Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Treat yourself


I attacked a bag of potato chips today, showing no mercy. Don't worry, though; it was over in a heartbeat and they felt nothing.

I started running again, just to enjoy my favorite food groups -- potato chips, cocktail nuts, Snickers. Not that I couldn't do or haven't done that anyway, but ultimately it's not a pretty sight.

I'm up to two miles now, and really slow. A fact embarrassingly apparent as Albert doesn't seem to realize we're running at all. He keeps up just fine by alternating between a brisk walk and a mild jog. But that's better than two weeks ago, when my pace was such he could inspect his favorite fire hydrants. (Why yes, he is that much of a cliche.)

Like Prius owners and vegans, runners are a smug and clubby lot. When we see each other on the street, we give the nod -- the secret nod -- the one that says, "Don't I look good!"

To stay in the club, I kick it into third gear when another runner comes along, else Albert's gait would give me away. I take long graceful strides, with arms pumping, head up, and hair flying. But exertion -- i.e., actual exercise -- comes at a price. When the danger has passed, I stop and lean on the hood of a car, gasping for air -- sweet, sweet oxygen.

Inevitably, at that very moment, someone I know crosses my path.

"Karin, what are you doing?"
"I'm running."
"Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"Are you sure?"
"Of course I'm sure."
"Because you don't look so good."

Life is short, miles are long.




37 comments:

  1. Oh dear. I shall never be able to keep up with you now. What I took to be long energetic strides whilst I puffed along behind was really only moseying for my benefit. Nonetheless I will be there to cheer for you at the end of the 100 mile Altadena Crest race. And I will photograph you. And post it on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hilarious! What does Albert do when he sees a dog he fancies? I see many jogged male dogs looking round longingly at my Abby as they're made to run by.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Alas, running is not for me. But I admire you for running. Even slowly.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Albert, the other runners and your determination will have you panting less, in no time. Good for you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, it's that time again; that time between 8 and 9. We're off. If you don't hear from me, please water the plants and feed the rabbit.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Glad you were merciful to the chips. I try to do the same with pistachios.

    Good for you for running! I am a walker myself. Although not a power walker...

    ReplyDelete
  7. ...and unsolicited comments are best consumed with the grains of salt that fell off the chips.

    ReplyDelete
  8. U made the most important step by starting!.. Next week Albert will be telling u to slow down!.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just saw your comment 'between 8 & 9'... does that mean a.m.? isn't that too hot to run?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm running right now. Multi-texting until I get hit by something.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You're doing great by your health by running. Now for the appearance part: choose your paths carefully to have a low shrub or fence, about waist high, and fairly opaque. When an acquaintance comes by, hopefully on the other side of the fence, say "squirrel" to Albert, while looking ahead so he knows where it is. Put your skateboard in neutral. Your friend will exclaim, "Oh how gracefully she runs! It's as if she floats on air!"

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can James has given my dilemma due consideration.

    8 at night, Kalei.

    Doris, 100? Try 10. Maybe.

    Bellis, Albert isn't much interested in the opposite sex. Or in any sex, for that matter. He's the first male dog I've owned who wasn't fascinated by his own privates.

    You can admire me in another month, Petrea.

    Ms M, mmm pistachios. I forgot about those.

    WCGB, back from Indian Wells, are you?

    Dianne: Mrs. Brimley, MY CHAIR!

    That's not necessary, Des.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'd comment, but I'm too busy laughing. You've captured that elusive quality of exercise beautifully. Yay, You! And, Albert, for his unwavering support. Everyone needs a good running coach. Even at 2 miles, you've far outpaced me. I've fallen so far off my treadmill it's embarrassing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. someone put out a T-Shirt that reads...

    "I don't Run. And if you ever see me running, you should run too because something is probably chasing me."

    In my case, sound advice

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's great you are running, Karin. Running is not for me, I only walk slowly.
    Pasadena Adjacent's comment make me laugh out loud!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I need Pasadena Adjacent's tee shirt. I don't even pretend to run, like so many others. Would you like me to send you a portable oxygen tank? It will help with that breathless sensation, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Don't believe this woman! Point to point, she can beat my Smart Car.

