Maybe I showed up at PT on Friday a bit numbed up; it’s possible I had a glass of red wine beforehand, to take the edge off the disappointment and alarm at the consistent thrum of pain in my “sit “muscles. I’d run 2.34 easy miles that morning, but even at a 10:35 pace the ache increased once I stopped running. While Danielle worked hard on my sore hammies and adductor brevies, and I admitted that I felt like an idiot for showing up there with the same injury again. It was some sort of strange, post-Catholic, running-is-my-religion confessional, but I can’t say she granted me absolution.
I need to know if having sex will aggravate the strains, but am afraid of embarassing Danielle by asking.
Friday night Husband, Matilda and I drove to Pennsylvania in the storming rain, and of course we got a flat tire on I-80. It took an hour for the cop and tow truck to show up (no way was I letting my man out on the side of the road to change the tire for fear of a dumbass driver smashing him to bits). I tell you this because the four hours in the car only aggravated my injury further, and by the time we were on the final windy stretch towards the house, at 1 AM, every turn amplified the ache.
So, no running on a dreary Saturday. Instead, I awoke at 12:30 PM and spent the rest of the day sorting through 200+ accumulated work emails.
Today, though. Today was my lucky day. I arose with minimal pain, sat with my cup of coffee and my Sony Ereader until Husband stumbled out of the bedroom, scratching his head and squinting at the sun. We were going to go for a run around the neighborhood together!
Back when we were dating, he used to run races with me every so often. The Run to Home Plate, a turkey trot, a Valentine’s Day Twosome. He always beat me, even though his exercise of choice was hours lifting at the gym every week, because he used to run all over Yonkers when he was in high school and college. One year, in a huge concession, he accompanied me on the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park. He refused to take off his layers of clothing at the start, and instead ran in sweats, a big puffy jacket, and a wool cap. When I saw him at the finish line, he was sweltering and pulled off his cap. I nearly doubled over in laughter–he was so warm his head began steaming the second it hit the cold air! He looked like a character in a cartoon. But soon after that race, his body began to protest and various injuries here and there–abs, shoulders, elbow–prevented him from maintaining his gym routine.
This year, though, Husband asked for an iPod for his birthday. Once I hooked it up, and he had his library and playlists all loaded, he began running every so often. He needs the iPod, you see, because he says he “hates hearing himself pant.” Two miles, walking up the steepest parts of the route–he traced my familiar Sunnyside Loop. I was secretly fascinated and thrilled, but I didn’t press him for details. He was running for himself, not because I asked it of him, and I didn’t want to impose my reasons and expectations upon him.
But finally, because of a strange combination of his consistent two-milers and my semi-injured state, we were both planningfor today the same distance at about the same speed. Oh-so-casually I threw it out there–Shall we? He agreed, but only with a caveat: “Don’t be critiquin’ me!’ Ok! Even his complaints about having to wait for Little G to locate a satellite weren’t enough to lessen the grin on my face as we took off up the hill. We were both wrapped up in our own musical worlds, he with Medeski, Martin and Wood and me in the S’s of the My Top Rated playlist. I grinned over at him but he self-consciously wouldn’t look back, so I pushed him in the shoulder until he did. Husband loves animals with the same kind of do-no-harm zeal that Buddhist monks have, you know the ones who sweep the road before them so as not to squash any bugs. I knew I was along for his run (and not the other way around) when we came to a complete halt to briefly mourn a dead frog that lay at the side of the road.
We mosied along–10:31, 10:45 and 10:37 were our pacing splits–through our neighborhood together, and I marvelled silently at the fact that of all the years I’d been running this loop, I’d never ran it with him. A couple of times he caught me glancing at Little G’s display and he tried to wave me ahead; I know he was concerned that he was too slow for me. But I couldn’t have run much faster if I’d tried without pain, and besides it was too much of a delightful novelty to have him there next to me, with his bouncy stride, his skinny calves and his Popeye forearms on display.
That’s the thing about Husband; he’s my everpresent comfort and grand consolation. Sometimes, like today, he’s not even trying. Nothing else could have made me so excited about running 10:37’s, but if it means I get to run them next to my man, then that’s exactly the speed I want to be at.