Today’s Top Ten

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While I run, my mind bounces freely from one random thought to another, a lot like a pinball machine.  Actually, that is what my typical thought process is like, but while running, it doesn’t seem so frustrating.  It’s the only time I have ‘permission’ to let my mind go where it will…almost in a dreamlike state because I rarely remember anything once my run is over.  I would love to blame my age, as if it’s the onset of the early stages of a deteriorating mind, however, this is just my life.   Some of my thoughts that bounce around are the things I like and the things I loathe about running and often find it entertaining to ponder where I would rank them on my own personal top ten list.   If only I had a DVR in my head, then I could retrieve  all of those random, disconnected memories that I quickly forget.  😉  I am going to try to share a few lists that I have come up with while running all over Houston.  Here is list number 1:

Top 10 reasons I like running in the dark:

Crazy big bug

10. I can’t see the doggie doo into which my prized Nike’s inevitably land.

9. People cannot see my many facial expressions (which my students tell me is very entertaining) as I’m either laughing at them or even at some random thought that crossed my mind, scowling at nimrods blocking the path while standing around talking, rolling my eyes at big muscle men who make a big show warming up then slowly chug along at a pace that I’ve seen a mom pushing twins in a stroller outpace, or grimacing in discomfort due to some intestinal malfunction or sore muscles. (And the list goes on…)

8. No one can see me rockin’ out to the Black Eyed Peas.

7.  The stars at night, are clear and bright….deep in the heart of Texas.

6. I have an excuse to wear my bright neon running gear.

5. Being part of a clandestine group of obsessed runners.  There’s  an underworld of nighttime runners that are quietly and consistently out night after night putting in the miles.  It’s a bit spooky but pretty cool knowing that there are other people out running but you can’t see many of them until you almost plow into them coming around a curve.

4. Watching the sunset, or at least the last rays disappear in the sky, as I start my first mile.

3. I am less likely to be seen when tripping and wiping out.  Not that this is a common occurence, but missteps do happen.  I may have biffed it once right after I passed a runner and went flying forward then flipped onto my back by the time I landed.  I was quick to jump up and make a big scene, feigning confusion and disgust, while looking around on the ground for what could have possibly made me trip.  Yes, the runner I passed came jogging over to help.

2.  No one can tell how cold I am.

Cheering squad on the pond

1. My conversations with myself as I rehash arguments with students, randomly break into laughter about God knows what, and impromptu adrenaline rushes due to the start of a good song on my iPod all go virtually unnoticed.  However, I did get caught once shadow-boxing quite energetically to the Rocky theme song…I could have sworn I was the only one out there!  Eye of the Tiger, man.

“My only ambition is to continue running-forever.  Too many people are so intense with their running that they burn out and never do it again.  I want running to always bring me pleasure.”  -Kay Ryan, U.S. poet laureate

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About virginmarathoner

I'm 32, about to be 33, and realizing that I only have one life to live. This gradual but recent epiphany has inspired me make choices to face the things that I thought I could never do, but secretly desired to accomplish. The first of these was to train for my first half marathon, terrified that I would never be able to run past 7 miles (my longest run prior to beginning training). The first day I ran 8 miles, I cried the entire last mile...with a smile on my face. I'm sure it was a curious sight for any one of the hundreds of soccer moms and little toddlers crowding and blocking my path that morning at the park. Each time I ran a new distance, I felt empowered and proud of my determination and dedication. The day of the half marathon I knew I was addicted. Running gave me clarity, discipline and a renewed passion for living. Now I am about to embark on a new adventure, running my first marathon, and hope that others will be able to relate to my adventures, struggles and mishaps along the way. Afterall, we've only got one life to live, so we better get on it.

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