Monday, November 16, 2009

Foul-Weather Runner

So, I've been trying to stick to the following running schedule: Tuesday through Friday I wake up at 5:30 and run for two or three miles. On Saturday I "rest" by dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing porcelain fixtures, and going to the store. On Sunday I go for my long run, which currently means about seven or eight miles, which I'm trying to push up to nine or ten. I seem to have settled into this pattern pretty solidly, and even when the week's evening activities force me to tweak it a bit (last week I went to Wicked with my MIL and SIL and it was unexpectedly AWESOME, but I didn't get into bed until midnight. So I gave myself a pass for Friday and ran on Saturday instead). However, the first real challenge came yesterday, when it snowed half a foot (for the THIRD TIME THIS SEASON I AM DYING HERE). I was determined--determined--to run nine miles, even though there were six inches of wet, sloppy snow on the ground.

And, ladies and gentlemen, I did it. Even though the bike path was unplowed, meaning that I ran nine miles in ankle-deep snow, with slippery chunks of snow ice trapped in my socks. Even though it was like trying to run on sand, slop-slop-slop. There were benefits, of course: I had to pee at one point, and since I had seen exactly one person during my entire run I decided to risk it and pee on the trail (the risk paid off, BTW, and I was not slapped with an indecent exposure citation). The world was beautiful, in a cold kind of way. The virtue--or something--poured off me in visible waves, which was helpful, as once I got home I was basically useless and lay about on the couch shivering and drinking hot chocolate while other people (= my spouse) did the child-wrangling. I was protected by my Virtue Force Field from feeling the need to help in any way. I'm sure Hubs appreciated it.

As I loafed about on the couch I was reminded of my pre-kid self--back when I had excessive free time, didn't know many people, and was frequently housed in a small apartment. I used to go out in all kinds of weather for hours--tromping through snow, through mud, through rain, through withering heat. It wasn't really exercise so much as restlessness; also, once I got past the discomfort, I kind of loved the bad weather. Snow is exhilarating, and fantastically quiet; rain has mystery and promotes encounters with unusual animals. It got to be that traipsing about in storms become sort of a personal trademark. I may have had a lackluster personality but boy, I could outhike the best of them, especially if precipitation was heavy.

I miss that life. My life now has so much more going for it, really--but still. I was so free.


Tess said...

When I was single, before kid, I used to run in all weather, at all hours of the night, after DRINKING, whatev. Looking back, it was...WEIRD.

Melospiza said...

Yeah, I was that, too (and HOW). Weirdness can be so enjoyable, though.

Jess said...

I can't believe you did that! Nine miles in all this snow! You are AWESOME.