Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One step at a time

For the first time in about a month, I ran this morning. 7 am in late October looks very different than 7 am in high summer. Anyhow, the big difference I noticed after taking so much time off to have a horrible sore throat, was that my caboose had a bit more, er, cargo than I remembered. But I remembered that not too long ago, I couldn't run for 30 minutes without stopping, and that there really is no way through the out-of-shape patches than, well, through.

So I ran.

Not fast, don't let me sound impressive or anything. But I had thought I'd have to walk some, and I didn't. I just jogged along, looking around me and not thinking much of anything, which is the gift running brings to me. I did have a goal: Eric had asked for some throat spray, as he's now got the throat thing. So I knew roughly where I was going to end up, and the only question was how to get there. I meandered around, following traffic lights, just moving forward, and when I got to the drug store, I had only run about 18 minutes. I'm still very inexact at figuring how long distances will take.

So I turned left instead of right, and ran along the street under construction. Then it happened.

I don't get "runners' high." Maybe I don't run fast enough. I didn't get nursing highs, either, for what it's worth. Nursing my babies just made me want to fall asleep. Great when they were tiny, not so wonderful when I had Things To Do. Anyhow, right about the 20 minute mark, it happened.

I got into a groove. For just about five minutes, or a few hundred yards, or whatever, everything worked It felt, although it's difficult to put into words, as though my arms and legs were working in circles, smoothly. Not the spirals my mind gets into when I think and think and think and think, just smooth, almost machine-like motion. It's as though I'm not doing it at all, I'm just being running. And then it stops, and I'm back in my head and my body, just running along.

That's what it's about for me. My crazy running friend asks about race training, and that doesn't move me. But feeling this way more often is worth many many miles of training. Maybe I'll have to work up to longer times of running and see if the sweet spot can expand.

Of course, that also means I have to get through minutes 10-15, when I usually want to either quit or throw up. That seems like some kind of metaphor.

Just because I liked it, here's a picture of what we had for dinner over noodles last night. I thought it was definitely eating across the spectrum. My kids almost uniformly said, "Yuck," but I thought it was beautiful and tasted pretty nice, too:


allisonmariecat said...

Mmmmm....taste the rainbow!

See, that's why I wish I ran. You know, in an abstract sense. Yoga does that for me when I can actually do it in a non-distracted state. Which is...never.

Tamami said...

Your writing about running makes me want to run... well almost!
I'd love to run but I have no endurance. None. I ran four minutes on the treadmill this morning and I was triumphant.

Robin said...

Maybe the way you described how you feel about running is how the people feel who call it "runner's high". In other words, maybe you have been getting a runner's high and don't even know it!

suzee said...

YAYYYY! You did the hardest thing ever. You started again.

Be really really proud of yourself.

And yes, forever, since I ran in high school, the first mile sucks. Always. The second mile sucks less, the third even less, and then you're in groovin' territory. That's why it's so great to run more, because the proportion of good to sucking is better.

Crazy? I think not. Self-absorbed and looking for a cheap buzz, I'll cop to.

Glad you're feeling better.

S said...

Wow that dinner looks gorgeous. Talk about eating a rainbow! And running, too. Wow.

Esperanza said...

Thats it! I am going on a run right this instant.