The Planet Wave: Take Two Man Pills and See Me in the Morning
by the Mizuno Shoe Guy
Noted philosopher Yogi Berra, the 20th century’s version of Aristotle, once supposedly said: “Half of baseball is 90 percent mental.”
So is running. Actually, sometimes it feels like half of running is 100 percent mental.
Maybe it was all in my head, but just a couple of months into summer, I flat lined. I hadn’t run a recent marathon, but felt like I had. My legs were shot – and so was my head.
Normally, I’m a no-nonsense guy. I get up, I run. Simple as that. I am so mentally committed to my morning run that no extra motivation, coach or external factor is necessary. But occasionally something is troubling me, so I don’t even bother trying to run through it.
Running is about the ups and downs we experience. For days and months on end, running comes easily enough. Every run feels satisfying. Other times, running feels like a chore.
This time it was a weird malaise, possibly brought on by 10 solid months of marathon training, a ton of races and back-to-back-to-back-back trips. My quads felt like concrete and the rest of me didn’t feel much better. Since I’ve gone through this periodically, I knew I was looking at a week of big fat zeros in my training log. For me, missing a day is a big deal. To miss an entire week borders on catastrophic.
When I don’t run, the rhythm of my day is short-circuited and nothing quite feels right. Without getting drenched in my morning sheen, the buzz is missing and my day moves slower. Food doesn’t taste as good and I don’t sleep as well. I wasn’t even slightly injured, but I could feel myself slipping into the Self-Pity Zone.
Nobody wanted to listen to my tale of woe. Boo-hoo, I couldn’t run. Poor pitiful me.
And then it dawned on me: What I needed was to take two Man Pills. (Sorry to be politically incorrect, but there are no Woman Pills. Women don’t need them. They are strong enough).
Regardless, this easy-to-fill prescription is the best remedy I have found for what periodically ails me. Take two pills in the morning and get busy and move. I don’t know why it works, but it almost always does.
Clearly, it’s all in my head, but there isn’t even a placebo effect at work because there are no Man Pills to take. It’s all imaginary, just like my periodic bout with dead legs.
Regardless, the following morning, for some reason, possibly the Man Pills, I felt like running again. I only had missed a few days, but my quads no longer felt like someone had been mercilessly pounding them with a baseball bat. Pulling on my shoes no longer felt like a chore.
If I could just make it through the first 15 minutes and over a long hill, I knew the Man Pills would kick in. Once they did, I continued for the rest of my morning loop and was well on my way back to normalcy. As I did so, the cloud of uncertainty, inactivity and doubt lifted.
I felt like the runner I am. Yogi was right once again.