Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | December 28, 2005

finding my stride

I told my sister something I didnít know I wanted to do until it came out of my mouth.

J: Iím going to do the half marathon in 3 weeks and if Iím feeling good Iíll try to go all the way.
C: How much have you been running?
J: Itís December, the usual 30 miles a week or from party to party.
C: Sounds healthy (sarcasm)

We’ve both run several so its no big feat, it’s a challenge.

Arriving home this evening before the sun set, I strapped on the IPOD, and headed out attempting a 9 mile run. I ran like Lola in the movie zoning to the beat of the music, pounding my thoughts away, and feeling the strength of my legs against the deliberately solid pavement. The sun sunk in the distance over a high rise as streams of pink layered the evening sky. Dusk set in bringing with it the misty evening dew. My mind rewound to the days of my youth and playing PIG in the driveway on such evenings. I ran passing mansions on my left and old oil money homes on my right. Releasing an audible shriek my heartbeat was elevated and my vision slightly skewed making my mind experience what can only be defined as an anaerobic acid flashback from my youth. A figure was in the window. The Grandmother from Flowers In The Attic? It was a 5 foot Santa waving. Still freaky.

This run was different, I didnít know why until I had reached my turn around point and the Christmas lights slowly began to illuminate my path. From a half mile away I could see, what I wasnít sure. Light and lots of it. The source was difficult to discover until I was close enough to enjoy it’s beauty. The corner of River Oaks and Inwood is crocheted with aristocrat decoration. White lights fell in tandem with each branch of ten willow trees. Two of the trees crying branches draped the sidewalk in luminary light cascading a stage in the center of their depth. I turned off the IPOD and trepedatiously walked under the lit branches. Standing surrounded by white lights I was overcome with a sense of peace. I raised my head and looked into the core of the tree,

This right here, right now is mine. Itís my New Yearís moment as the Apple drops and my fireworks in the sky.

I sat down on the sidewalk folding my legs under me, savoring this here and now. The beast of the area rolled by, a Jaguar, reversed and rolled back.

ďHoney, are you okayĒ

I must have looked lost or scared or like a run away 16 year old from one of the near by mansions.

ďNever been better. Thanks.Ē

She drove on.

I continued my run taking the long way home. Unsure of how many miles I actually ran other than it was indeed more than 9 and less than 20.

Arriving home I bopped around my apartment listening to Spoon not ready to let go of this buoyant feeling. One canít help resist bopping to Spoon. Didnít know I could bop did you?

I then put on my latest musical delight Fiona Apple. Her voice is sultry, strong, and smooth like liquid velvet cascading down steel. I continued with the bopping stopping only to smile in the mirror and apprehending the reason for my extraordinary run

Bippity Boppity Boo


  1. I envy runners in the fact that they can use an IPOD to train. I sometimes wish for a similar device for swimmers. All I have is the music in my head.

  2. Good for you! And yes, you are an extraordinary machine.

  3. My reaction to people asking me if I’m okay is almost always “Compared to what?”
    Good luck with your mini-marathon. Though, I have to admit, the description of frenzied running makes me wonder what you’re running to, or from.

    Interesting post.

  4. isn’t that called “runner’s high”? my dad runs marathons, and he talks about that.
    but i get that feeling when i workout… an overrall sense of peace and happiness.

  5. E.R. – There is a walkman you can purchase for swimming. I’ll find the ad again and email it to you.

    Kendra – Thanks

    N.G. This time around my running is not metaphorical

    Sarah – This feeling was due partially to an endomorphin spike and the beauty of the lights. If I remember I am going to take a picture tonight. It’s simply to beautiful to keep to myself and not share.

  6. Fantastic to read! I was right there with you in those lights and that magic. Thanks for sharing that moment.

  7. well it’s nice to know you didn’t go home and slit your writs out of sheer boredom yesterday!! good run girl!

  8. when i lived in the museum district there, i used to love running down north and south blvds.

    which reminds me: when i was there this last weekend, i drove through west u, river oaks, museum, and was very unimpressed with the decoration displays. quite the anemic year.

    i love spoon.

  9. of course, i could have just been trying to view the homes at the wrong times…

  10. Sorry, Sass, I’m just always a little suspicious of runners. It always seems to me they must be running from something, or toward it. I always hope they’re running *toward* something, not away. Seems more positive and hopeful-like.

  11. I love your writing!

  12. New to your blog & lovin’ it! You are an excellent writer! Will stay tuned…

  13. Holy crap! 9 miles +? I’m impressed once again.

  14. You can run 9 miles!!! When I ran (briefly) I was lucky if I made it three then it was time to go home and drink coffee. I respect runners, but I feel God invented bicycles for a reason, people like me who hate running.

  15. Best of luck running 13.1 miles. I did a half marathon Thanksgiving weekend and haven’t done much since. Time to head to the gym again.


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