Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sweat and Loathing in the Suburbs

I was feeling a little bit cocky after Monday’s run. The air temperature on that day had cooled to about 78 degrees, and after two off days (because last weekend I worked both days at Old Navy, which so counts as a cardio workout), on Monday my run had gone well and I felt strong. When I left the house last night, I thought I might even be able to up my distance a little.

Well, the temperature and the humidity were both back up there yesterday. At first it wasn’t bad, because there was a breeze, and my delusions held me aloft for a little while. Before long, though, it started to feel like I was running through pea soup. Halfway through, I was soaked head to foot and having trouble seeing because the salt was stinging my eyes. The air was too heavy to breathe. My run had become a war, and I was losing.

While I waited at an intersection to cross the street, a woman and her daughter on bikes paused to ask if the trail we were on would cross the highway soon. I said there was a bridge just up ahead. As the two of them took off on their bikes again, the woman turned around to ask me over her shoulder, “Are you drinking plenty of water?” I showed her my water bottle to prove that I wasn’t really about to collapse in a sweaty heap. It only looked that way.

I tried to continue running, but by then it was all over. I hated this soggy bulk of a body. I could not shake the infuriating weight of the ground off my feet. It wouldn’t let me go, and I hated it, too.

Toward the end of my “run,” which had turned into more of a “swamped plodding,” a tiny brown bird was hopping along the sidewalk in front of me. I wanted its weightless little body. Or, at the very least, I wanted to crush its weightless little body under my leaden foot.

Of course, actually pulling that off would have required a measure of quickness on my part, and at that point, the swamped plodding was the best I was going to muster.

Maybe one of the neighborhood cats will get the little mocking bastard.


Meghan said...

I have had runs like that too. If you give yourself permission to walk when it's that awful to run you might hate the idea of running less. IT's awesome that you are running though!

Amy said...

Hey--you're out there trying. Trust me. That's a lot more than a lot (read: me) of us are doing.

When are we going to knit with Batgirl at Yarn Cafe???