Yes! Today was the day! I started running again. Naturally I’m going to write a blog post about it.
I told myself all day I would run, so went right upstairs to put on my gear as soon as I got home. It was a lovely 40 degrees out, still cool enough to cover my legs and arms, I decided. I put on a pair of long johns I had been wearing under my skirt on Sunday plus my Army long-sleeved t-shirt. When I started putting on socks and sneakers, I hit a snag.
My running socks are all very short. Did I really want 5/8 inches of ankle exposed? I did not. I found my one pair of winter running socks. These were long enough. And very thick. I pictured them all soggy after I had run through a couple of the puddles I was sure to encounter. Finally I settled on a pair of just regular socks that looked like they might be athletic socks. For heavens’ sake, I was only going to run about 20 minutes. How bad could they be?
I had contemplated running in the road instead of on the messy sidewalks. After all, almost everybody else walks and runs in the road. What am I so wimpy about? Well, it isn’t exactly being wimpy. It is a matter of principle. When I am driving I HATE encountering pedestrians in the roadways. It’s scary! I don’t want to hit a pedestrian! And I don’t want to bash into another car trying to avoid the pedestrian. Yes, I am capable of navigating the roadways with pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, cars and the myriad unexpected obstacles one encounters. But I like to give myself every advantage. Thus, I prefer to give other motorists the advantage of NOT having to avoid hitting me when possible.
All that said, I may have still run in the road, but when I was driving home I observed that the only really dry surface was in the center of the road. As long as I was going to run through puddles, I reasoned, I might as well be in the safer space.
The sidewalks weren’t completely covered with puddles. There was also lots and lots of gushy, mushy snow. Not slush, mind you. That’s wetter and gushier. This was soft enough to make for a really challenging running surface. I kept telling myself how many more calories I was burning with the extra effort. And breathing prayers of thanks for the occasional patch of bare sidewalk.
I changed the direction I was running in a couple of times to avoid pedestrians walking in the road. I just felt too stupid slogging along through the gush while they strolled at their leisure down the center of the road, with a fine disdain for their own safety and the peace of mind of any drivers they encountered. I crossed the street a couple of times in search of better sidewalks, but I don’t know how much good that did.
At least it added a few more seconds to my run. After all, I was running for a certain length of time, not a certain distance.
It did not take long for my sneakers to start to squish. You know how the sidewalks get: snowbanks on either side holding a lovely reservoir of cold puddle in the middle, with or without ice. Sometimes I tried to run on the sides where there was ice or snow, but it was really easier just to plow through the middle. Most of them did not have ice on the bottom.
Breathing was not the most pleasant, but I persevered. Soon my legs were… not exactly hurting. Were they… yes! They were WORKING! Then they started hurting. Well, I was prepared for that. I knew it was going to be one of those runs where the only satisfaction I get is the fact that I ran. One of those “Dammit, I did it!” runs.
Incidentally, today’s title occurred to me early in the run, when a little water had seeped through to my socks but they weren’t soaked yet. You know that expression “just to get your feet wet,” when you do a smaller version of something big you intend to do. Like having a walk-on in a play before going for a major role. Or running a 5K while you train for a marathon. Writing a silly blog while you work on your novel.
Well, I thought I was being clever. If you don’t agree with me, just chalk it up to Tired Tuesday. At least I ran (dammit).