False Starts

I started running again. When you read that phrase, the image in your head is likely one of an elite athlete forced to take a break from their training finally returning to the sport in triumph. I’m going to let you think that.

I am not a runner. My husband is. He’s like a greyhound at the track, long and lean, and likely to chew on your library books. Okay, I made that last bit up. But he’s a runner. 30+ miles a week qualifies him for the label. My one mile a day, three days a week running the Padawan to school does not.

I don’t like to run. If I could get healthy and fit by being beaten with a wooden oar, that’s the option I’d probably choose. I’m short and wheezy and asthmatic, clearly the makings of a top tier competitor.

My absence from the sport can be explained partly by some trouble with my leg. It hurt. Like, a lot. I don’t go to the doctor. I have my reasons. They aren’t sound ones, but I’m a big baby an adult. So I did what anyone would do. Nothing at all. Until I could barely walk. I was finally referred to a physical therapist.

Turns out I’m made weird. My foot does something freakish I should have outgrown when I was 15, resulting in a calf that’s roughly 30% larger than the other. No wonder I run like a duck.

The actual therapy part is painful, and I don’t mean a little. It requires The Stick, a series of giant beads strung on a PVC stick. It’s used to apply pressure up and down the tightened muscles of my calf. The rotten bit is that I cannot use this device properly by myself, which means engaging an assistant. And he hates it.

He’s a little soft-hearted, I guess. He doesn’t like to hurt me. I don’t know it’s the screaming. Or the tears. Or the kick to the groin. But for some reason, after two sessions he has been reluctant to help me. I try to motivate him, to get him in the proper frame of mind for the task, but there are only so many times I can key his car or pee in his running shoes before he takes out a restraining order and I’m right back where I started. What’s a girl to do?

Anyway, I ran again today. After several long weeks, I went to the track. It has less to do with New Years resolutions than the sure knowledge that I’m going to die if I don’t. I’ve had a series of migraines lately and have come to the understanding that if I don’t develop a good way of dealing with stress, my head is going to quite literally explode. So I ran.

It was just a mile. Four little laps around the track. I could do that easily. Except I discovered that when I run, I lose the ability to count to four. I think I ran four laps. Maybe it was three. “Four” comes after “one,” right?

39 degrees is warmer that I thought it would be, and I did eventually need to peel off my sweatpants. Next time, I will try really hard to make sure I’m wearing shorts underneath.

I had hoped to process some plot lines for the novel I am working on, but I was not successful. Unless that plot involves lots of wheezy breathing and vows to never, ever do this again. I’m sure I’ll have better luck with that next time.

If there is a next time. Maybe exploding head isn’t as bad as I thought.

15 thoughts on “False Starts

  1. One of my favorite running Pinterest pins. “I don’t run with scissors. Those last 2 words were unnecessary.”

    I feel you’re pain.

  2. I’m not a fan of running either, so I took up cycling. It’s just as good for cardio plus it’s easy on the knees! 🙂 Way to go for getting out on the track. This was hilarious, sounds a lot like my own experiences with running…

  3. I can’t say this on every blog post because it’d get repetitive but it’s been a while since the last time so I can say it on this one: I *love* your sense of humor! ^_^

  4. Oh, I feel your pain. I hate running. I have actually set up a treadmill in the basement with a board on it so that I can read blogs while I walk fast. Comments are challenging, but I do forget that I am exercising.

  5. I ride a stationary bike at home — the advantage is that the weather inside is always reasonable and no one notices my hideously tattered workout clothes. Oh, and it measures the time and distance for me, so I don’t have to deal with that “counting to four” issue.

  6. “If I could get healthy and fit by being beaten with a wooden oar, that’s the option I’d probably choose.” I laughed a lot at this, actually I still am laughing. However, isn’t there anything else you can do to unwind? Like swimming? Or at least taking a hot bath under exclusion of all minors? And lean and fit runners, of course.

  7. Good luck with your running! I know I could never do it myself – my knee is destroyed, my back is toast & I am wheezy like you. But I wish you all the best if you can keep it up!

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