Saturday, January 30, 2010
quietly slip-sliding into a run
Have you ever been angry about being a runner? Or if you're not a runner, about anything that is essentially who you are, how you're known, what you build on...you get the idea. That's exactly how I felt this morning when everyone else was out there slipping and sliding their way through the ten mile training run, and my yaktrax remained strapped to my polka-dot rain boots! Nope...no under armour tech clothes and man gloves for me this morning. Just my stupid shorts and shoes that needed no special gripping devices to walk about the perfectly un-slick gym floor. I'd been preparing for this, though. All week I'd talked to myself abut how a couple weeks to heal a minor injury is far less maddening than months of recovery. Good gravy, I know this! I'd just done this! I'd decided early on to go to spin and then meet the group for coffee after, but that was before the ice storm hit... My gym opened late, spin was cancelled, I couldn't imagine another hour on the elliptical, and I was absolutely righteous because I wasn't running outside! I love those kinds of runs - the ones where people look at you like you're absolutely nuts for being out there. Yes, they're right but that's beside the point. Anyway, I tried unsuccessfully to wipe the pout off my face as I walked into the gym and headed for the cardio equipment. I meant to walk to the elliptical. Truly, I did. For some reason, though, my eyes wouldn't even acknowledge its existence. I was subconsciously giving it the silent treatment, which was perfectly in keeping with my childish mood this morning. I barely glanced at the rowing machines, squeezed right by the bicycles leaving the arc trainers unnoticed as well, and stepped onto a treadmill for the first time in over a year. "Just a mile," I told myself. "I need to guage my left leg...see how it really feels." Now, to those of you in the midst of your exasperated sigh, put it on hold for just a second, because I did start at an easy 9:34 pace. The downfall came when I turned my iPod on, though, and "Holding Out for a Hero" comes blaring through the headphones. I picked it up to an 8:31 and didn't even pretend that I'd stop the hamster game after a mile. So go ahead and finish that exhale. I deserve it...but leave my cheesy 80s running music alone. I was feeling free, despite my confinement to that one square foot in the world. I had uninterrupted rhythm, both in thought and in stride. My head was totally in my run. Nobody even noticed me, much less knew I hurt, so I didn't have to lie about how my leg was feeling. All focus was on putting one foot in front of the other and feeling the exhilaration of a racing heart. After 5.5 miles (of which a good 4 was to the beat of the aforementioned song), I quietly stepped off the treadmill, secretly pleased with my act of rebellion, and headed over to the weights.