vain confessions of a novice runner

It has been nearly two full days since I went for a run. And I am really sore. Why?

OK, I ran 5.3 miles and since I consider myself a novice runner, that’s really far. But I’ve run that distance before, and recovered from the sore muscles within 24 hours.

Perhaps my pedometer is off and I really ran farther. It’s possible. I haven’t calibrated it on a known distance recently. And I’ve been trying to improve my stride and increase my pace – which would alter my stride length and hence my overall distance. But not by that much. Maybe I ran 6 miles. Maybe.

But I have a much better theory as to why I am so sore this time.

Tuesday was a beautiful day for a run. It wasn’t too hot. It was late morning – close to lunchtime. Birds singing. Puffy clouds.

The joint was jumping. All the lunch-runners were starting to come out. All the lunch-walkers were starting to come out. All the moms with babies in strollers were out. People on their way to the O Club for lunch were passing at the slow limit of 15 mph. People running errands on their lunch hour were driving past.

And this novice runner didn’t want to look like a novice runner, oh no. So, those knees were going a little higher than usual, shoulders back, smile and wave. Gotta look good. Oh, the painful price of vanity.

I confessed this to a friend yesterday who recounted her own recent experience of running. She wanted very badly to stop, but a pickup was passing. She waited until he had turned the corner and then slowed to a walk. But as soon as she turned the corner, there he was parked and out of his car (apparently, he lived right there). We agreed that this is the time to check your watch and loudly say, “Hoo boy, 4 miles in 30 minutes, not bad!”

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