Sunday, April 01, 2007

"People who celebrate Valentine's Day should be pelted with shoes"

Original post written 2/15/07

This was one of the chants heard by the Hindu extremist group Shiv Sena in New Delhi, India yesterday. It's such a nice contrast of East meets West, Whitman's heart-shaped chocolates rewarded with a good swift shoe attack. I greeted the holiday with my own brand of shoe-pelting, as the heavens opened up and gave us our first big snowstorm this year. I finally had some fiber to sink my new snowshoe crampons into. After careful study of how to harness my foot into the bindings, out I went. I had planned on just walking the first half mile or so to adapt to the shoes, but after a few steps, was curious to see if running in snowshoes was as difficult as I'd heard it was. I took short choppy steps, minding to keep a wider than normal step so as not to kick my ankle.This was actually fun! I felt like a whole different athlete, a younger, less jaded version of myself. There was no clock to compete against since this was the very first time in my life that I was running in snowshoes. Then I kicked my ankle. Ow. That hurt. My legs must be getting tired. I slowed down a little. I saw a four-legged dark brown animal about 100 meters away. It looked at me a lot, and then twisted it's head behind it, as if waiting for back up. Back up arrived, and bambi trotted off into the woods, followed by five of his cohorts. I was happy to see that they didn't look graceful in the snow either. I kicked my ankle again. 'OWW!' I walked for a little bit now, but then got bored with that, and determined to pay more attention and stop kicking myself. I started thinking about this new training plan that I might start. It was designed by an Olympic running coach to lower your mile time. I was concentrating on the logistics of it, and imagining how my legs would feel running at those speeds, I was so focused on those thoughts that I forgot to focus on running wide, and kicked my ankle again hard. 'OH, GOOD NIGHT!',*someone screamed. I looked around, a little alarmed at the sudden anger, then in a hoarse voice started laughing hysterically. I laughed harder thinking about some innocent person taking a Winter stroll witnessing my mishap. I started developing this rhythm with my feet where the foot bed bounced off my heel with each step and it felt like I was alternately dribbling mini basketballs with my heels.. It made me want to run more, but I decided to stop at three miles. Over a 12-minute per mile pace, not bad for a beginner. This was a refreshing twist to my normal running repertoire. I think I'll leave the shoe-pelting to the Shiv Sena, I rather like my snowshoes.

* original quote not suitable for all audiences.. and I'm trying to change some unsavory habits, too..


Jon said...

Strange... That didn't motivate me to run at all.

Good to see your'e still around ;)

tamar said...

Hi Jon!
Thanks for visiting.. You are GOOD! I think it's been over a month since I've posted, and you find me.. I hope you are well.. And snow-shoeing (sp?)is more fun than you can imagine!

Kevin said...

Tamar: Good that you're trying different things like showshoeing. I understand it's a good workout.

I'll stick to the treadmill and spinning when the weather's not good for running outside.

Good to hear from you.


tamar said...

kevin~ how's it going? you don't want to try snowshoeing? I must say, I don't think I quite got my $100 worth, having only used them once this winter.. But you couldn't get me back on a treadmill, that is sheer torture for me..

~Deb said...

I know that the term, ‘pounding the pavement’ sounds so much better than ‘pounding the treadmill’, however, if you ever want to walk just across the street from that trail you run on into my gym and run right next to me on a boring, stationary treadmill, you are more than welcome to! Of course, this offer is only valid in the winter…or even in the summer, if the weather isn’t permitting of course.

What you need is a flask my dear, to keep those tootsies warm while running in that snow. St. Bernards do it all the time in the winter when they’re out saving people in the avalanches. Either that, or you can just swing by my house and have a martini with me before your run…or just stay for the party!

tamar said...

Martinis and snowshoes, there's a match like peacoats and '80's hits.. I missed you!! As much as I hate the treadmill, I would join you at the gym.. That would be fun.. The weather keeps outdoor exercises challenging.. I was so waterlogged after my run today, my clothes gained 4 pounds of water! (OK, what kind of an obsesses nut weighs her clothes right after running??)