Staff writer claims victory over inner voice with Carnegie 5K run
It starts as a whisper.
“You can do this.”
I shake it off. It gets louder.
“You can't do this.”
It does not matter that just five days ago I finished a 12-mile training run and this morning I am faced with just over three. The starting line of the Carnegie VFD 5K blurs as my eyes lose focus. My mind tells me I cannot do it.
But I run despite the voice – the voice that lurks in the shadows and comes out to taunt me at the least opportune times.
Or perhaps I run to spite the voice – to prove it wrong.
Each runner runs for different reasons. For health, for fitness, for exercise – to feel the burn in your calves and the blood in your veins.
For therapy – the steady rhythmic pounding of feet on pavement is a lullaby for the mind. Some run for competition. Most of us don't. Most of us are competing only against ourselves.
Running is intensely personal. You open yourself to failure. You could come in last. You could not finish. You could get carted off the course by a golf cart because you fell below the minimum pace. It leaves you alone in your own mind, sometimes for hours, depending on your mileage.
At its most basic, running is putting one foot in front of the other. It's a poetic metaphor for life, if you're into that sort of thing: One foot in front of the other – despite the voice saying you can't.
Or, again, to spite the voice. And so I ran.
The rain held off, despite a few warning drops as the starting siren went off, sending nearly 400 runners and walkers off through Carnegie. Old faces back in town. New faces looking for a place to perfect their times. Main Street really is beautiful.
Eventually, the adrenaline mostly drowns out the voice. But it will always resurface. It will resurface Sunday, and loudly, as I rise before the sun to run my first half marathon -- 13.1 miles. How long into the estimated 2.5 hours will it take for the voice to settle? More than 25,000 people, and the only one I'll be competing against is myself.
Another metaphor for life.
Because the voice doesn't surface just before runs. It taunts in meetings, in interviews, and each time a reader does not like what I've written; before I press the button that sends this piece of writing to my editor, who will put it into print for droves to read.
But I do it anyway. Because each time I do, I learn — the voice is wrong.
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Megan Guza to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.