Well, pretty sure I quit smoking about a month-ish ago and this May Long Weekend I was able to finish a local road race. Thanks big time to Anna Bushe for posting a bunch of pictures that are super high quality and lovely!!!
So I thought, well, I should write about this. I was sort of puttering along running/lightly jogging for about 6 miles and then at that point I decided to push it and see how much the old body and lungs could take. I could definitely feel exactly where my lungs were like, “This is it buddy!!! We’ve got tar in these parts and we can’t process oxygen etc. like you are asking us too.” It’s like a dull hurt right at the bottom of where you might imagine your lungs are….feels like if your keys are poking through your pocket into your thigh really hard while you are sitting at a desk or something and it takes a while for you to notice, “Hey, something hurts in my leg.”
Like that, but in your lungs/chest. Totally brings me back to high school. This one time in band camp….ha ha, no, okay….
When I was younger (like 17ish) racing triathlons in high school I had never had that “lung hurt” feeling in a race no matter how hard I went until one weekend I smoked half a pack of Players Light at a party because I wanted to look like a bad ass or something. I have no idea why. Then I had a race in St. Malo (Manitoba) the next weekend and I tried to burn out my usual sprint for the last 2 km of the run but it was impossible. That was the first time I felt that feeling….and I’ll have to admit, it was great to feel that feeling again at the 10 miler last Monday. Like, I found where the “lung limit” and tar feeling was, and I think maybe if I stick with it, I might make it go away at some point.
I bet some folks are thinking….wow, this guy is not the brightest triathlete in the history of adolescent sport….well…I’m still working on my brilliance twenty years later. Thanks to people who write stories like Rich Roll’s “Finding Ultra”, I feel like that’s okay. I’m okay.
When it comes down to it, quitting smoking is really easy. Anybody can say to themselves in their head, ‘I am quitting, right now.’ Technically during that split second they quit, they have quit, they are a non-smoker. I’ve never heard of a definitive line where after say 24 hours or 2 years you’re now officially considered a non-smoker. Could it be 0.25 seconds perhaps??? Pretty sure somebody has decided on some limit but I think I choose to reject it, whatever it is.
It’s not about quitting, it’s about NOT RE-STARTING!!!
I have re-started smoking probably over 100 times. Over and over again.
At least for me, anyways, I’ve been pretty busy finding things to do that prevent me from re-starting. Running is one. I think it was just something I think I am going to call the, “Just Make Some Shit Up” Quit Smoking Plan. Like, just start making up stuff you’re going to do and go do it. If NOTHING, if NO elaborate quit plan with multiple steps and patches and self help books and drugs and counseling and peer support has ever worked for you ever:
Just Make Some Shit Up is the “quit and then don’t restart” plan for you.
It’s working for me right now. One day I’ll explain more about this special and unique quit smoking method. Today is not that day, TODAY WE FIGHT against, whatever, writing too much at one time. Or maybe, I’m fighting against my intense nicotine cravings so much that I just can’t write anymore about smoking or I will re-start. I don’t know, I don’t know AT ALL!
Of course, using running to quit smoking has been done before in a sort of elaborate approach funded by someone who has great prizes. It’s called “Run to Quit” where you can enter in a draw for money and a car for quitting for 5 weeks and doing a 5 km run. Don’t quote me on the rules, just click the link I really don’t like those big group things though, I’ll sign up to win the prizes sometimes but when I see some thing like, “Fun activities for people of all ages and abilities,” I immediately think BOOOOOOORRRRRING. That is judgemental, but it’s true….actually wait a minute…
After I write this, I’m going to go see if I can sign up….I could probably use that quit money….and I did legitimately quit and run the right amount…it’s just if I register by the right dates. Hmmmmm…..wait…..See! See! It’s elaborate, if you’re as obnoxious and cynical as me, nothing will destroy your ability to stay quit more than if you have to wait or follow rules or do what other people say. GAH!
I just like running in the woods by myself or with one friend so I started running, really slowly….and then somehow ended up in a race where I ran a little bit faster, but not as fast as lots of people….so maybe one day I’ll be faster? It’s called hope.
Thanks to everyone who organized the Firefighters 10 Mile Road Race. I really, really appreciated every volunteer and aid station. It was perfect! Meg, you are a rock star.