Running Before The Storm


I hate to be that girl; and by that girl I mean the girl who takes up running and suddenly can think of NOTHING ELSE TO WRITE ABOUT. But that’s me right now. I’ve only been back in this habit for a little over a month now and it seems to be the only thing I can think of to tell people about anymore. It’s not something that I’ve actually written home about, but I’ve written to everyone else that I correspond with about it.

That said, I had an interesting experience while running yesterday. I set a goal for myself to do a 21 mile long run on Labor Day weekend and ever since I have been trying to build up my distance so yesterday was one of these preparatory “long runs”. If you will recall, the weather was also actually pretty nice: sunny and blue skies with puffy clouds and not too unbearably hot for a change. Though I usually prefer to run close to sun-down (to avoid wearing sunscreen) I decided not to wait yesterday, slathered on my 50 spf, zinc-oxide, waterproof, sweat-proof sunscreen designed to protect babies from nuclear annihilation and headed out the door.

Things went brilliantly for the first three miles, but it went downhill from there. By the last three miles I wasn’t sure I was even still human. I mean, I started the run as a human, but I staggered home as a zombie. I’m pretty sure that if I had encountered any small children they would have fled in terror. A few hours of strenuous sweating turned my sunscreen into a waterproof white paste with the consistency of industrial lubricant on my face that made me look more than a little bit like something that had died face down in a puddle. This look was, if anything, accentuated by the fact that I’d been drinking water like it was my job, but by the end, most of this was water-logging my clothes, and if my pace was any indication it was also water-logging every muscle in my body. I felt like I’d been hit in the face with a shovel. In fact every inch of me felt like it had been hit with a shovel. I’ve had tough runs before, but never like this.

In the end I did make it home in one, largely upright, piece. I went inside to get some sports drink (sweet nectar of life!) and to message my husband, who was in Wisconsin, that I’d made it back. He responded that it was raining where he was. I responded that I wished it was raining where I was, that would have been a relief, LOL, and then I went outside to stretch and cool down.

Usually after a run a few minutes of good stretching brings me back to normal, but yesterday I could only manage a few perfunctory stretches before giving up and lying in the grass, arms crossed across my chest like a mummy (because if you’re going to be undead you might as well go all the way) and staring at the bright sunny sky full of puffy white clouds. In the five minutes that I lay there I watched, amused, as the sky clouded over before my eyes. By the time I went inside to shower it was pouring down rain.

The weather got me thinking: maybe the weather was to blame for my shambling, shuffling, descent into zombie-dom. I do sometimes get headaches before rainstorms; and I really did have no idea that just such a rainstorm was on its way (though I’m not sure if it would have changed anything if I had known). So given the option I think that’s the last time I want to go running before a storm (but that would be a great name for a country power-ballad).

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on August 8, 2011.

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