My husband slept in a funny position Saturday night and still has a nasty crick in his neck. He can turn it a little to the left and a little to the right, but it’s obvious his neck isn’t working right. He’s got a smile on his face, thanks to Tramadol, but he’s still in pain.
Due to this neck mishap, we missed our weekly biking date yesterday, so I fell back on my typical summer Sunday workout: a bike ride around town and a walk around the university track.
I only ride my bike in town on Sunday because the traffic is light and the crazy drivers are all in church or sleeping off a hangover. (Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting everyone who goes to church is a crazy driver. I’m just wary of little old men wearing thick lens glasses driving the large Cadillacs parked in the Presbyterian church lot.)
When I got to the track, I walked the first quarter mile the same old way I always do. Then I remembered the dream I had again the night before. It’s a recurring dream I have every few weeks of running around an obscure track being timed by a coach I’d never seen before. I got to thinking about that dream, and how as a kid I used to love to run just for the sake of running, and how long it had been since I’d run anywhere. Would I even remember how? It occurred to me that if this was thousands of years ago and I was one of the early humans who fell out of the trees and stood erect and went hunting? Yeah…I’d have been one of the first ones eaten by a predator.
But this was a Sunday morning in 2008. No one was around to critique or eat me. (Another disclaimer: What I’m about to tell you is top secret, so please, I beg you, don’t tell my orthopedic surgeon, Bob, and especially not his assistant, Steve, who’d never call me “buddy” again and would jab me with my next injection of Synvisc rather than easing it in like he does so well.) I…well…kinda decided to run. Not far – a quarter to a half mile tops, and only in 100-yard spurts – but it was far enough to make me completely change my opinion of running and runners.
My husband’s been running for 30 years. Some of my best friends are runners. I never understood their passion. To me, running was nothing more than sending your knees and feet to an early grave. I walk a 12-minute mile and I figured that was close enough to running. Wrong! Running is so much more than walking. It’s child-like! It’s a rush! Walking’s got nothing on running. Things rush by faster, the wind hits your face more sharply, you smell the air more readily and it’s so fresh as it hits your nostrils. I have a good idea now of what runner’s mean by a “runner’s high.”
Sadly, I’ll never get there completely. Ever. …*insert big sigh*… I won’t experience a true runner’s high because, while my knees and toes did just fine and I feel no lasting repercussions today, I know realistically I won’t be able to run more than a mile without my knees giving out. I felt every single ounce of my 128 pounds pounding my poor arthritic knees and toes.
But knowing I feel good today, I KNOW I’ll do it again next time. Why? Because running, for me, is like chocolate. A little taste goes a long way.