So…I’m just home from the longest 3 k run of my life. What is usually a breeze took me nearly 45 minutes and I ran it in a form that would best be described as hunchbacked. On Dec, 29, 2013 I was on track to log 1000 kms for this year, with only 7 k to go. The plan was to log 5 k on Sunday and then another 5 k on Tuesday to make a grand total of 1002 kms. But on Sunday, while doing an ironic stretch to ensure a safe second to last run, I tweaked my back. It didn’t hurt, it just felt a little weird. So me and the Hubs went for the scheduled 5k trot but by the time I got home I could barely stand. Monday morning I couldn’t get out of bed without help and the pain was oh so bad. With only 2 days to meet my goal I pretty much resigned myself to not hitting the mark. It’s the Runner’s Lot, I told myself. We come so close and then, sometimes, we just can’t make the goal. I parroted to myself that in that reality there is a beautiful life lesson. A sort of Desiderata of the footstep. I talked a good lot of bullshit about how I was just going to accept the now frozen mess of my spine, take the 997 kms with gratitude and then nail the whole 1000 k next year. It would be even more of a challenge! Yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket.
And then this morning I got up and thought “Fuck it. Let’s do 3 k and hit that thing!”. I decided that, having used the RICE method for a full 24 hours I could hobble the way up to Cougar Alley and back. I thought about my compression tights and put them on. They certainly helped the test hobble in the house go a little more smoothly than without them. Then I thought about my high waisted Spanx. There was even more compression and all the way up to the middle of my spine.
Huzzah! So I layered both pairs of tights and then geared up. It was -15 c today so there were a few layers but nothing extreme. I did make some layer amends for the slow pace and lack of speed re: building up body heat. Properly attired and with the help of my Ice Spiked Asics, I made the move. Slow and steady and rolled forward so that I could baby my lower back, I took short steps, feet barely coming off the ground, all the time thinking hard about running in a modified chi form.
What a weird trip. Instead of seeing an upright view of the beautiful hoarfrost dressed bushes and trees I could only make out my shoe tops, up and down and up and down, like a sewing machine set to make tiny stitches. I moved over sheets of ice like a woman who just had a hip replacement and at one point saw a bit of ice in the shape of an donkey’s head, complete with a bare patch for an eye. I took it as a sign that I was being an ass and grimly went forward. 3 k seemed more like a 16 k I did once in a terrible blizzard when I was training for the half. Only stubborn Basque pride carried me through. Well, that and the knowledge that to stop and walk home would become an icy trip as what sweat I had built up in this truncated jog would freeze in a flash. With the final one k to go I could feel my back complaining but we slowed down and tucked up ever further and brought that baby home. And so 2013, I can put you to rest the way I wanted to. Thank you feets! Thank you people who make my gear! Thank you to all my road friends…walkers, runners, bikers and the lone skateboarder…you guys enrich my life with your support and friendly ways. A special shout out to Shelli and her man Jeff. If it wasn’t for the road we would never have met this fine year. Next years goal is another 1000k or better…I was thinking about going the Bruce Dern route and running every single day but it’s looking like that isn’t going to happen, starting with day 1! Oh, the mockery!(Mr.Dern nailed a daily run for 17 years! How cool is that!?) I suppose my back will tell me what it thinks about running every day in 2014 once I peel off the compression gear! I’m somewhat afeared!
And so with that running themed ramble I wish you all a happy 2014.