Friday, April 15, 2005

Litterbugs are gross, but spiders are still scarier

You’ll never believe this. It turns out? Stretching works. Like for real.

Today, after a single week of practicing what the wise They preach, I can once again walk not just up stairs but down them without wincing in pain. My legs both bend and straighten on demand with nary a creak or whine. I can twist my foot from side to side while simultaneously singing the hokey pokey. (This last is mere conjecture. Probably).

But, lest you think everything is furry puppies and dandelion showers here, chez 26.2, let me assure you: it is not.

My hamstrings are shockingly, unrepentingly sore from a full afternoon of picking up trash on the banks of the Anacostia River.

I thought about explaining how and why I ended up spending a workday afternoon crouched among the muck of the river, stuffing garbage bags with empty bottles, acres of Styrofoam, candy wrappers, and the occasional condom and couch cushion. But the real question is why YOU weren’t out there with me? Buncha no good polluters.

By the way, I am never using Styrofoam again. You would not believe how much of it coats the river banks. Of course, there was plenty of other junk out there as well, but Styrofoam was by far the most common material.

Also? Standing around picking up litter is an overwhelmingly futile task. We filled tens of giant garbage bags with trash, without making any kind of noticeable difference.

Of course, I was only there because it was an excuse to be out in the sun and away from my desk. So, from my perspective, mission accomplished!

This, in case you haven’t noticed, is the part of the week where I start to freak out about Saturday’s long run. I always find some reason to panic. Usually it’s Jen or Eric, or what I’ve eaten or didn’t eat, or how much water I’ve drank or not drank. This week it’s the sore hamstrings and not having run since Tuesday.

Probably it’ll be fine. It usually is. Starting is the hardest part, and once I’m in motion, there’s nothing left to do but keep going. But still. Sixteen miles, guys. It’s getting hard.

And now that I’ve gotten this far, the competitive streak is coming out. I don’t just want to finish. I want to finish under 4:45. Which I think is totally doable, if I were sticking to my training schedule. By my anal retentive self seems to have gone on vacation. I have skipped training runs each week for the last month, and it seems to be getting worse.

So I’m going to state it here for the world (by which I mean you all) to see: Next week I will run five times. I. Will.


Blogger Denise said...

You're ready for the 16 miles and you'll feel really incredible once you get past it and on to the other side.

1:08 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Amazing that They are so wise. I wonder what They have to say about the relative futility of garbage-gathering? (I think it's great, by the way!) You will make the 16-mile run. You always have before, right?... and They designed the training program, did They not?

3:05 AM  
Anonymous BD said...

Stretching works? *takes notes*

It's weird how picking up trash and/or pulling weeds will make one's hamstrings hurt like crazy. Such a simple task.

Sixteen miles, no problem, right?

11:07 PM  
Blogger Noames said...

Thanks for the encouragement, ladies! It turns out that sixteen miles was no problem (or at least, as much of no problem as sixteen miles could ever be).

10:13 AM  

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