It’s been 3 months since I returned to running. Thought I’d pick up where I left off – only 10 years ago. You know, of course I’d be a little dusty, but I’d shake that off soon enough. Nothing to it.
Bought some runners on the net – thought they were soft pink. Actually fluro orange. So loud and damn optimistic. I was embarrassed to put them on – they seemed excessively claiming of space. But they fit. So…
Had to buy a sports bra or 2. Never used to need one. I remember jogging along Manly beach in swimmers. The audacity of it all. The youthful blissful oblivion…perky and all that. It staggers me now. Girl you have no idea…
So have headphones on. A hidden playlist loaded. The volume’s loud enough that I can’t hear my footfalls or panting. If I could, I’d stop with shame.
Lyrics burning my ears “I get stronger with every step!” and “This is my fight song. Take back my life song.” Cheesy but basically true. Nothing highbrow here.
And then the almost fear of sweat. The dripping in public. The scarlet-faced here-I-am-ness. I’m trying. In public. I’m seriously fucking trying.
A guy overtakes me. He’s springy long-legged geared-up. He moves swiftly yet doesn’t puff. I keep shuffling.
And then the sudden pain of shinsplints. Didn’t I kill those fuckers back in the 90’s?! I’d forgotten that particular every-step-pain. Do I keep running despite it? Am not sure if I can or should.
Stumble into the physio’s not long after. Am strapped and chastised duly. Build up to it and don’t throw yourself in. Pace yourself. Take it slow.
Doesn’t she know that anything less than a full bodied hurl won’t work for me. It’s all too easy to stop. To walk. To walk back home. And shut the door.
Walk for 4 minutes and then run for 1. Wow, that’s not going to get awkward. I’m running whilst eyeing my phone for the countdown and the song’s nearing its peak and now walk. Now. But the music’s pounding. Walk dammit.
Someone’s leading their shiny black dog up ahead. They stop as it pees. I’m walking then realise it’s 3mins 58 and I’m nothing if not earnest so you know I’m going to burst into a run right near them. Oh shit. I’m starting to get the giggles deep at the soon to be glory and ok, here we go. She does a polite tight smile and I give her a supersize grin and I’m off. A hobbled it’s only 1 min lurch. She startles. My eyes water with suppression.
Where’s the gazelle – the ponytailed swish – the lithe arms pumping…where the heck did she go. It was only a decade.
Why does even a run have to humble.
But here – almost – now – comes the runner’s rush and I’m thinking I just might be ok…