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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Born to Run

The scale is fickle and stubborn. Or else, it's stuck. Seeing how it's a digital scale, I doubt it's the latter, although it would make me feel better. It might have something to do with the pies I baked over the weekend...nah! Couldn't be. I made an appointment for a fill, and they rescheduled it for 3 weeks later...bleh!

For us in the eastern part of the state, the temps have cooled down a bit to the high 80s, while the West Side (i.e. Seattle) is sweltering this week, with over 100 degree temps. They are in a temperate weather zone, and are unaccustomed to temperature extremes over there. Few homes have AC, even a window unit. People are scampering to get the last fans at the hardware stores. It's a similar scene to 7 months ago, when they were trying to get by with 2 snowplows for the entire county when they had a rare snowstorm. But here, people are more used to the hot summers, and it is a little less humid (not that it's very humid in Seattle). It makes evening running a lot more pleasant, anyway.

I'm still trying to get my mileage back up after a long spring and early summer of slacking, mainly due to scheduling problems. My school schedule is now a bit unpredictable, and when I am working evenings it can be hard to get a run in before the temps are over 85 degrees. But I was looking back at my running logs over the last 18 months and while it feels like I am stuck in a rut, I have made some progress. My times are much better than last year (although still slow). For someone who isn't "built like a runner", I still get a lot of enjoyment out of it. I have legs that are much more buffalo than gazelle, and even after a breast reduction FOLLOWED BY a 70 pound weight loss, I'm still more generously endowed than Marion Jones (or even Venus Williams, probably). But still, I have to say, the number one reason I still run is simple: because I can. It isn't enabling me to eat like a beast, or lose weight like crazy. My heart rate is much lower since I started running (it's in the normal range now, instead of being high) and my BP is lower. But that's not what keeps me going out there. It is just because after feeling like the slow, fat one for my whole life, even as a little kid, I take pleasure in being able to simply do it and not keel over. That's all. That's enough to make it enjoyable for me.

I'm reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall right now. It is about a tribe of Mexican Indians who are known as Running People. They are like ultrarunners--those guys who run 100 mile races--but even more extreme, running for 48 hours straight. It's in their culture and their blood, they run well into old age, and they have nothing but joy in it--and no injuries--all in handmade sandals. It's a truly fascinating book. I have nothing in common with ultramarathoners. I have no ambitions to even do a half marathon, much less any craziness like the Leadville 100 in Colorado (a distance of 2 marathons plus 2 1500 ft climbs, all at once, all above 10,000 feet elevation). None! But those people are damn interesting, and I love to read about them. It gets me a little more excited to go out and get in 3 little miles up the South Hill.

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