out and about

It was raining, off and on, for much of the morning. I sat on the couch and caught up on some work and looked at the Internet and told myself that I was just waiting for it to stop raining, that as soon as it did, I would put on my running clothes and strap on my shoes and I would be so out the door any second now. Sure, I could put on my pants right now, and the sports bra and the new long-sleeved shirt I bought with the promise that I would actually be placing it in service on a regular basis, and in that way be ready to burst out into the street and run run run, the very second the sky cleared up and the sun came out and the dozens of weird men in plaid shirts emerged from the bushes to stand on the corner and watch me go by.

Somehow, I didn’t. I sat on the couch, and kept doing some work, and kept looking at the Internet, and tried to pretend that I was morose that the weather was bad and I couldn’t run with an umbrella, now, could I? And that my shoes would be ruined and okay, it really was too much to ask that the first time I go run outside, I’d also have to run in the rain, wasn’t it? I mean, can’t I sort of work my way up to badassery? Start small, build up little victories so that I have got legs to stand on? So to speak? I sat on the couch, wearing my pajamas, and waited for the sky to clear up.



The sky cleared. I waited a little longer, because who knew if it was
just a lull? It could cloudburst any second, now, and then I’d be
caught in it, and it would be terrible, wouldn’t it, to have to turn
around and go home? I’d feel very bad about that. I sat on my couch,
and I realized that it was getting later in the morning. And later. And
I had planned to run around 8:30. It wasn’t 8:30, any more. There was
only an hour and a half of morning left, but by god, I was still going
to run in the morning.

I hauled myself up and changed, and spent a couple of minutes dithering
in front of the mirror–running pants, made of space age material, cling
to your thighs and your ass and your belly and while that is very good,
I’m sure, in terms of aerodynamics and drag reduction and many
scientific things like that, it’s not swell when you’re picturing
yourself running through your neighborhood with your ass jiggling. I am
okay with an ass jiggle. Ass jiggles are sexy. The neighbors getting to
partake in my jiggly ass? That is uncool. Could I drag myself around
the park with my ass bouncing at every step? No one cares about my ass.
Or the size of my thighs. But my shoes are white and my clothes are
black and okay, I am going to shut up now, and we are leaving.

We left, me and my insecurities, and I pounded them into dust beneath
my sneakers. I walked briskly to warm up, and then I took off, and went
flying, and it felt so good. A little cold out, and the air fresh and
the sky blue and me, exactly free as a bird. About a minute later, it
hurt so much to breathe that I kind of wanted to die. I slowed down–it
is hard to slow down, when you are running on your own, as opposed to
being dictated to by a treadmill–and I breathed steadily and the burn
in my lungs let up and it was feeling good, again. I felt it in my hips
and my thighs and my butt, a different ache from the treadmill, the
feel of my muscles working to support me and propel me forward and keep
me upright and from dying.

Only one revolution–it ached, a surprising amount, I didn’t want to
hurt myself, pushing too hard, and I was so tired. I walked back around
to cool down, a slow measured stride, and I found that I had stopped
thinking about what anyone was thinking of my ass in these pants, and I
wasn’t worried about my stomach, and I was thinking about making it to
body pump, tomorrow, since I wouldn’t be able to go to yoga in the
morning, and on Wednesday, when I run again, I’ll make sure to pace
myself. When I run again, on Wednesday. A fact. I’m writing it down.

  1 comment for “out and about

  1. anon
    April 8, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    I love running outside, but it definitely requires a different approach than treadmill running. Once you get the hang of it, though, it is so freeing, to just be running, finding your own pace, not watching the time and the calorie counter and the miles per hour readouts monitoring your every stride. You get more into the doing-it-for-fun mentality. And running in the rain is suprisingly delightful–I highly recommend it, as long as it’s just rain and not a monsoon–and there are no weird men in plaid shirts out and about when it’s raining, so that’s a definite plus.

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