Monday, April 23, 2007

Born To Run?

It all started because of Starbucks. One Sunday morning last June, the hubby and I thought it would be a good idea to set a specific destination for our then-weekly constitutional. To Starbucks, we walked, taking in the relative quiet of the early morning. Walking and chatting, we planned for the coming school year. Sitting and chatting, we enjoyed our coffee, and then walked and chatted our way back home.

Maybe it was the caffeine, or perhaps it was because I had to pee, but one Sunday morning, we decided to step it up on our return trip. Post-espresso, we found that we had the energy to walk to one mailbox and then run to the next. “I’m a gazelle!” we’d croon as we took off for 100 feet or so, not knowing that we were employing a proven training technique. The gazelle intervals on the return trip became a jog to and fro, became a let’s try a 5K, became a lets-sign-up-for-the-Gate-River-Run, became a regular 13 plus mile Sunday run, became a maybe-we-should-try-a-half-marathon.

So it is completely by accident that we have found this new infatuation with running. I find that I am thinking about running almost all the time. I wake in the morning, planning my day around my run. I go about my post-run chores, basking in the glow of my run. I lay my head on the pillow, imagining the next day’s run. Just about the only time I don’t think about running is when I AM running. That’s when I’m busy trying to think about anything else in an effort to distance my mind from my throbbing legs, flailing boobies and frazzled cardiovascular system.

Even my reading includes running lately. The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais, a recent purchase, inspires and amuses. I can relate to accounts of chafing in parts unmentionable. Fellow runners can attest to the lubricating relief of Vaseline. A kindred spirit, the author’s previous activity peaked with getting up to change a channel when the remote was misplaced, yet she willfully chose to train and then run a marathon.

Is this in my future? Have I completely lost my mind? Why didn’t we drive to Starbucks in the first place? Questions unanswered, but I can’t sit here at my computer thinking about them too for long. I’ve gotta run now.

The heart rate monitor to verify that the ticker's still on board.

Gotta have my tunes. It drowns out the screaming of my knees and the unpleasant sound of bone scraping on bone.

Glow-in-the-dark running vest for optimal nighttime visibility (like anyone could miss me clomping down the road).

The fanny-pack-water-bottle holder. Just because I need something to make passers-by notice my jiggle-butt even more.

This is the box for My Running Shoes where I keep track of the miles of rubber meeting asphalt. Around 250 since the shoe purchase in January.


MJ said...

I love the artifacts as evidence of your new running life. Think of the new purchases since undertaking this hobby. Despite all that equipment, it seems like part of the appeal of running is that all you really need is yourself: no raquet, no bicycle, no gym membership, no yoga mat. I'm thinking of the sound of runners' feet on the pavement during a race and it's a peaceful sound, even for those on the sidelines.

LJ said...

Once you start down the dark path forever will it dominate your destiny. My whole life is trying to carve out 2 hours in the day to hit the gym. The upside is that I'm healthier, I feel better, and most importantly -- most importantly -- I get to eat more. Life is good.