I am an ardent Valentine’s Day abstainer. Husband sweetly gets me a card every year, but I have always resented this holiday. I take umbrage (oh yes people, I just said “umbrage”) at the way this day makes people feel inadequate and lonely if they are unattached, and at the way it more than implies that this is our one chance to pour out our love for our romantic partners. Oh come on! That is the biggest bunch of bullshit! If I love you, you know it! I tell you at random moments, I show it in small and big ways throughout the year. Just because a bunch of product marketers tell me “Oop honey it is February 14th, you better give him a giftie!” does not mean I’m going to drop everything and proclaim my love. Fuck that.
Having said that, I just don’t have it in me to be a complete humbug about Valentine’s Day, since after all I support Love. I vote for Love, I say Go Love! I am extremely pro-Love. We need more Love–if only everyone clung to their Love feelings and remembered those rather than the yucky other ones, imagine what this world would be like. (Not to mention, everyone would come to work with afterglow every day and meetings would be so much easier.) So when I set my playlist, there was no question. This run was going to be sponsored by the letter L.
I’m in the Poconos with Husband this weekend (we left after my Queenswest long run yesterday), so my 8-miler was going to be around the Lake Naomi development, since those are the clearest backroads around these parts that I know. I was looking forward to it because it is so beautiful there in the Winter, it’s my favorite time of year, with the snow blanketing everything. As a non-skier, mountain cabins hold incredible appeal to me in the winter, since there’s no pressure to go skiing on me, yet everyone else leaves the house to hit the slopes. I always have fantasies of that kind of perfect solitude: alone all day to sit by a fire & read, then surrounded by chatty friends at night for socializing. (Is this the most digressing blogpost ever? Sorry kids.)
On my run today, I had the roads mostly to myself. I passed only two other runners, and they were a couple that was running together. It made me incredibly happy to see them out there. Each time we passed, I couldn’t help myself but to grin extra wide at them. The first time I gave them two-thumbs up and the second time they got a double-wave. The best and worst part of the run was when I spontaneously decided to turn left into the country club off Sullivan Road. It was deserted, and the thoroughfare went into the woods for seemingly forever. The silence, the loneliness once again thrust me into a moment of emotion on the road. I ran past a frozen lake which had been completely snowed over. I ran across a gray wooden bridge, which led me deeper into the forest. Finally I hit a point where I could run no further. I was deep in the middle of a rhododendron thicket which bordered the roads (we have monster rhodos here in the Poconos) and I clicked off Little G and squatted at the side of the road and sobbed. I am scared for the future, I am mourning the past, I am struggling to maintain my sense of self. Try as I might, it is impossible not to stake meaning and importance on events. For example, I have this awful foreboding that no matter what–even if I PR, even if I BQ–the London Marathon will be a letdown for me. Things like this are tying me up in knots, and run in the background of my thoughts all day long (like a system update on your computer) and leave me drained.
Finally I got angry. (Took me long enough.) This is MY run, dammit! Pulled myself together and ran back to the car, knocking out the final mile with gritted teeth. It really was a terrific run, all things considered. One of these days I will figure out how to flick that switch in my brain. You know, the one that turns off your thoughts?
8.11 miles in 1:14:16. Average pace 9:10; fastest mile 8:58; slowest mile 9:32.
FIVE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT RUNNING:
1. It is all mine.
2. I compete only against myself; I do the work and I can crow about the results. NO ONE ELSE gets any fucking credit.
3. It is easily shared.
4. It modulates my moods, makes me a more grounded person (really!).
5. It keeps me gorgeous, in every way.
Songs I ran to: “Love’s in Need of Love Today” by Joan Osborne, “Love & Greed” by Blues Traveler, “Love Explosion” by Weezer, “Love Junkie” by Angie Stone, “Love Like We Do” by Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, “Love Like We Do (Live)” by New Bohemians, “Love of My Life” by Blues Traveler, “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles, “Love Train” by Wolfmother, “Love You Madly” by Cake, “The Love You Save” by The Jackson 5, “Lovefool” by The Cardigans, “Lovelines” by The Replacements, “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers, “Lucha De Gigantes” by Fiebre, “Lucha De Gigantes” by Nacha Pop, “Lucky Star” by Madonna, “Lyla” by Oasis