I'm going to obsess about running for just a minute.
This has been a perfect running week for me. I had a long seven mile run earlier in the week, a snappy one or two miler with Jim a few days later, a super fast 31:50 four miler on Friday, and a perfect slow four mile recovery run today. Everything felt solid this week, irregardless of all the nagging pains that associate consistent running. My body's working well and is actually enjoying these runs, which surprises me as much as it does you. I'm by no means your typical looking runner: 6'1" and 215. Forget lions and gazelles; think Clydesdales.
Let me take the measure of my body: my mother's nose and her father's hairline, a hairy chest from my father, and giant legs not apparently from either side but shared with my sister. My feet as flat as the world, another genetic surprise but this one shared with my brother.
A vein crawling through a bicep as a reminder of the other grandfather, the one I never knew but who was some sort of philandering high school football star. My traitor right knee, silently bifurcated since birth and always aching. Blue eyes that inherited their weakness from my father and their color from someplace unknown.
And there are the phenotypes: scars on the shoulders from biking and skate boarding, scars on the knuckles from tae kwon do, scars on both knees from yet more biking. A suspicious looseness in either ankle, again from tkd and the constant sprains. Enough beer to account for my two hundred fifteen pounds (though these days the spare tire is thankfully more like a bike tire than a truck tire). Wrinkles across my forehead and around my eyes from too many hours laughing and staring at books.
Notice that nowhere in there is there anything about "running." I'm too big, I have terrible bio-mechanics, and my resting heart rate has never been below 70. It's the rare run indeed that comes easily to a Golden Tortoise like myself. But somehow, over the past twenty months, I've become a runner. I realized it while reading George Sheehan's Running and Being, when I saw that I run now not to get or stay in shape but rather to just run. The quiet suspension of thought while you actually run is mirrored by the post run peace and excitement of the endorphin rush (your own natural heroin), when you think that for a few minutes or hours or days, you can not only get through your life, but you can actually get on with it.
And when the rush fades, then you know it's time for another run.
This web site was last updated on 10/26/98.
...As the days go by
I'm stepping on them all like ants
I've seen the way they look at you
Maybe you, or maybe not
I guess we'll know it after a while
I'm wondering just how this will stop
How it's gonna stop
Another way for the moment
Watch it for a sign
When to be mine
--Sudden Organ, Yo La Tengo