Friday, August 3, 2012

uphill crawling

The first few weeks of a running program are hell, but somewhere between 4-6 weeks of jogging, five days a week, your body surrenders and finally exhales. It learns to work well under the strain and even enjoy itself in the process. Today was hot and balmy, but I still craved my afternoon soaking. It was around 90 degrees and humid enough to ring out your shirt after walking to the mailbox, but I was only going to the bottom of the mountain and back. The distance down to route 22 was only a mile, two till I got back to my door (the second half all uphill of course). It takes me twenty five minutes or so, but it isn't a race. I only know the time because that's how many songs I need to program on my play list for the pavement. I headed out today and within the first few steps I knew it was going to be a good run. The kind of run that makes people write about them. Thus.

Anyway, I was heading home, climbing up the mountain at a respectable clip when I got lost in the music. I ran with the song, a soundtrack in my pumping heart and I felt the extra air get pulled deep into my lungs as each little hobbit ham pumped and pulled me forward. I think of Merlin when I run. Both of us are not the versions of our species you see on calendars. We're both older, chubbier, shorter, and eccentric for modeling in the horse and human world. Okay, so we're not aesthetic superstars, so what? Just two days ago I was on his back and we were running up this same road together, as a team. We may not be centerfolds, but by Dagda we move like we are alive.

I was half a mile from home when a Subaru passed me, then stopped in the middle of the road about 20 yards ahead of me. I cocked my head to the side, worried they broke down since there was nowhere to go but my driveway and it wasn't the car of anyone who lives on my road. They made a K turn and started driving back towards me and then rolled down the window. I halted my jog and pulled out my ear buds. A kind looking man in his fifties with his wife peered at me with mild concern. He asked, "Are you running because of some emergency? Do you need help?"

I smiled and huffed out that I was fine and I was just running to lose weight, get in shape. This was not a satisfactory answer to the Subaru owners. He returned with, "Oh. Well it's the hottest day of the year, don't hurt yourself" And he drove off. I headed back the last couple of strides home, convinced that I have spent my whole life running uphill with people shaking their heads at me, confused and convinced at the same time I am a nut job.

Maybe I am, but I'm beating my best time at it.


Blogger J.D. said...

Love this post!

August 3, 2012 at 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Jandra said...

Good job on the running, 'nut job'!

The Subaru people may not have understood why you'd be running in stead of driving an airconditioned car, but they were kind enough to check if you needed help.

August 4, 2012 at 2:45 AM  
Blogger daisy said...

Kind of the couple to stop and ask.
Some of us just learn more running uphill...

August 4, 2012 at 6:35 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Or, given the incidents of heat-related illnesses and warnings to not exert oneself outside in the afternoon during an overly hot day (like the weather warning that's been put out in our area today - the other side of the state from where you are - as we approach high-90s with mugginess), perhaps they were concerned for your well-being. I think it was quite nice of them to do so, (and as your entry above about riding with Merlin seems somewhat critical of car drivers, I'm surprised you didn't appreciate their thoughtfulness a bit more).

August 4, 2012 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I need to over exert, as I am overweight. I only went 2 miles. The post wasn't mocking them, it was explaining that people are not used to seeing exertion on hot days.

And I WAS being critical of car drivers! One almost slammed into me today because they were texting.

August 4, 2012 at 2:32 PM  
Anonymous iacowgl said...

You are either an inspiration for running or slightly crazed for running in the heat...or maybe both! ha.

I tried the couch to 5K program last January and made it to the 5th week. I did the 5th week about 4 times concurrently. This was on the treadmill...but I was impressed with myself even running on that thing! So GOOD FOR YOU. I'm psyching up for walking/running outside again when it gets a bit cooler. Early morning and late evening are the only viable times for are much more ambitious. ! And that last 12 pounds of lipid tissue really wants to leave my body....adieu adipose...(geez that is sick).

It is RAINING here in Iowa. YAY!!! I'm having a glass of malbec.

August 4, 2012 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

Jenna, it's funny how you always seem to put into words what I'm feeling. I too have "spent my whole life running uphill."! Thank you.

August 4, 2012 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger blind irish pirate said...

... This makes me sad, not because you are running uphill or whatnot. I get that. I'm sad because... really? It's too hot to be outside? I feel like if people just turned down the A/C, their perspectives would shift.

August 5, 2012 at 1:10 AM  
Anonymous Walter said...

I have to respectfully disagree. You should not over-exert. All you do by running in the heat of the day is lose more fluids (which you'll replace) than you would if you ran earlier. You only increase your chance of a systemic injury. Good, hard PT is one thing; you SHOULD be tired and maybe a little sore. Over-exertion, however, can lead to heat injuries and long-term musculoskeletal injuries. You want to get the weight off, but you don't need an injury that impacts your ability to run the farm. Balance; patience.

August 5, 2012 at 6:56 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Yes, what Walter said. And yes, sometimes it *is* too hot to be outside. Even nature slows down on days like that. Where I live, I've noticed the wildlife stays hunkered down in the cool of the woods, the toads burrow further down into the cool earth of my gardens, etc. As for turning down the AC, I don't disagree that many people are overly reliant on them, but then I also think of the many people who've lost their lives this summer due to the excessive heat and lack of AC.

August 5, 2012 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Just keep running, Jenna!!!

August 5, 2012 at 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the horse world, Merlin's look is called "baroque." Maybe, with the right outfit, you could be called baroque too?

August 6, 2012 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger farmhousewife said...

When you articulate phrases like this, "convinced that I have spent my whole life running uphill with people shaking their heads at me, confused and convinced at the same time I am a nut job." I don't feel so alone in the world!!!

August 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger farmhousewife said...

p.s. I hate to run.

*shakes own head*

August 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM  

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