Take two on another Dimity original. FYI: it was shot in one unchoreographed take because cameraman Grant was overdue for a bike ride.

Let me start by typing something I haven’t typed in months: I had a great run this morning. Yes.  GREAT. Almost five miles, on a hilly route around my house. I was keyed in on my form, but it didn’t feel as onerous as it usually does. Dare I say something is clicking? I don’t want to curse it it by thinking about it too much, but suffice it to say, Grant remarked that this was the first time in a very, very long I’ve come home from a run not limping, not grabbing my ass in pain, not teary and all woe-is-me. I was truly happy–which hopefully you can tell in the video from above.

Up until early June, when I sweated my running details, I obsessed on the numbers. How fast, how far, how many days. I didn’t care what I did to my body, as long as I saw the numbers I wanted to (which, truth be told, weren’t all that fast, but they met my standards). Check that. I did care what shape my body was in, but not enough to stop worry about the numbers. I kept pretending my left side would magically heal, even as I pounded out speedwork on the treadmill in agony.

Just wondering: can endorphins be classified as a hallucinogenic drug?

These days, my details are way more tangible and physical. When I run, my first–and constant–thought is this: is my head up? I swear, if I keep my focus forward–like on a tall tree 20 feet in the distance–75% of the rest of my body falls in line. Are my hips teeter-tottering? Can I land lighter? (One tip that works for me: pretending like you don’t have any lower legs, like you’re landing on the stubs of your knees. Teaches you to tread lightly pretty fast.)

And the obsessing doesn’t stop after the run: Did I take my vitamins? Have I done my balance exercises? Have I stretched? And did I hold each stretch for a minute? (For some reason, that seems to be the tipping point for my legs especially to finally let go.) Can I get to bed earlier? Do I really need to stuff my feet into some flats that really don’t fit?

I’ve got other details to share–stuff that deserve a full blog treatment like Pilates, rolfing, and Chi Running–but suffice it to say, the only number that matters to me right now is total time I am able to run with drastically reduced pain. (Which, in case you’re wondering, is not gone yet: the sucker is more stubborn than a leech.) Still, if my pain-freeish duration continues to climb, I’ll put one in the “W” column.

I’ve told myself that if I can run 10 miles by early August with a pain level of 3 or below on a scale of 1-10, then I’ll take on the marathon training for NYC full throttle. But if, say, I the pain rates a 5 on a 7-miler, then NYC is no-go. Like I’ve said before: no marathon grind this time. My body and mind can’t hack it. Today makes me very optimistic, but I also have to be realistic.

That said, when I was stretching the other day, I visualized myself standing in Staten Island, at the start of the NYC show. I remembered how unreal it felt to run across the Verranzano Bridge with thousands of other people’s footfalls on the metal grating. When I’m running and allow my mind to wander for a second, I wonder how the Queensboro Bridge will feel after training at altitude for so long. I think about people I’ll chat with the race, friends I’ll be watching for on the sidelines, the sweaty goosebumps I’ll get seeing Central Park.

In other words, if I sweat the right kind of details now, I’ll get to experience the much better kind in early November.


p.s. Once again, a winner announcement globbed onto another blog post. Sorry; it’s just the way my life rolls these days. We *hearted* your honest, funny, insightful comments about what part of your life takes a hit from running. Sex, houses with gross bathrooms, kids in front of tv’s, bad diets, the list goes on. Suffice it to say, glad we’re not the only ones.

The winner of the $100 Lole gift certificate is Curare Z, who writes this great little tidbit:

My 3 y.o. daughter’s preschool teacher told me at our last conference that, “Your daughter always seems to be in a hurry.” I could only smile, chagrined, and say, “Well, that’s probably my fault.”

I am ALWAYS hurrying my daughters because I’m always in a hurry to GET RUNNING! If I have a long run planned, I’m always rushing their little bodies out the door — right on the edge of screaming my head off — because I just have to get there and get it started.

Then, after the run, I’m hurrying them home for lunch, for nap, for whatever it is we still have left to do that day.

I feel guilty sometimes, rushing them around just so mommy can get her run in. But, my daughter already loves to run and asks if she can go to the gym with me all the time. So, I hope I’m teaching her that sometimes it’s o.k. to rush to take care of yourself. Sure, I need to take a deep breath sometimes and slow down — but hell — if I do that, I might not PR at my next race.

Curare: we viscerally feel your hurry, but promise us you won’t rush to pick out your Lole clothes. Congrats!