Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Run After The Race

I highly recommend running a 20k because it makes running five miles a piece of cake. Speaking of cake, it makes cake and everything else not stick to your thighs, the calories just disappear. It’s the best magic trick ever. I’ve been eating like a pig and I haven’t gained an ounce. Ah the benefits of running, no fear of the scale.

Day three after my big race and the first time I’m using my legs for anything more then to hold a bowl of ice cream while achieving full recline position in the Lazyboy. I will admit I did go to the gym yesterday for some upperbody work. I have trouble with the rest and recover part of this game. Taking one day off feels like a year sometimes. I might in fact be addicted to the soreness of day after workouts.  A constant state of muscle recovery is paradise for me. I must be part masochist.

Anxious to get back out on the roads I want to make sure everything is firing properly. During my 20k I had some glute/hip issues and if I’m not careful it could end up bursitis. I had that plague two years ago and in physical therapy for months. I could have used some of the other kind of therapy to get me through. When I’m down with an injury my life is over; if there is a runner on the road I nearly cry or curse the running gods who have smote me. “Have pity on me Atalanta, let me run again and I shall build thee a beautiful temple.” Hey when I can’t run I’d do anything to get it back. But today is not about injuries or paying homage, no, no, no, today is a glorious day. One should note it must be physically impossible to still be high on endorphins from a race that was 3 days ago but damn I still feel awesome. I’ve been severely happy ever since my post race nap.

Today I suited up for my run, I-pod, heart monitor, GPS, runners tag to ID the body, compression shin sleeves, special synthetic runners socks, compression shorts that go under my running shorts, sports arm band for my car key, but the most important piece of equipment, something that I would give up all that other stuff for, the one thing if I ever forgot it could be devastating, a disaster, a real problem if I need it, no not pepper spray, the numero uno piece of running gear is… toilet paper. Luckily, I didn’t need it today but you just never know.

I decide to do 5 miles at the beach, not actually on the sand. A nice little course I made up, only one hairy area that crosses a big four way stop, I can only outrun cars in my dreams. I set off, the wind is against me but it’s not too bad. I have the biggest smile on my face, greeting walkers and bikers keeping a steady pace. Ah the joys of running again. After a few turns the wind still in my face but it will be at my back on the way to home plate. The route is on parts of 5k courses I did this summer, race markers are still on the road. Along the water are beautiful views. I sometimes spend too much time looking at the ground and not looking at the amazing world we live in. Lordship has some badass scenery. At the waters edge the wind is still against me. I thought by now it would have shifted. I feel like I am pushing myself but I also know I am not running as hard as I could and I don’t want to. I’m one minute under 5k pace I’d like to stay here forever. I’m headed towards the home stretch and the wind is still against me, I must be surrounded by some sort of wind vortex. It’s okay nothing is going to ruin it today. I see a female jogger running towards me, I wonder if she is experiencing the strange wind phenomenon too? I also wonder if she’s another race junkie. As we approach each other there’s an awkward moment, will she smile, ignore me, if I wave will I look like a dork if she is not looking at me?? We both do the limp hand raise and smile and it feels good. She shares the runners secret knowledge that running is always hard and it hurts and we’re both masochists because this pain makes us happy.

I’m at the last half mile where I like to kick, I kick. I glance at the GPS every few seconds and note that it must not be working because I’ve only gone a tenth of a tenth of a mile. I kick harder and I’m still against the wind. I don’t want to know what the heart monitor says , it reads 175, hey that’s not too bad for me, other people would be at the cardiologist but I’m fine with 175 I’m not even nauseous. I’m still kicking. How come the last half mile is two miles? The race announcer does a play by play, “She passes the finish line ladies and gentlemen an amazing record breaking time.” I am wrapped in the winners tape.

I will never win a race, it’s not a defeatist’s attitude, it’s like knowing you won’t fly if you jump off the roof. I have a slow pace, I work at it, I’ll get better and that’s all fine, it’s important to have goals but I would not trade a fast pace for the love I have of running. I used to get that same rush when I played guitar jamming with my LPs. Music could pull me out of the darkness and give a sense of salvation. Not to say that I don’t have my moments of bliss playing the guitar now but it’s become my job and when you do something because you need the money it’s not the same anymore. No one is ever going to pay me to run and that’s fine with me.

Think I’ll register for a Half Marathon now.

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