April 18, 2003

Run Heather Run

One of the greatest things we humans take for granted is our health. I am and have been for approximately three years in perfect health. This last year has been the best of the three, as I have become one of those gymrats that everyone who's not a gymrat disdains.

But this morning, as I was awakened by the "do-you-want-to-get-up-at-5?" intoned by my husband, I found myself making the 2,154 excuses to myself that I thought I was long past about why I did not want to transport myself to the gym.

*Too tired
*Leg muscles ache, ow, ow
*I'll do Pilates later
*I'll go tomorrow and do more
*It won't hurt me if I don't go
*It's only cardio day - I wouldn't be missing any strength training
*I could go to work early and go to the gym after.
*I could play some Asheron's Call!

See, these are not even eloquent. Nor are they persuasive.

Today is cardio day. My body knows this, as my id so aptly stated in the previous paragraph. The gym has a track encircling it up at about a mezzanine level, and 18 times around is a mile. It's a perfect 60 - 65 degrees, so the moment you start to sweat, you know your muscles are warm enough to stretch or rip (as needed).

Cardio day encompasses many pleasures and tortures. I like the elliptical machine - often do 15 - 30 mins on it on non-cardio-days as the cardio component of a non-all-cardio day. Did you get all that? Good. But, in preparation for this MS 150 thing, I've felt the need to do some adequate self ass-kicking. This is otherwise known as running.

Now, some people are born to run. You see them in shopping malls or grocery stores - their tiny ectomorphic limbs and torsos - sometimes Gollum personified. If you feel the need to scientifically observe, park yourself at a mall near the size 2 racks. Yes, those are they.

I am not one of these people. I am born to lift and grunt, and, in other societies, would likely be one of the first women tapped for manual labor. Tall, good strong back. I would not be your choice of messenger to Marathon.

Alas and excuses aside, this running thing is growing on me. It's fabulous endurance training to get those lungs moving, and dancing happy lungs are good things. Oh, and the endorphins. Oh baby. The body's own opiates? And at that moment when you finally make that self discovery of "hey, I'm breathing normally AND running" - oh baby. Euphoria.

I'm not sure it's entirely just that, though. I find myself want to run in places and at times when it's not appropriate to run (and then, of course, conversely, wishing quite the opposite at the exact moment when my feet should begin doing their thing). This morning, I wanted to run the strangely cobbled hallway from the restroom back to the office location that houses my cubicle. Very strange indeed.

Where does this lead? Well, this morning it meant I ran nearly two miles and walked (which is close to jogging, really) another two or so. And then I applied the old ramrod to my psyche about my lack of effort, and it broke. I found myself laughing. A year ago, if I had told myself, "today you're going to walk a few miles and then run a few (or that amount of exercise in any order), I'd have run (or something else) screaming from the impossibility.



Posted by hln at April 18, 2003 10:00 PM | Health/Fitness/Nutrition