Thursday, May 13, 2010
  Keep Your Head Up

The email came at just the right time. I had been in pretty good shape once. And not all that long ago. But life, as it often tends to do, got in the way. Things happened, jobs changed, gyms closed and focus shifted. Once you fall off that wagon, getting back on is mighty hard.
Just lately I had been missing it. I am pretty sure my days of capping off a free weight workout with an aerobics class, or two, are over. But I was getting the urge to do something that expended some energy. I felt that way in the mornings anyway. The end of the day is another story.
So , when the email from Sarcasmo Jr. came, I was ready. To paraphrase, it said that she was registered for an 8K race in Philly in November, and, did I want to do it with her. That's what it said, in essence. What I read was, "I double dog dare you".
I am not competitive by nature. Except with myself.
Did I mention I am not a runner ?
I could hit a pretty good pace on a treadmill, but running out of doors was never my cup of tea. You have all that weather, the pollen and uneven sidewalks to deal with. Not to mention traffic, smog and people who walk dogs without a leash.
I turned to a friend who has been training to run. Following her advice, I am working my way up to an 8K . I have learned a couple of things so far.
I have learned that I like it. It's solitary, and quiet. There are no demands on me, except to go the distance. And no distractions. No internet, no chores, no job related stress. A chance to let my mind wander where it will, with musical accompaniment. Currently that is limited to the Beatles, Carole King and Earth , Wind & Fire. I am open to suggestions for some running tunes.
I have learned to keep my head up. It is easier to breathe that way. Plus you can see where you are going. When I think I have run my last step I challenge myself to just get to the signpost up ahead. or some other random point. Like I said, I only compete with myself. When I am close to the end I like to fix on a point that will be my finish line. And I picture the people I love standing on the other side, cheering me on.
You couldn't see that with your head down.

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