This was then – November 23, 2005 –
This started out as the run from hell. It all started with my sister telling me she only runs for 30 minutes. (At the time she told me this I remember thinking, “oh good. I’m way past running for just 30 minutes and felt relieved.) If I remember correctly she said she’s up to 3.5 – 4miles at a time. The last time I ran I covered four miles in 50 minutes. That means she is definitely going to smoke my azz when we run together this weekend. Not good. Not good at all. So, I decided to step it up, just to see if I could even do it.
I started this run at dusk. Great for losing the Everybody Is Looking At Me attitude. Not so great for maneuvering around pushed up sidewalks and overzealous roots. I also started this run with a new-fangled toy my husband bought me – one of those fancy armband music things. (Don’t I sound 80 years old? I don’t know what an mp3 player is!) It’s this armband thingy that has me thinking this was going to be the worst run of my life. First, my arm is too skinny. The Velcro strap wouldn’t cinch tight enough to keep it high up on my arm. (Looking back I remember how silly Kisa and I got trying to make the strap tight enough to fit my arm. We were reduced to giggles by the time I hit the road.) Five minutes into my run and the whole thing had slid down to the crook of my elbow. If I didn’t keep my arm bent the entire time the whole thing would have gone flying off, for sure. Second, if you aren’t fast enough with the buttons (say, starting the stopwatch thingy) you have to start all over again. Then, I couldn’t figure out how to play the next song. I ran through three Sparks before I realized the song was looping. Because I couldn’t stop in mid-run to figure it out I blindly pushed buttons until I got the song to advance. It reminded me of when my sister and I were kids and we had to hurry to get our chores done. We would pretend we had a “faster” program built into our arms and by pushing these “buttons” we could work faster (A la bionic man?) Silly. Third complaint. These earbud things! I couldn’t get them to stay in my ears to save my life! Ugh! It was the most distracted run ever!
So. I had all these complaints about my new toy. I was convinced I would throw the thing at my husband’s head when I got home. I was absolutely convinced I would go back to the days of holding a giant disc-man in my hand as I ran. But, along the way something amazing happened. As long as I remember to advance to the next song I didn’t have to worry about a cd ending. I could just run and run and run. I flew along the darkening streets. I concentrated on the smells in the air – someone drying laundry, someone grilling hamburgers, someone else’s wood stove, a car in need of an oil change, stupid stuff (?!). My legs were tireless and my heart soared. THIS was the way to run. It felt so good to just go! Who cares that I couldn’t keep my new toy on my arm? Who cares that my earbuds wouldn’t stay tight? Who cares that I had to reach over to push next every time a song ended? I was running life the wind. It was the best run of my life.
Here and now – I love this post because it is a litany of firsts – first time wearing an mp3 player. Yes, I really did hold a Sony discman in my left hand when I first started running. It was my first time wearing earbuds as apposed to honking huge headphones. But, even that has magic to it. There I was, holding a discman, wearing 70s style headphones, running like a hippo and I did not care. I’ll say it again. I. Did. Not. Care. This was also the first time I went running at dusk and discovered I really love the gloaming. The one thing that makes me sad about this post is that I never fess up to exactly how long I ran.