    ReplyDelete
  18. PA gets it. Run some for me, KB, I could use it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. life ... miles... LOVE that! made me forget how much I enjoyed the rest of the piece. I can do 30 minutes around a track ... at turtle's pace. When an 80-yr-old guy passes you by, you know it's time to up the pace.

    ReplyDelete
  20. That tagline -- kind of sounds like a Nike commercial, doesn't it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have not run for fun except in one situation as a young adult. It was the last time I ever ingested any coke and I'm not talking soda. Hacky sack, basketball and THEN I still wanted to run. Wanted...to...run. For two hours! I wore out the batteries in my Walkman! That told me everything I needed to know about the stuff. I was a pro athlete and *still* hatred to run. I've got enough broken and decrepit parts that I don't run anymore unless it is an emergency. Emergency, like a friend's kid getting doused with a large coffee urn down his back. The only reason I walk more than from the car park to the store is because like you, I like to eat. I only work out so I can eat. I'm better at eating than walking and the amount of advancing decrepitude is making me realize I just need to eat less. Good luck in your endeavors!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I do work out. On occasion. But I don't run. I might run to catch the last helicopter off the embassy roof or if... nah, that's about it, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  23. All you have to do, Terry, is pretend that at the end of every block waits the last helicopter off the embassy roof. I'll try that tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am impressed. You have me beat. I have tried running but it hurts my knees, which is convenient since I don't like running anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  25. my doctor friend says running is bad for the over 40s......shame otherwise of course I'd be out there!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Karin, 10 only gets an attaboy, no sweaty, stringy-haired, tongue-lolling picture for the whole world to see.

    ReplyDelete
  27. You have to give Albert a thrill every once in a while. After all, besides fire hydrants, what is there to live for?!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Good for you, Karin. Keep at it.

    I find it poisonously painful, and basically loathe it, but here's the thing: if I don't do run for a few days, I miss it.

    So I'm a confirmed masochist. I suspect all runners are.

    It has its moments, though. This morning I ran around the Thames and finished up going through the daffodils in the courtyard garden of Hampton Court Palace. People come from all over the world to see that view, and I get to see it any day I like through a haze of sweat and snot.

    Unimprovable, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Soilman, I've seen that view (sans sweat and snot) and can confirm. I would run through a great deal of pain to have another look.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Along with brevity, maybe self-effacing honesty is the soul of wit. On the other hand, that shoe is awfully shiny. Does it think it IS somebody?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Easy does it.

    It helps to be compulsive. But the benefits are there.

    Nothing like that little twinge of stiff leg muscles in the hours after a run to remind you that you've at least DONE IT for the day.

    It's still too cold, for me anyway, to run here. I walk for now. But I miss running. It puts a spring in the step (sore though it may be), and boosts the attitude and outlook.

    You have those inclines in Altadena -- a little hard starting out uphill, but a reward on the downhill coming back.

    Keep it up. And smile as you see people ten years younger than you who look twenty years older.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I thought of you last week when I was in Los Gatos ~ the hill from the apartment to downtown was a challenge and by mid-week my calves knew they weren't walking on a treadmill. I tip my hat to you for hitting the pavement and to Albert for being a good sport.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm impressed!!! I'm sorry to say that I ascribe to Pasadena Adjacent's t-shirt take on running...my knees would never forgive me if I tried to take that on!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. That was a classic story about running Karin. I've gone from not running at all, to running several miles a few times in my life. I won't tell you which end of that cycle I'm at right now, but chips are very high on my list of priorities.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi Karin I found you, nice to run into you and Albert, or shall I say walk! I too have been dabbling with running mostly at the Rose bowl. I agree with you about keeping up with our dogs pace as they are just trotting along no big deal!
    Hope to see you again and love the blog, you inspired me :)
    Gina

    ReplyDelete