Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Running in Mrs. Claus' speedo

My friend, Paul who I admire so much because he is a serious runner/athlete, was raising money for the Santa Speedo Run. He probably does not pick his athletic conquests by the charity, t-shirt, chowder or beer. He probably started running when he was like a toddler and was a high school and college track star. He is totally buff.

Recently, he had some sort of fracture of someplace complicated that sounded like a dirty Latin euphemism for something dirty and latin. It is a serious injury and he required crutches. He had raised all this money for the speedo run and was going to go and stand on the sidelines instead. I knew this would not fly because he for real. I learned that Paul "ran" with his crutches in a red speedo in like 4 degree weather -- probably a quick hobble but a slow, cold, mile. Paul rocks.

He said next year, I would run it with him. I was later thinking about how revealing this blog is. I am pretty sure that I would rather bare my most embarrassing fat camp story then run a single step in a dirty Mrs. Claus speedo. At least with this blog, you can choose not to look at it or turn away. I think if I am going to expose myself to benefit a charity, I chose this way. At least it is not offensive to unsuspecting audience. So you’re welcome, Boston. Please donate now so I can run the marathon fully clothed for MBHP!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

She's a Little Runaway

When you run, unlike many other fitness pursuits or other life activities, you are totally alone with your craziest thought; worst anxiety; most terrible insecurities. You do not have the distraction of your goddamn smarter-than-you-know-it-all phone/pc/mac/tv/tivo/dvr/dvd/blueray/nano- torturebot ringing, beeping, blinking, geechatting, texting, sexting noise.

There is no simply running away from your problems while running. You are stuck with that voice inside your head that calls you out on bad behavior, reveals personal truths that you are not at all interested in facing, and shows you the right path when you are so definitely on the wrong one. Running reminds you how much you, too, suck.

This sounds so negative. It really is not. Running forces you to face your problems so that they do not regurgitate themselves all over your psyche when you are 7 miles from home without a Charlie Card, bank card, phone, or cash. It forces you to try to attempt to be well-adjusted or else! (I often still choose else.)
For all of you are afraid of bad knees, bad back, asthma - fear not. Your aches will likely be of the heart and mind. So lace up, the doctor is in!

Hmmmm...there is always a nice Pinot Noir to mop up your troubles for awhile.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Chub Rub

Yup.  Sorry to be so frank but chub rub was a pretty real part of any swift movement I would make for a lot of years.  I am the most unlikely person to train for anything beyond an aspiring food athlete.  I used to really like me a hotdog or 12.
I used to weigh like 2 bills and change until exactly 3 years ago when I had gastric bypass surgery at Tufts Medical Center (love that place!) and lost 100 lbs in months.  The change was rather rapid.  I quickly realized the walks up Beacon Hill that were made with labored breaths, perspiration, and extreme effort was just jaunts.  Everywhere I went I was speed walking in part because there was no longer any chub rub.  Walking without abutting body parts is delightful. Pretty soon swift walking turned in a little jog then a little jog turned into an idea....maybe I could run?
At that point, I had never run a mile in my life except for the required prepubescent Presidential Fitness Tests. It was a cruel public spectacle that pitted the slowest boy Zach vs. me a chubby, brace-face, with a sense of humor.  I made a deal with he gym teacher if I beat Zach; I never had to run that green mile again.  Zach was a head until the 4th lap when I used all my sweat reserves to surge with a red face and a quick confidence puff of my albuterol inhaler, I overtook Zach.  My face must have shown the pain I no doubt felt from my chubby arms pushing hard and chaffing.  Cue Chariots of Fire as I beat Zach by a roll and won the day to be greeted with a resounding applause from my peers (actual student athletes) and waifs of baking chicken fingers from the caf.  What a day!  And no more laps and chapped arms for this gal.

25 years later, I basically returned to my birth weight and got the idea that I might like to run.  The suggestion that I train to run a 5K (coincidentally the last time I dealt with kilometers was the on the PSAT taken about the same time as my dramatic race against chub rub and Zach) came from a few different sources - my friend Nick, a marathoner named Jesse, and my close friends and constant cheerleaders, Andrew and Malisa who somehow also made me a vegetarian during the same conversation or conversion, should I say?

Anyway that is how running started about 3 years ago.  Now another journey begins on how to turn my paltry 7 mile Falmouth Road Race into a near 30 mile run through Metro West.  If only I could facebook Zach and get him to show up and chase me up Heartbreak Hill :)