July 25th, 2008

summer reading

Oops, I Did It Again

Clearly, there is something wrong with me. I went out for a run jog trot again this morning. It was one of those things where I was about half wanting to do it and half not. Actually, I’d put that ratio at more like 38% willing/62% not. In other words, I wasn’t terribly motivated and expected the whole thing to completely suck. Then I gave myself the “Just Do It” speech (isn’t that genius marketing for a sporting goods company?) and told myself if it was terrible I would at least enjoy the walk, laced up the shoes and headed out.

I decided to use some different music this morning than my usual work out selection. While I find Missy Elliot and M People inspiration enough for a typical day, I knew this morning that something extra pants-kicky was in order. I pulled out the big guns, a touch apprehensive that it would work with the rhythm and the pacing of running and whatnot, and dialed up U2’s ZooTV Live in Sydney. The opening of that show is energetic and rockin’ (Edge’s guitar at the end of Mysterious Ways is a sound that describes a piece of my soul – though not as well as the version that appears on a bootleg from Cleveland I have of that tour – and it hits me in the solar plexus every time I hear it) and that concert turned out to be just the thing I needed.

I don’t know if it was all down to the music, or if it was also the expectation of awfulness that wasn’t met, or the fact that this was now my third trot in two weeks and therefore I’m slightly conditioned on what to expect, but it was actually a pretty good experience. I caught myself (almost, sort of, maybe just a little bit) liking it.

The sun had just risen and the sky was clear and blue. There was a heron just hanging out in the river, looking over his shoulder at me as if to inquire who I thought I was to disturb his rest. Then a blue jay a few paces later that I got to see closer than I’ve ever seen a blue jay before. I received smiles from the pair of women walkers who only gave me a nod the last time I saw them, and somehow managed to inspire a fellow runner into complete puzzlement by stretching along the path. (I still don’t understand why that guy was so confused. It makes perfect sense to me to warm up a bit, then stretch. I couldn’t help but wonder about his routine – how can you exercise without stretching?)

I was able to go for longer distances before needing to slow waaaay down to regulate my breathing than I could the last couple of times I was out – I don’t know if the fact that I get to a point where I feel compelled to take a really deep breath but can’t means I’m terrible at breathing, terrible at pacing myself, or both – and went further than I’ve gone on my previous outings even though I ran for a few minutes less. I had to cut myself a touch short at the end because I got the mother of all stitches in my side (I forgot how much those can hurt, it’s been years since I had one), but all in all I ended up feeling darned good.

I still wouldn’t say I’ve turned a corner and into the kind of person who will do this regularly, but it was nice for it to not be completely awful. Now the next thing I need to do is drag my daughter out there with me. She’s got soccer practices starting up in a few weeks and needs the conditioning since softball doesn’t really prepare one for running for an hour. I don’t foresee us out there more than a couple of times together while I get her kickstarted, but I think if I can give her the “Hey, If I Can Do It So Can You” and the “I’ll Be Right There With You” speeches, I can cut off a good few minutes of grumbling. I also plan to make her run laps at the gym while I’m doing other stuff there so I can keep an eye on her (oh boy, won’t *that* be fun, getting a grumbly pre-teen to run laps?), then after about a week or so of babysitting she’ll be on her own to take responsibility for herself and either get it done or suffer the consequences.

Now I’m feeling unbearably cheerful and bouncy, not to mention Friday-giddy. It’s really too bad all this good cheer is going to be wasted working on a beautiful Friday in summer. (Hmmm....will need to see what I can do about that. *Cough* *Cough* Oh dear, what's that? I'm afraid I'm coming down with something. Maybe I'd better leave before I get everyone sick.)