24 September 2005

Running is Hard

You remember when I was having trouble sleeping (said the ostrich with his head firmly in the dirt, since it's still going on)? Well last week, I decided that I would jog home after the show to wear myself out and hopefully get a good night's sleep.

As it turned out, the run only energized me and I ended up awake until 5 a.m. -- but what I chiefly recognized about the run was what a graceless, rumbling, monster I was. My tread was heavy and leaden, my breathing awful, and I was a sweaty, nasty mess. I was a horror. It made me painfully aware of why I gave up running as a form of exercise over twenty years ago.

It put me in mind of that Friends episode where Rachel invites Phoebe to jog with her in the park, and is mortified when Phoebe's jogging style is less than elegant -- arms akimbo, legs flailing and running balls-to-the-wall wildly like a kid, just for the fun of it.

Well, today I was out with Jason for a final day of fun at the Bloomfield ("Pittsburgh's Little Italy!") Italian Days festival, and after sending him on his way to his rehearsal, I walked back to my apartment -- a walk of about a mile or so.

During the walk, I saw about six different people out jogging, which reminded me that since my own recent experience with jogging, I've really noticed other people's jogging styles. For the most part, they're every bit as graceless as me. There was one woman who looked more like she was trundling, rather than jogging. In an odd way, she reminded me of a monster from my Dungeons and Dragons™ days, a Shambling Mound. It was this relentless plant creature that just kept on coming, no matter what you threw at it.

Needless to say, I sidestepped that chick as quickly as possible.

It's good, at least, to know that I'm not the only un-pretty runner in the world. I'll stick to biking and swimming, thanks.

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