Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Just like knitting, running generates stories, most of which--let's be honest--are probably only interesting to other runners. Luckily for you, I've been thinking about those seven basic conflicts from high school English, and have handily broken down the saga of my run this morning into its component parts.

(Naturally, the story begins with rowing.) My rowing club is temporarily rowing out of another club's boathouse, and I'm responsible for my boat's cox box--bring it to practice, bringing it home, and charging it overnight. Should be easy enough, but I left it at the boathouse this morning, didn't remember till I got home, and had to go back for it... on 95 and the Merritt Parkway, during the beginning stages of rush hour. [Man vs. man... although until I looked it up just now, I was thinking of this as man vs. civilization, which makes more sense in this case.]

This meant that I got back to my house at 8:50, instead of 7:50. Which meant that instead of eating a leisurely breakfast, knitting/reading for a bit and starting my long run at 9:30, in order to finish by 11:30, get cleaned up, eat, and get to work at 1 (I only needed to be at work a half day today), I needed to get ready pretty fast.

Chapter 1:
I get ready, but am very slow to leave the house because I feel deprived of the knitting time I thought I'd have and I want to finish my book. I convince myself to go, but not until 9:50. Once I start though, it's not so bad, and I decide to run the long way (6 miles) almost to campus, then out and back on the trail for 6 more miles. This means I'll go over a hill I could otherwise avoid, and I feel virtuous. [Man vs. himself.]

Chapter 2:
It starts to rain at about 10:05. [Man vs. nature.] At first, it's not too heavy, but pretty soon, I'm thinking of ways to shorten my route from 12 miles to 6 miles to 3 miles... maybe I could just run directly to the gym? Maybe if I went directly to the gym, a miracle would occur and I'd run on the track, instead of getting cleaned up and reading a book on my phone and knitting? Maybe I shouldn't run 12 miles today anyway, because I ran 10 miles on Sunday, and rest is also important. Hey, going to work early is starting to seem attractive! [Man vs. himself.]

Chapter 3:
OK, now I'm wet to the skin, but I'm kind of getting used to it (I did bring a rain jacket, but it was too warm to wear it), and it's not too bad. I'll do the first 6 miles of my original plan, then see how I feel. [Man vs. himself.]

Chapter 4:
How can it possibly be both misting--so I run into little drops which fog my glasses--and raining big, cold, wet drops? The weather should pick one way to be unpleasant and stick with it. [Man vs. nature.] When I get to the trail, I'll turn directly back to campus and stop at 6 miles. Definitely better to do my long run tomorrow... Wednesday is only 2 days after Sunday, and rest is important. [Man vs. himself.]

Chapter 5:
Hey, now that I'm going towards campus, it's stopped raining (or lightened enough that it seems like it's stopped...), and it's not so bad again. I should turn around and do the out and back I planned. I've started already, and probably I wouldn't really do a long run tomorrow. And I don't feel that tired. Look, I'm going faster! OK, turning around. [Man vs. himself.]

Chapter 6:
Curses, it's raining harder again. OK, I was going to run out 2.5 miles, then back for 3.5 and then that would be 11 total, and 11 is practically 12, but maybe I should turn at 2--10 isn't so much less than 12. Or maybe at 1.5--9 is good too. And rest is important! [Man vs. himself.]

Amazingly, I didn't turn back till I'd gone 2 miles out on the trail, so I ended up running 10 miles total. I put on my jacket at some stage, and when I took it off a puddle of water fell out of the hood (which I hadn't been wearing--it had just hung down my back like a bucket). And I needed to spin my entire outfit in the bathing suit spinner so it would stop dripping.

On the other hand, I don't have to run so far tomorrow!

No comments: