Friday, August 19, 2011

In praise of true friends

It has been three months since the Calf-Shredding Debacle of 2011. Throughout this ordeal there has been one person who I knew would be there to listen to my every gripe, moan, and whine, one person who knew exactly how I felt: the Redhead. Girl, I might not be able to say it properly (what's that? an introvert having trouble expressing emotions? you don't say!), but being able to commiserate with you online and IRL has been the difference between abject despondency and manageable exasperation. I may have put on a brave face...but the past three months have been exceedingly difficult. Thank you so much for everything. WE SHALL OVERCOME.

The girls (Redhead and myself) taking the girls (Leela and Brownie) out for a 14-mile spin in Dexter

Oh yeah, that sexy brown bike in the picture? That's Brownie, my gorgeous girl, my $120 Craigslist find, the bike I've secretly always wanted but never had because I thought people would make fun of me (seriously). She's a 1960s vintage Schwinn Collegiate cruiser, five speeds, a few creaks and squeaks, but she rides smoothly and I love her. I have ridden Brownie more since I got her in mid-July than I rode any bike for the previous 8 years. My new favorite thing is to go out for 4-5 miles in the evenings when the sun is setting and the streets are quiet.

I also look a bit browned up because I was on vacation the last week of July. I went back to Cape Cod with my family. I hoped I would be able to run while I was there; sadly, that was not meant to be. I did, however, attach Brownie to the back of my car and haul her 900 miles so I could ride her, which I did, extensively.

The rest of the time was spent doing this:

I can guarantee you that is not coffee in that mug.
My greatest concerns all week were:
  • shifting my beach chair as the day wore on in order to remain in optimal sun-baking position
  • getting up to take a swim in the ocean if I became overheated while roasting in the sun
  • picking up my mug and discovering it was empty, whereupon I would go into the house and fix myself another vodka tonic (or gin and tonic)

I also plowed through all of A Game of Thrones and part of A Clash of Kings. Reading, bike riding, walking with my mom, drinking beer and other assorted booze, eating fried clams and was a wonderful vacation.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Starting out with a bang!

This morning I did something I have not done for three months:

I got up at 6:00 and went running.

I didn't run very far—maybe a mile total—and I took walk breaks every quarter of a mile.

I didn't run very fast—even though I didn't wear Garmy, if I was going faster than 11:00/M I would be surprised.

I ran. I went running. I RAN.

When I got up, I could hear rumblings from an approaching thunderstorm. I left the house as the first rain drops began to fall. I chose to do loops around the block, about a half mile for each one, so I wasn't far from home if the skies suddenly opened up. The storm drew closer as I trotted along; lightning illuminated the sidewalk and thunder crackled in the clouds. The rain began to fall in earnest, and I fought the temptation to run faster. After three months of rehabilitation, the last thing I needed was to reinjure myself by sprinting for home. Even when a flash of lightning lit up the street like a squadron of searchlights and thunder crashed so loudly I jumped and jammed my fingers in my ears, I kept my pace slow and steady. I made it home just ahead of the deluge. I was damp with sweat and rain, breathless, exhilarated. I never thought running one mile would feel so good.

This was a reconnaissance mission of sorts: test out the leg with some light running mixed with walking to assess the progress I have made in physical therapy since early July. I am pleased to report that my calf did not trouble me at all.

I have a looooooong way to go before I can run with the frequency and intensity of even six months ago, never mind a year or two years ago. I may never run like that again for all I know. Right now, at this moment, I'm happy I ran a mile. I ran a mile and it didn't hurt.

I ran today!

In additional milestone news today, not only did I run for the first time since May 15, but the black toenail I gave myself by dropping my glider chair on my foot on May 18 FINALLY FELL OFF!

Forget my running today—my ugly black toenail is gone!