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Internal Dialogue of a Bad Run

March 17, 2013 Leave a comment

And go…

Press “start.” Shit, wait, no, that was the “Lap” Button. I always do that. Take two…”start.”

Head right. Tuck fingers up inside sweatshirt. Damn, it’s cold out today. Let’s see how this goes. Twinge in right ankle already? That’s new. Landing too much on rear foot. Keep feet underneath me. Shorter strides. Stop sign coming…look left, look right. All clear. Man, it is seriously cold. Colder than I thought. Hurts the back of the throat. Can only take shallow breaths. That’s gonna suck.

Cross road. Stay on sidewalk. Tough to breathe. Pretty sure I used my inhaler before I ran. Doesn’t feel like it though. Might be a short run. Still landing too far forward. Slow down. Watch out for that snow pile. Hasn’t snowed in two weeks…thanks for clearing the sidewalk, ass. Legs feel tired all ready. Let’s do the hill, though. Shorter strides. Ankle feels better…musta been a fluke. God, hills suck. Stride is better. Tired legs. Guy walking dog. Seen him before. “G’Morning.” Who do you think I was saying that too? Tool.

Okay, let’s take a right halfway up the hill. In no kinda shape to do the steep one today. Goddamn it’s cold. Pull up collar on sweatshirt to breathe through that for a minute, maybe warm up the lungs. Collar too tight on sweatshirt when zipped. So much for that. Got awful windy when I took that corner. Wind seems to be funneling down this street. Awesome. Why the hell not. Still running too fast. Doesn’t help with the breathing. Dummy.

Take a right and go up that hill. Watch out for busted pavement. Damn, plow did a number on that corner. That chunk of pavement is gonna suck to clean up. Christ, I should walk for a few minutes. Catch the breath. Another runner coming this way. Guess I won’t walk. Tough it out. Focus on breathing. Is it inhale for two steps, exhale for three? Inhale for three, exhale for two? Dammit. Neither seems right. I like this guy’s jacket. Bright yellow. “Morning!” “Morning! Happy running!” I knew I liked this guy. Runners > dog walkers. Okay…he’s gone. Now walk for a few.

I think inhale for two, exhale for two is what worked last run. Damn, last run was a good one. This one isn’t yet. Felt like a warmup. Still cold. Walking makes the legs colder. That’s helpful. Maybe we’ll just make this a shorter run than we had planned. Ok, go again.

In (one, two), out (one, two), inhale (one, two), exhale (one, two). Up one small hill then down a long one. Let’s coast for a while. In (one, two), out (one, two), in (one, two), exhale (one, two, three). Shit, that was wrong. Dummy. Way to run too fast down the hill. Shin feels a little tender. Not a new spot…same one as before. Shocker. Guess eight weeks off wasn’t enough. Oh well. Take a left and head toward Reading. Lots of puddles. Christ, looks like a river flowing from that house’s basement. That’s gotta suck. Always that house too. No wonder the last people sold it last winter. Wonder if they have to disclose that the basement has a wall-to-wall swimming pool, or if that was a pleasant surprise. Still cold out. Lungs are warming up. Head is getting real warm. Nothing like getting sweaty when it’s 30 degrees out. Awesome. Why do I do this?

Stop sign. Lots of traffic coming down the hill. Gonna have to stop for a second. Cross this street, then long flat straightaway. Something about long flat straightaways that I hate. This one just seems like it goes forever. Of course, some runs just seem like they go forever. Legs feel heavy. Feels like running on a treadmill…I think…haven’t ever actually done that except at Sears. Still, feels like not moving at all. Inhale (one, two, three), exhale (one, two), inhale (one, two, three), exhale (one, two). Maybe this was it. Inhale (one, two, three), exhale (one, two). get off the road onto the dirt path. Feels better. Shoulda worn my Sauconys. Two more runners coming up. Another yellow jacket. REI must have been having a sale. “Morning.” “Morning!” Again, that’s why runners rule. Watch out for snow/mud puddle.

