I don’t know if it was my stint in the pharmaceutical industry or my aversion to even the slightest bit of physical discomfort, but I am a strong believer in drugs... the legal ones of course. To clarify (and hopefully convince you that I haven’t aligned myself with big bad pharma), I don’t believe in persuading people that they have some obscure disorder with a name that was made up by a bunch of 20 something advertising peons. But that’s another story. I do believe that when I am in pain and there is a safe and legal pill to take that pain away, I should take it. Mostly, on a personal level I’m just into over-the-counter meds. I love Advil, Excedrin, Excedrin PM, cold medications, Echinacea, Melatonin, Vitamins, etc. Anyway, this post isn’t about drugs. It’s about running.
For me, running inspires ritual. When you have a good run, you want to repeat exactly what you did for that good run so you have another good run. What you eat, what you wear, what you drink, what you listen to… it all factors in. When I run on a treadmill, I wear a tank top because t-shirts aren’t comfortable. I listen to the same songs… I cannot run without my iPod. Well, I can. I just don’t want to. I drink caffeinated green tea before my long runs. But the most important ritual for me to ensure a good run was always popping a few Advil... long run, short run, inside, outside... I take two (sometimes three) Advil. I tried other drugs (I’ve heard that Tylenol is the best for runners), but Advil works for me. And there was a point, where I didn’t think I could run without it. It didn’t matter if I was really sore or had shin splints or was feeling just peachy, I took it.
Monday night I got to the gym and realized that I had forgotten to take my Advil (which I keep in my desk at work... and my bathroom at home). Sure, I’ve been out of the game for a week and a half. I wasn’t in any pain, but for a moment I wondered if I could manage 25 measly minutes on the treadmill without my Advil. Well, I did and it didn’t hurt and though I felt a little rusty due to my sabbatical from all things athletic, it was a good run. Maybe I don’t need Advil for a good run after all. (Ask me how I feel next week when I’m sore again).