Saturday, August 7, 2010


Jared has convinced me to try running. If you know me, you know I'm not what people would consider physically fit. My idea of exercise is getting the Kitchenaid down from above the fridge. That is about as intense as I get.

Wait. Allow me to correct myself. That was as intense as I got. Note the past tense. Note how "get" was turned into "got." Because as of last Thursday I am a runner. I may be slow. I may be weak. But damnit, I am going to run. And eventually, I will not be slow and I will not be weak. (Okay, so I may still be slow, but I will not be weak. Eventually.)

 People 'round the 'hood will probably come to know me as "The Flash" or "The Expeditious Contender." Other possible considerations could be "White Beauty" or "SheBiscuit." I will be known throughout the lands for my defined calves and impeccable form. I'm sure of it. I can picture it and I will make it be so.

But anyway. About this running thing.

Why is it so hard? The morning before last I barely made it out of bed. When I squatted down to use the toilet I fell the last 10 inches. So loathe was I to get up again that I just sat there, perched on the royal throne, reading the HEPA filter manual cover to cover. I poured myself a glass of water, sat down on the couch, and looked over to see my drink about 20 inches away from me. I sat psyching myself up for at least 5 minutes, only to decide in the end that I wasn't thirsty enough to move that far. The skin on the inside of my thighs looks and feels like I tried to use steel wool as a loofah. The binding, the chafing, the sweating... it is all so gross and intense that I TOTALLY get why professional runners put duct tape over their nipples and on their heels. And I totally am going to have to invest in some proper shorts and shirts.

But aside from all that... after the first initial why-am-I-killing-myself-like-this runs, I started to hurt less and less. I would liken it to The Polar Plunge, something I've done many times.

You jump into that hole in the ice and think:

Wow, I am so stupid. Ow. Why am I doing this? Ow. Ow. Ow.

Then, you're swimming/wading your way back to shore and you start to lose feeling in your limbs. You think:

Maybe I'm not so stupid. It's not so bad. It doesn't acutely hurt anymore. It's for a good cause. But actually, if I think about it... this is still pretty cold. Actually, under that layer of numbness, there is still ow. Ow. Stop thinking about it and you won't feel it.

Then, once you're out of the water, you feel this sense of relief. You're done! But then. Then! Then you plop down in the hot tub and feeling starts coming back in your toes and all of a sudden your brain screams:

Ow. Ow! OW! This really does hurt. You are a complete, total idiot. Do not reproduce. Never do this again. You are probably inches from death. Stupid, stupid idea!

Then, as time passes, you forget the pain. You look at photos and think, ha! That's funny! I should do it again sometime. Next February rolls around, you see a flier, and you sign up again.

Just like running.

It hurts in the beginning. The middle is okay as long as you don't think about it. You might even feel a shimmer of pride at what you're doing. You feel relief at being finished, but then realize that the hurt isn't finished with you yet. Time passes, you recover, you think you can do it again... and you're right back to calling yourself an idiot the minute your feet hit the pavement.

I've been told the agony goes away. I believe it will. Each successive run sucks less than the one before it. I am going to run. I've told you all about it. I'm investing in some shoes. I've made running partners. There is no way I can back out now.

P.S. Anyone have a jogging stroller they're not using and would be willing to part with? I'll buy it off of you for a reasonable price. Don't have a jogging stroller? You can watch my baby for me instead while I go out. :)

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