help it. I know what my body can do when pushed, and call me crazy I actually like, from time to time, feeling all out exhausted after a run. But I get it. One week of international travel and one week of sick do not equal a speedy jump back into the fast paced world.

I wasn't surprised but I may have cringed a little bit. I can't help it. I have a strong dislike for the word 'jog'. When running with others I will often use the word 'trot' instead of 'jog', because although they are similar, the first doesn't sound too bad. It burns my mouth to say it, and my ears to hear it. Especially if someone were to call me a 'jogger' instead of a runner. Almost as if they are saying I am not fast enough to fall into the category of runner. But is there really a difference? And should I really be offended?

Jogging is just slow, easy running. So when I went out for my long run Saturday morning, I swallowed my pride, and accepted the fact that if I wanted to train smart and make it to race day in good shape (and let's face it, that is really my ultimate goal here) I needed to get in my miles, no matter what pace I was running. At first there was no one on the street with me and I enjoyed the rest my walk breaks allowed me and how they helped keep my pace on track. But after awhile my route turns onto the west end of Kelly Drive and ever so slowly the path becomes more and more crowded. People start to pass me. But I don't care anymore. It is a gorgeous morning, I am out for my long run, covering the most consecutive miles in over a month. I feel great. No one can get me down. Even after three pairs of old men pass me. Even after ladies in big over sized teeshirts and fanny packs pass me. Even after I have to walk half a mile because it is a half mile uphill and today, I am just not up for it. I was more proud that I had finished the distance, even if it did take me two hours.

Last time I trained for a marathon I went out too early, too hard, and the race fell apart. This time I want different results. I want a race I can be proud of. If that means easy jogging my way through four months of training than so be it. I realize that perhaps the term jogging on its own may sound kind of soft. Somewhat easy and not very much of a challenge. If I said "I jogged down the block" it doesn't have the same ring as "I jogged 8.5 miles this morning".

Maybe the word 'jog' isn't so bad after all. Just like maybe the word 'marathon' or the number '26.2' doesn't totally terrify me and sound impossible.

It just scares me a little bit

xx Sara

1 comment:

CLAMCO said...

Maybe it's my age, but the word "jogging" conjures up images from the 1970's of those middle aged men (going through a mid-life crisis) wearing sweatbands and white knee socks trotting alongside the road trying to look like they're staying young and getting fit. lol! I think I'd rather be called a slow runner than a jogger.