Saturday, May 3, 2008

My Body Doth Protest Too Much (or I Do It For the Drugs)

I dug my dusty armband out, slapped it around a bit to dust it off. I gathered my shoulder length hair into a ponytail at the back of my head and velcroed a visor around it. I stretched my legs and wondered to myself exactly when the string that connects them to my pelvis got pulled so tight - no more splits for me. . .

After checking the temperature, expecting a balmy 80 and delighting in finding it's only a breezy 68, I head out of the house, sunglasses, visor, and iPod firmly strapped on, ready (after weeks of procrastination) for my inaugural Couch to 5k run. After a bootcamp workout a few weeks ago, after which I was sore for a week, I figured I could run much longer than the 60 second intervals prescribed. After all, I think to myself, "I'm strong!" I think. . .


I start out all plod, plod, plod and immediately find my mind can't abide the boredom, despite the music being piped in from the white wires hanging from my ears. So, I begin to think back to other running days, better running days, days when I used to run the "Fun Runs" in elementary school, when I first ran cross-country runs in junior high, when I ran to keep in shape just before my mission. There were long stretches of not running in between, and the most recent stretch was the longest yet. And I'm all the heavier and clumsier for it.

And suddenly I'm out of breath. And tired. My legs are demanding that I stop. I can hear them through the music. I find that I do, after all, have to walk 90 seconds then run 60 seconds then walk 90 . . . all 2 miles of the route I set out for myself. My body demands it.

But, I feel the coolness of the air and think "the morning couldn't be more perfect". I focus on my form so I don't get the wicked bad shin splints I'm prone to. I change songs on my iPod, all the while walking and running, running and walking.

And then. . .

it happens.

The rush of endorphins starting at the base of my neck and traveling down my spine, tingling as it goes, like a spigot of water being trickled down my back. A very intoxicating spigot of water.

LEGAL DRUGS, folks. Legal. Drugs.

I revel in the high of exercise. The strength of my body. The mental push I give myself to run to the next mark I've set for myself.

I see the fat dog making a lazy effort to chase me along his chain link castle. I look at the sky, I count the colors of the tall hollyhocks in full bloom and notice their burgundy, red, pink, and white bursts against the green. I glory in my silly maneuver to weave through the hanging branches of the trees and think how cool I must look - even if only in my own mind.

And then, I go home. I stretch out. Even so, the strings in my pelvis cinch my legs back up so that later, when I'm walking through WalMart, I feel a catch in my right hip. I notice how my body feels tired, but not achy. And I swat back the threatening onslaught of a headache, finally relenting and taking two Advil.

And I swear to myself I'll be ready for bootcamp come Monday. And I WILL go running again next week. If for nothing else but for the drugs. . .

4 comments:

the MomBabe said...

I've started "running" recently and that's exactly it. I start out kinda tired, but somewhere, I get over it. And then I could go on for ages. LOVE the endorphins.

Kimberly said...

I haven't run since junior high school. Drugs, eh? Hmmm...maybe...just maybe I'll give it a go...

hayngrl101 said...

*sigh* ...its been a few years for me and the treadmill beckons. so do my too small clothing...

love runner's high....

Stella said...

I can't run anymore courtesy of reconstructed knees BUT I can work out and walk and I LOVE that feeling you get that pushes you through. I also love the way my body feels afterwards and even the next day when it's sore!