For years I hated seeing runners around this hilly little college town.  I wanted to smack those healthful smiles right off of their faces.  I imagined them going home, doing a few pushups, and then throwing some camping equipment and their golden retriever / lab / other popular dog type into their landrover to seek adventure.  I loathed those people and the lives I imagined for them.

Well, I think I might be turning a corner right now, becoming a lot less spiteful, and more open to the idea that yes, even I, a person of many workout phobias, can run.  Not only can I run, but I actually enjoy it.  This realization really took me by surprise and knocked me right on my ass when the boy was visiting a few weeks ago.  I had probably turned him down for a run about two dozen times in our relationship when finally I caved, warning “You’ll have to just get used to going really slow and not judge me when I get winded and have to walk.”  It was kind of like that the first couple of times.  But then I realized that I could somehow keep going… not from being in amazing shape so much, but because I have grown accustomed to having a much higher heart rate than is actually recommended for exercise (I spend a lot of time in the 170s and 180s).

The boy left and I have been continuing to run.  Not every day, but probably every other day on average.  I bought running socks.  I donned a really poser-y camo pattern hat that I bought at some vietnamese dollar store in NOVA years ago and had stashed in a drawer for halloween and other potential costume situations.  It’s amazing.  After years of being absolutely, adamantly against running outdoors, I’ve given it a chance, and it hasn’t totally sucked!!

The most surprising realization of all is that I can run hungover.  In fact, it is the closest thing to a cure that I’ve ever encountered.  It doesn’t erase the self-loathing of overindulging the night before, but it does feel good to think that I’m sweating out some of the poison.  Obviously I have insane diarrhea both before and after — booze always wrecks my entire GI tract — but it definitely helps me get back on track with life sooner.  So far I haven’t had one of those emergency poops you hear runners talk about sometimes.

So, if anyone ever wants to join me for a run sometime, I’ll say in advance: yes and totally.  Don’t run your mouth off to me though.  I like to be in the zone.