Saturday: Running to Rabbit to RyeJanuary 8, 2013
Oh, how the sporty have fallen. I used to run 10 miles as a weekday short run, and now I am completely ecstatic to have managed a cautious 10-mile run on a Saturday long run. It’s humbling, but so what? … 10 miles! It’s so exciting, I want to spell it out in all caps to make it bigger and longer: TEN miles.
What’s even better is that my foot felt, if not good, then better than good enough.
I pretty much only get to run outside once a week (if that), so I was determined to make this a good one. The winter air was perfect, albeit windy, and I was bouncing giddy to bring my Garmin out of its coma. My last outdoor run was a beautiful Christmas day trail run in the falling snow with my gentleman friend (he’s not 90 years old; I just like calling him that). That run was perfect. I wanted more perfect. Or at least painless.
We did an out-and-back on rolling country hills, marveling at the cyclists who passed us on a windy January day. Running through New England winters is enough of a challenge. I can’t fathom biking. Of course, I can’t fathom biking as a general rule, so I was extra impressed by these people. The headwind on the first five miles was noticeable, but I’ll take wind over pain any day.
My gentleman friend (from now on: GF) pointed out various points of interest, on a rural Massachusetts scale:
half a fur tree snapped in a storm,
a sheepish cow (as in shy, not ovine),
tacky Seussian lamps on a McMansion,
an English bulldog sitting so still it could have been a lawn ornament,
the tell-tale sound of studded tires (evidently only legal between November and March).
For my part, I was so obsessed with the feeling of my right foot that it took me a long time to even notice he’d said something, much less recognize each of his observations. It was like a perambulatory Search & Find book. He may as well have been saying, “Hey, look at that needle in a haystack.” If it wasn’t inside my foot, it wasn’t apparent to me. Fortunately, there wasn’t a needle or a knife or anything else sharp and painful in my foot.
Despite my foot fixation, or maybe because of it, the run felt better than any I’ve had in months. We celebrated by going to the city for Fancy Dinner at what is likely the best restaurant in the world, where I was served rabbit heart and I ate it because it is the best restaurant in the world.
I’m hoping that eating rabbit heart isn’t some obscure anti-luck at the opposite end of the rabbit foot keychain spectrum. I’m crossing fingers that it actually amounts to more luck than a rabbit foot, or that it can give me a rabbit foot, or that it can sustain my functioning foot. Any of those would be good. Something good has to come from that culinary leap of faith. In the process of that meal, I also learned I like rye whiskey, particularly after eating something crazy. Rye whiskey, I found, definitely takes away my foot pain and poses none of the risks of ibuprofen, so from running to rabbits to rye, I’m marking Saturday as a big success.