April 19, 2006

Running around in circles

Yesterday my co-worker was telling me how much he wants to do another bike race, after completing the Sea Otter Classic. Ah, races. I remember those. But I prefer the running variety. Such a sense of accomplishment. The joy. The camaraderie among peers. The last race I did was in Central Park last August, before the arthritis. It was like a dream, being able to run in such a gorgeous venue, where so many runners had come before me. I can’t describe how incredible that run was for me.

Mother Nature has smiled upon Northern California of late. The weather yesterday was fabulous. I had to take advantage of it. It would be rude and sacrilegious to just go home, make dinner, and catch up on TiVo when the day offered such amazing opportunity to get high.

Yes. I needed to get high. You know, that high. The runner’s high.

I put on my running shorts and laced up the Asics and took off. Sure, I could have gone trail running. There are plenty around here. But this was my first day back, and I wanted to play it safe. Control the distance. Run around in circles, like an animal some sort of experiment. Be among other animals with opposable thumbs who could call 911 if I fell down and went boom.

There’s a relatively new track nearby. I’d never been, but I’d heard it was nice and cushy. Good for my feet that had become unaccustomed to the pound-pound-pound I was about to force upon them.

People were everywhere. Walking, running, push-upping, pull-upping, crunching. A young guy was coaching a bunch of tiny kids playing soccer. There were big people, small people, perfectly in-shape people, people working diligently to be in shape. Serious runners dressed in full body spandex. And those in jeans and Diesels, lured by the beauty of the day, and taking a detour to the track on their way home from the office.

I began slowly, walking the first lap. I put the iPod on shuffle and let it determine my pace. Walking, walking, walking. Then Girls on Film came on. Walking faster. Faster. Girls on Film. She’s more than a lady…Girls on Film… Jeez, I hope I’m not swishing my hips or something lame. After a few minutes, I rounded the bend, my first lap and Duran Duran both coming to an end.

Lap 2. Time to run. Here we go! In Dulce Decorum by the Damned. I’m so running to this song. Dulce, Dulce Decorum. And those ar the only lyrics I know. (My iPod serves as an excellent distraction when I run. I can get so into the song, focusing on trying to decipher the lyrics, listening to the bass line or the drum beat, that the exercise part becomes almost secondary.)

As I made it back to my start point, I slowed back down to a brisk walk. See, told you I was starting slow.

It’s my life, don’t you forget. It’s my life. It never ends. This circle oval-shaped track never ends. And yeah, it’s my life, and I want my life to be all about the running. At least for the next 20 minutes.

U2’s appropriately-titled Desire was next on my workout soundtrack. Desire… Desire… Burning… Burning… Nope. Muscles not burning yet. I’m running! I imagined Bill Murray in What About Bob? on the boat exclaiming “I’m sailing! I’m sailing” and hoped I wasn’t accidentally proclaiming the obvious to all those circling with me.

The harmonica signaled the close of the song and the iPod chose a song to match my slower pace.

Sinead O’Connor. I don’t wanna be no man’s woman. And by man, I mean cellulite. That man has no place near my booty. Cuz I’m tired of it, and I’m so scared of it… Yeah, those dimples are frightening. I need to speed this up. Run away from the jiggle. Faster song please.

Duran Duran again. No time for worry cuz we’re on the roam again…Hold back the rain. Yes, please hold back the rain because I really like this running stuff, but not enough to do it on a treadmill in a room that smells like feet. Oh, the sun! The blue sky! The cute kids running all over the field laughing! The clouds all scatter and we ride the outside lane… Hey, how’d they know I run in the outside lane?

Pant, pant, pant. Time to walk. The iPod chooses something a bit mellower for my 7th lap promenade. Leo Sayer? How’d that get in here? Ah. Disco collection. You make me feel like dancin’… OK. Do not strut. Do not swish. Fight it. Just walk. Ignore the urge to get all Tony Manero on this track. Stop pointing that index finger in the air. People are looking at you! STOP!

At last. Lap 8. Whaddya got for me, almighty iPod? Janet. Good running music. The lyrics? “Miss Jackson if you’re nasty,” who’s the nasty one now? Not much for subtle are ya? Got a nice package alright, cuz I’m gonna have to ride it tonight. Better just focus on the funky beat. The chorus. It’s all for you. It’s all for you. You are running all for you. To be healthy. To be happy. To be stronger. Awesome, yes?

After a nice cool-down lap, I was giddy with endorphins. Giddy and anxiously anticipating the next time I could run around in circles.

one person has roominated about “Running around in circles”

  • Laura says:

    I used to run also, and I remember the feeling I’d get after a good workout…you’re right about the endorphins! I always felt so energized. I never did run a marathon or a race, however. Are you still running? you mentioned arthritis, so I wasn’t sure.

    If you’re interested, check out Interstellar Lass at
    She’s one of my favorite bloggers and she runs races out in Texas. Tell her I said howdy! LOL

    I’ll get right on the weird things meme.. it’s just been a little nutty…er, weird around here lately!

roominate on this yourself