I get the sense it just makes you miserable."
- Karen, whom I dated in high school
Maybe it has something to do with the picture of myself in anguish at the top of the page, but it is true, lately it seems like it is all ugly. Because I'm tired. Very, very tired.
But the running doesn't make me tired, if anything the running gives me energy. I do not know where I would be -- or what size I would be -- without it.
It's my exercise, it's exercise I can get excited about. I have tried yoga. I have tried weight machines. For maybe three seconds I have considered teams sports. Can't excite me. Running, however, is thrilling. It is a dare. And it is a surprise.
Yesterday, for example, I complained that I got suddenly hungry in the middle of the run, which was just stupid and poor planning on my part. That is an example of a bad surprise. However, quite often I feel wretched when I start out, and gain energy and happiness as I go along, and end feeling so much better than I started.
The problem with this blog (I am taking your comment seriously, Karen) is that I am writing around all the other things, the before and after things. I try to remember the charge I get at certain points during the run, but have often forgotten them by the time I return, and then I need to get on with my life.
But then, I once wrote an entire play about running, about why I run. Martin Denton of nytheatre.com had this to say about it; "What I wanted was to understand why running is so fundamentally important to Hansen. But this show never really gets us to that place." It appears I have failed to properly communicate this fact more than once.
I am going to make a point of reflecting more on the running itself. That might change your mind about it ... or at least make reading these posts less onerous.
Climate: mostly dry pavement, with as yet unmelted ice patches
Distance: 5.15 miles
Weight: 175 lbs.
Some reasons why I love running.
Breathing - While I can complain of being tired from time to time, I am not spent. I do not gasp, I do not pant. I breathe freely and deeply, and feeling myself breathe as I run is a joyful celebration of life. (I am trying to be tactful here, Cris, but she did ask.)
Also, for someone my age, my heart-rate is entirely awesome.
Thinking - Getting out and running is the only time I have when I absolutely no obligations to someone else, and so am free to think about anything at all. My mind wandering, I have directed entire plays, written entire scenes, developed perspective on issues which trouble me.
Outside - It is a fucking gorgeous day today. I may never have learned that until I stepped out for 5 o'clock rehearsal, and then it would be too late to enjoy it. This is a major reason why I have little to no urge to get a gum membership again, even when the weather is miserable. In fact, it has made me engage the horrible weather, instead of merely complain about and hide from it.
Neighborhood - Like a dog walker (except without all that horrible talking to other dog walkers) I know more about the state of my neighborhood and my city than most other people. I never learned the geography of my adopted town until I began training for my first marathon.
Muscles - I have extremely attractive calves.
Those were the positive thoughts I put together on today's run. Perhaps I have stated some before, but they are worth repeating. You know. For Karen.
Relax (New York Mix) - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
William, It Was Really Nothing - The Smiths
Shake Dog Shake (Live) - The Cure
Fuck Art, Let's Dance - The Adults
Strut - Sheen Easton
Cue Fanfare - Prefab Sprout
Me Ship Came In! (177 bpm) - The Style Council
High Energy - Evelyn Thomas
Welcome to the Pleasuredome - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
You're The Wish You Are I Had - XTC
Skakin' To The Beat - Fishbone
99 Luftballons - Nena