Take a right toward the train bridge. Wonder if they shoveled it off? Looks good from here. Shorter strides. Shorter strides. Stop leaning forward. Bend the arms. Ugh. Thinking too much. Stop it. Stop it. Cross train bridge. No snow/ice at all. Excellent. Back onto the street. Feels like I’ve been running up hill for miles. Legs are dead. Can’t find lungs. Take a right. Last real straightaway before home turning toward home. Good thing. Looking straight into the sun. Awesome. Why not. No lungs. Street is busy today. No sidewalk. Lots more sand/crap on the shoulder than I expected. No room to run. Hope there’s no cyclist barreling down behind me. That’ll leave a mark.

Inhale (one, two, three), exhale (one, two, three), inhale (one, two), exhale (one, two, three). This doesn’t seem right. Was that a hypodermic needle? Awesome. Must be a diabetic. We don’t have drugs in Wakefield…hehehe… Watch out for that fence. Even less shoulder than before. Get this run over with. Slowly. Couldn’t move legs faster if I tried. Feel like I’m running in ankle weights and steel toed boots. Leaning too far forward. Shin is still tender. Crap. Almost cycling season. Train for Soup Kitchen 5k and shut ‘er down…again. Inhale (one, two, three), exhale (one, two), inhale (one, two), exhale (one, two, three, four). Get me home.

Stop light coming up. Train just came through, so I should be good. Look left. Look right. Don’t break stride in the intersection. Minor miracle. Sweating like a bastard…but lungs are still cold. Winter rules. Heavy legs. SNOW BANK! Crap. Wet foot. Cold, wet foot. WTF. Rock stuck in the tread of my shoe. Makes a funny sound. Like wearing a cleat on one foot. Not screwing up stride…any more than it’s already screwed up. Sometimes I feel like I run like a fat guy. (You know what I mean). This is one of those times. Cold, wet foot. Cold, wet head. Stupid long hair. How did Pre do it?

Take a right. Train tracks coming. Don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip. Didn’t trip. Watch out for churchgoers (generally, and literally right now). Timed being on this street wrong. Ugh. Can’t breath. Can hear my heart beat though. So there’s that. One more intersection. Can’t see if anyone’s coming. God forbid you trim your hedges. Tool. Explains the Scott Brown signs. Dog-walker again. Don’t say hi. “Morning.” Crap. “Morning.” Not sure that’s how it came out, given the no breathing thing. Almost home. Untuck hands from sweatshirt. Find “Stop” button. Wait…timer still reads “00:00:00”. Shit…

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Running Thoughts – Volume One

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

So I got geared up for my run tonight. Nothing major, just a couple miles through the neighborhood. It was about 9:00, and the mercury was hovering around 40 degrees. To further set the scene, we had our first measurable snow since Halloween this morning (about two inches), before the precipitation decided to turn to rain. As such everything (EVERYTHING!) is wet.

Because I was just going for a casual run, I just threw on a pair of sweatpants, a regular t-shirt and my Old Navy Active windbreaker. Decided to run in the Pumas, as I have been quite a bit lately. I like them almost as much as my Adidas, but they are a tad warmer, so they are better for winter running. Also, had my headlight and red flashing “tail light” – both are necessities for a nighttime run, even through the quiet streets of Wakefield.

Anyway, while I was lacing up the Pumas, my dear wife Natalia remarked that I was “such a dedicated runner.” While on the surface that might sound true, my initial thought was to disagree wholeheartedly…

Instead, I pointed out that the reason that I felt I had to go for a run tonight was that I’ve recently been anything but a dedicated runner. If I had actually gone for even so much as one run over the long weekend that just passed, I could have “cheated” and taken a day off today. But, for whatever reason, I took the entire weekend off from running. It wasn’t a planned thing. It wasn’t all that miserable weather-wise (okay, yeah, so it was bone-shatteringly cold for a couple days, but running in the cold isn’t a huge deal).  I wasn’t particularly busy (and let’s be honest…you can never really be too busy for a 20-30 minute run, especially when you enjoy running at night). So why didn’t I run at all this weekend? Well…I just didn’t, that’s why.

So on my run, I kept thinking about how the fact that I was running now proves both my dedication to running and my lack of dedication to running at the same time. And then, for the first time since getting bit by the “bug” that is running, I started to think of myself as “a runner.” And that’s pretty cool. So in addition to using this spot to ramble incessantly about my musical preferences, I’m now going to use it to ramble incessantly about running-related musings. Hey…why not?