Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's Complicated

We're about due for another love/hate post about running, aren't we?

I apologize - the fascination with my new toy hasn't faded yet and I've gotten sidetracked taking pictures of pretty things to blog about. Needless to say, pictures of a very red-faced and sweat-drenched "Type A" runner haven't quite made the cut.

Summer seems to have finally arrived - and runners seem to be everywhere. I love this time of year because waves of people bypass the gym to run on the beach, around the cove, and up and down the infamous Mountain Road (a twisting 2 mile climb that just goes up and divides the grind between gradual inclines and steep stretches).

The Back Cove in Portland, ME - A Popular Running Loop

Lately I've been running a little bit later in the morning and I love bumping into other athletes (although the people who don't greet me back irritate me - I know you're probably tired and thirsty but dammit can't you spare a smile?). Before you get tricked into thinking I'm a good person, I will admit that I've had the urge on multiple occasions to knock a biker off his bike so I can coast down a long hill as fast as he does. Tell me again that everything isn't a competition.

I also hate this time of year because Heat and I, we don't get along so well. If every day could just be 68 degrees and mostly sunny with low humidity, I'd be one happy girl. Unfortunately we seem to be either getting buckets of rain with unseasonably low temperatures or excessively hot/hazy/humid days. Brother #2 would tell me it's just mental, but I swear that high humidity singlehandedly saps my energy.

This morning I opened the front door only to be immediately surrounded by a wall of moisture that was already intent on dampening my enthusiasm and on sucking up my willpower.

A mile in and I was struggling to muffle the voice in my head that was saying this is going to be a terrible run.

Two miles in and I could barely see the smoking hot asphalt through my halo of crazy flyaway curls that just feeds on humidity.

Three miles in and I was calculating the odds of finding 25 pennies in the 25 yards before a sandy-haired shortstop's lemonade stand. I'm tell you that sickly-sweet concoction in a sticky fingered Dixie cup was just as appealing as this fresh strawberry lemonade.

Four miles in and I could only focus on continuing to take one step at a time (and try to convince myself that no, there wasn't really a pair of 25 pound dumbbells strapped to my ankles).

Five and a half miles in and I couldn't find a dry spot on my shirt to rub my stinging eyes (due to salty sweat + sunscreen).

Six miles in and I was cursing steamy summer days and the teensy blond in her sports bra with her immaculate ponytail bopping along like she was in an airconditioned bubble.

Seven miles in and I was foaming at the mouth thinking about the ice cold glass of water and bowl of watermelon waiting for me at home.

Seven and a half miles in and I was praying one of my family members would drive by and take pity on me - by either throwing me a Gatorade or by tossing me in the backseat.

Eight miles and a half miles in and every bone in my body was screaming I give up, I hate this, I'm never doing this again (admission: the stitch in my left side was a bit more vocal than that).

Nine miles in and I was thinking the people trucking away on treadmills in a nice and cool gym might not be so stupid after all.

Ten miles and a half miles in and I was too tired to cross the street to avoid a neighbor's yard with a "Invisible Fence: Dog in Training" sign (admission: I'm scared of dogs when I run because they think it's fun to sprint towards me at full-bore and bark like crazy until I've moved past their patch of grass - and sometimes those invisible fences just do nothing)

By the time I rounded the last bend (we would live at the top of a 1/4 of a mile hill), I was promising my body I'd cross train for a week if it would just get me home. So you see, not all running is fun. And yet...I don't think I've ever come back from a run and wished that I hadn't gone. It also goes without saying that there has been plenty of times that I haven't gone for a run and wished that I had.

No comments:

Post a Comment