Because I can

I’m typing this up in Bryant Park, my second favorite park after Washington Square. It is so full of people, yet shockingly green. And the library lives there, which is why I’m here often.  **hold up, I need to stop and tell you that a man just interrupted my typing by walking over to my cute little table and asking “what matters to you in a day spa?”. He does not look like any sort of man that frequents a day spa with his neck tattoos and a Sons of Anarchy jacket. I told him I don’t go to day spas. Ever. Which is the truth. He walked away. That was weird.** As I was saying, I’ll walk over to the library in a bit to look for more jobs. Preeeeettty exciting. But first I’m treating myself to Bryant Park and some time to write. And so we can all feel like we’re hanging out together, this is my view as I type-

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This morning I went on a run. It was not fun. I had to do 5 miles, which used to seem like a lot but is one of my shorter runs now. I’ve been gaining mileage well and really enjoying it. I had an awesome 9 mile run in Chicago (Selemon attributed it the cleaner air, which I reluctantly have to agree with) and I’ve been excited to hit 10 this weekend.  Like really looking forward to it. There’s just one problem. My legs aren’t really on-board with the plan.

Right now it hurts to touch my shins. When I do touch them, I immediately get a visual of raw, inflamed steak being pulverized by a meat grinder. My poor, hurting legs. They have been so trusty and getting so strong and I know they deserve better than this.  I bought a special shin massager and compression socks. My shoes were professionally fitted to offer the stability they need. I don’t know how to support them further without just giving them a break.

Today I started running and it hurt. That’s not unusual and there are two types of hurt when running; the kind that makes you stronger and the kind that causes damage. I was able to push through 1.8 miles running and then I stopped to walk a moment and I thought I would fall over. I was dizzy with pain shooting up both legs. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Fire was in my nerves and absolutely overwhelmed my entire body with pain. I really thought I’d fall over. I was dizzy. It didn’t  hurt that badly while I ran, but as soon as I stopped. Oh lord. So it became pretty clear this was beyond “good” pain and I needed to stop. My legs deserve better than that.

This is something I don’t believe I’ve ever shared, but I will now, because it applies. I made the decision to start running after my Aunt Vicki became paralyzed. It made me want to be strong. To never take these legs for granted. To run, run, run because I could. And that’s reason enough.

Because my running was born out of appreciation for my legs, I will have to respect them and take a few days (or weeks) off. Make sure I’m not damaging them, because I will never, ever take them for granted. My half marathon is in two and a half weeks and I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I really hope I can run it, but maybe I won’t be able to. But at the end of the day, I’m listening to my body and the ability to do that shows strength too.

On a lighter note, my detour of a walk home had me hobbling through Chinatown, which is always a treat. All of the stores are in Chinese (I’m assuming that’s what language it is…) which isn’t surprising but I did love seeing that even Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken was in both languages. I was super amused by how easily you can turn down a block in New York and feel like you’re in a completely different place. I took a few photos to share with you all.

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And because you weren’t able to come on the run with me, I took a selfie of what I look like when my legs want to kill me.(you’re welcome). As I walked past the bazillion people along Broadway I kept thinking of resting bitch face. Which I was definitely displaying.

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Oh, and to motivate myself for more desperate job flailing (it feels more like flailing than “applying” these days) I thought I deserved a sugar rush, and stopped by a Scandinavian candy shop on my way up to the library. According to this shop, Scandinavians are the #1 candy consumer in the world which means my sugar tooth is a genetic predisposition and entirely outside of my control.  Thank you, candy shop fun facts. There are two of these shops near my house and both sell their candy in bulk by weight which means I get to fill my bag up with tons of varieties. Including salty black licorice, which is actually super tasty but better in small quantities. Here is today’s loot.

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Don’t they just look bright and cheerful? The candy equivalent of a friendly, warm hug. Alrighty,off to the library! In the trusty words of my bag of candy, have a sweet day and if you have any tips for leg care let me know!

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4 thoughts on “Because I can

  1. Briana says:

    You are a very good writer. Enjoyable, funny, sad, it has it all. Thanks for letting me go on a walk/painful run with you. I am as impressed with you for running because of Vickie as I am for you making the right decision to respect your legs and stop when they need your love. Love you

  2. Linnae Grabner-Hegg says:

    I tasted salted black licorice for the first time last weekend at a memorial service for one of our lake neighbors who was very Finnish. They have a sauna on their property. Anyway, I had to discretely spit it out in a napkin. Yuck! I’d say you have shin splints which Runner’s World says can be a “source of severe pain” just in case you were feeling like a wimp. Icing after running and a softer running surface are things you can do to help. Just Google “shin pain while running” and there will be all kinds of advice. Also, I know you are cutting down on dairy so maybe taking a calcium with vitamin D will help too. You’re building up bone while you exercise. Again, I’m amazed at all the green in the middle of the city.

    • Hola, Momma. Yeah, they are definitely shin splits. It’s just that normally I can massage the knots out and lately they seem to be a bit beyond repair. The compression socks are also supposed to keep lactic acid from building up, but again, I think maybe I’ve moved beyond their help.

      I’m sad to hear you didn’t like the salty licorice! It’s definitely a strong taste, but very satisfying 🙂

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