Wednesday, September 24, 2008
My running shoes
When I was in high school, I would steal my Dad's Runner's World magazines and dream about running ultramarathons. For anyone that doesn't know, an ultramarathon is basically anything longer than a marathon (26.2 miles). The most famous ones are usually 100 miles. :D I would think a little about doing marathons, the Boston Marathon especially, but really what brought a smile to my heart was thinking about doing an ultramarathon.
Now you might be thinking that there is something terribly wrong with the hard-wiring of my brain to even want to attempt something like that. I mean running is so boring, right? It makes you hurt, right? Your legs hurt. Your feet hurt. Your butt hurts. And we haven't even talked about when you just want to fall over because you are so tired and your lungs feel like they will never get enough air again. Eh, you are probably right, but I can't help it. There is something about being able to run all day, or two days, or three that fascinates me. And ever since I discovered that these ultramarathons existed a little voice inside of me said, "I could do that."
The Tarahumara, are an indigenous people of Northern Mexico. They are known for their long-distance running. They practice persistance hunting, where they will just run after the deer until it gets tired (usually about 100 miles) and then catch up to kill it. It sounds so dreamy. Well, the killing doesn't sound that dreamy...I'm pretty much a vegetarian. But running that far...it seems like flying to me.
The interesting thing is that I have never run more than 2 miles at a time to this date, and that was pushing it. I have dislocated both knee caps a couple of times, not to mention the time I fell off a horse and dislocated my entire right knee joint. (Yeah, don't even try to picture that one...it was horrible.) 100 miles? For awhile I had just given up. Had stopped running for years, especially after my mission as my hip had also gotten funky. It was ridiculous. I was a walking mass of dysfunctional joints.
For some reason, this summer I decided that I could run again. I started out very small. I think I ran to the end of the block before my knees protested. So I stopped, stretched A LOT, and fed my body uber-nutritious food. The next day I did it again. Got about to the end of the block and had to stop. By the end of the month, I was up to 3/4 of a mile. I don't usually have this much patience.
But something has changed. I almost feel like I am meditating when I run. Every breath that flows out seems to wash away some tension. I crave that intensified breathing. Every step seems to release any heaviness of the day leaving me light. I can feel the stagnant in me move. The sun warms me down to my deepest places. The wind clears the cobwebs in my head leaving me clear. The rain fills me with magic. I feel like I am flying, even if only for a few miles.
So it didn't matter how far I ran, just that I did. I let go of the need to have a certain outcome. I just let myself enjoy it. And I am running my first 5k in my life on Oct. 11. I'm registering for it. Going to get the t-shirt. I asked my Dad and brother to run with me. I am going to run it.
After that? I don't know. But it just might be a 10k.
(until I run my 5k, there will be a daily featured shot of my shoes: my flying shoes. for no other reason than because i think it is fun.)