Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Stop sign, mailbox, lamp post, stop sign...

Thanks to VH-1, I have the cheesy, 80's version of "Dancing in the Streets" --done by David Bowie and Mick Jagger--stuck in my head.  I'd rather it be the kickass Van Halen version, but who gets to chose what it is when a song gets stuck in your brain like that?

Tonight, I was reading Trace's (private) journal, and she was talking about running.

Running seems to be a theme in a few places lately.  It must be the weather.  Cooler.  And the fact that no matter how you fight it, the holiday season marches towards us.  Who wants a piece of pumpkin pie?  Christmas cookies?

Lace 'em up, girlfriend.  You gotta suffer for your sugar.  Not everyone is blessed with the "Inga" metabolism.

We all know an "Inga."  She's six feet tall, weighs 110 pounds on a good day, and "just can't keep any weight on."  My heart bleeds for her.  Quick, someone, pass Inga a carrot, I think she's about to pass out on the runway.

See?  There's that word again. 


I'm outing myself.  I've been running for about a week now. While the Christmas cookies do have something to do with it, I have another reason, too. 

Last year, I promised myself after walking the PF Chang's Rock-n-Roll 1/2 Marathon, I'd run it this year.

Yeah. I've been keeping that up. <crickets resume chirping as I turn off the alarm, again>

I thought my friend, the supa-diva of the trailhead, Jenny, had forgotten about it. 

No such luck.

She remembered.  And asked "So, how's your training going?"  (the nerve of her :p)

<more crickets chirping...where's the exterminator when you need him?>

Sigh.  "I've not really been doing it.  I'm running out of time, aren't I?  Maybe..."

"You have plenty of time.  (12 weeks) And you promised you'd run this year.  I'll do it with you.  We'll go at your pace, and if we walk some, it'll be fine."

She knows I like to run.  She knows I want to try this.  She is great at reminding me about me.  I decided I have nothing to lose; I'll give it a go. 

I can do this, I told myself.  It's a mind-over-matter thing.  It's a put-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other-thing.  You know, 'the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step', and all that crap.

I'm my own "si se puede" team.  I managed to make it out all week, save Fri and Sat.

Progress, slow progress, has been made.

I'm soooo impatient, however.  I want to go out there and kill it like when I was a teenager.  LONG, LONG ago.  

"Hey.  Psst.  Hey, you."   My muscles whisper to me.  "Could you back off on this a bit?"  (I keep going, just a bit further...)

"HEY, HEY YOU!"  My joints shout at me.  "What the hell are you doing?  Why aren't we in the magic chair?" <shooting pain up my calf>  "We are in charge here, and we are telling you that  it ain't gonna happen, sister.  Turn around and take us home."  (Fine, fine, I'll walk.  Just make it sttoooppp.  I keep going, until my little course is complete.  Run.  Walk.  Run.  Curse.  Walk.)

Hello, stiff knees.

Hello, ice packs.

I'm in the magic chair alright, homemade ice packs on my knees.  (Jen told me about mixing alcohol and water; you freeze it, it makes a gel, and it's fantastic.  Unfortunately, I was under the assumption that it would be vodka, and not rubbing alcohol, in the baggie when  she first explained it to me.)

I felt myself grimace and dig my nails into my palm the other day as I made myself go a few more feet.

All I hear in my head is "mailbox...lamp post...stop sign...make it to the next mailbox...lamp post...driveway...stop sign..." as I look for a landmark, a place to get to.  And a place to stop, walk for a bit, and resume my mind-chant.

I find I'm serious about this. 

I find that I need new shoes, and the ones I like are nowhere to be found, of course. Once again, I'm turning to my friend, and she met me at this place where they videotape you running (greatsign me up!); analyze your foot strike; and help you decide what you need in terms of footwear.  I balked at first, but Jen said, "Oh, no, they only videotape your feet."  Sure, I'll believe her.

But I'd like it in writing that there will be no footage of my ass that the salespeople will chortle at afterhours; no special "hall of shame" surprises for their company Christmas party.

The saleslady is nice to me.  She sets it all up, and omg, I have a go at it, on the treadmill, in front of an almost-empty store (thank God for small favors). "Let's have a look," she says.   

I barely hear her commentary.  I'm mesmerized, focused...on the image she's showing me.  Oh, f**k, look at those ankles.  They are huge.  I don't care that my right foot is good, the strike good, the lines good, or that my left foot overpronates in spite of its good strike.  I just want to try on some shoes.  (**And while you're at it, take me off the screen and destroy that tape.  Where's that big ACME magnet when I need it?**)

I must be high to put myself through this.  It's the sleep deprivation finally taking its toll.  Maybe it's the fact that I'm not having any more babies, so I've substituted a painful exercise of endurance for shits and giggles in place of childbirth, breastfeeding, and potty training.  (Although something tells me I should stick with what I know, I am not about to bring forth any more spawn.  Besides, there's that burning question:  runners' high vs. nursing euphoria--which holds the greater power?)

As I try on shoes, I ruefully note that not even my shoe size can be a single digit.  Can't a girl get a break here?

I try on a few pairs.  I take a few steps around the store.  Hey, I kinda like this.  But I'm torn, as there is a lot of slippage in one heel.  The other pair are a bit short.  And the ones I could compare it to, <say it with me> are not in the store at this time in my size. 

To her credit, the saleslady is cool about it all.  Will hold the ones I tried until the others come, and call me to come in and try 'em all again once the others arrive.  I can handle that.

Until then, it's lamp post, mailbox, stop sign....

Lamp post, mailbox, stop sign....burning sensation.  Burning sensation?  WTF?  THERE??

Did I mention that no one warned me about the joy that is chafing??  There's something that'll stop you dead in your tracks; a happy bit of news you don't want to discover when you are already a ways away from home.

Oh, sure, I hear all about how some folks shave their junk; about bandaids on your naughty bits; about vaseline; and about going commando under the running pants (no, I don't; I'm not joking, hell no, I don't) but nooooo, somehow, this little detail, this tiny, important detail, gets left out.

I'll get over it.

They just better not be lying about the runners' high.


chseroo said...

You have inspired me. I am going to go de-junk my treadmill and walk today. I am seriously proud of you that you are even IN a race. Nevermind whether you walk it or run it. You are doing more than most.

LOL @ the chafing. They never do tell you the really important things like that until it is too late, do they? ;o)


pixiedustnme said...

dang girl - what are you.....crazy?!!!  and of course now i'm going to be singing that song all day thank you very much!

deniden said...

I haven't really been able to run since I got the girls and had my car accident. It sucks, I was actually starting to enjoy it. Best wishes, I remember when you did the PF Chang's thing last year.


yaya1 said...

lol u go girl run run i wish that i had the energy to do that

tillysweetchops said...

As long as you don't take "carbo loading" too literally (which is always the mistake I've made in the past!). you should be giving old Inge a run for her money sooner than you can say -

"Two industrial-sized tubs of Vaseline please"  

Good luck with it, Anna.

Tilly x

suzypwr said...

Try frozen peas instead of ice packs. Just get two bags, not one. Once one defrosts, you want more. They mold to your knees nicely. Use a towel. Don't let anyone eat them. Have fun, and good luck!


bridgetteleigh75 said...

Ugghh...you're a stronger woman than I.  I HATE running.  Way to much boob bounce-age.  And sports bras give me a uniboob.  Gross.  But I wish you luck!!  <grin>


tdain2003 said...

OMG  this is the funniest entry!  I thought I was the only one who chanted to myself through landmarks.  Dear God I hate running.... but I'm on a mission... lol.  We'll go through this together and bitch the whole way!