Wednesday, December 21, 2005

To the lady walking her dog this morning...

To answer your question: no, I don't think you should try to run through it if you start feeling pain at the front of your shin. Even if it's muscular, the pain is telling you that something's wrong and you should probably stop running to prevent it from becoming a more serious injury.
I'm back in L.A. for the holidays, and this morning I went for a run, hoping to kick-start myself back into shape again. On one of the small side streets on the way back to the house, I saw a woman walking her dog coming from the other direction. This wasn't particularly remarkable until, just as I was passing, she suddenly asked me if I thought if it was okay to just run through the pain if her leg started hurting while she was running.

I was a bit startled, but I think I stopped and tried to get more information and ended saying that she should at least stop and "try to stretch it or something" and then continued on my way. It kept bouncing around in my head as I continued up the hill until I reached the next (and final) turn off to the house and decided that I should go back and be more definitive about not running through an injury (unless, at that particular moment, she might be trying to escape from hungry bears or something). Never did find her, but it did stretch out my run by an extra 10 minutes or so. Oh well.

I've been stopped for directions once or twice before, but I've never been stopped by a pedestrian before, and certainly not for training advice. I guess she was hoping to get the green light from a fellow runner perhaps because her regular peer counselors had already advised against it. But I find it particularly interesting, because in the past, I've always felt like the people in California tended to keep to themselves, at least as far as runners go. You're just another runner, another health nut, whatever, just another body that's out on the road. In New England, you're one of the few who get it, especially if you're out when it's below freezing, or raining or snowing. I'm sure there are more runners per capita than in other parts of the country, but it's still a fairly small segment of the population, and because of it, sometimes if feeling like you're part of a secret club or something. At least, that's my take on it.

Anyway, it doesn't suck that it's been in the high 70s the last two days after feeling the "reprieve" of above-30° temperatures in Boston. But it's not a true vacation -- I've already put in a few hours of work and I need to write some papers for school. But hey, let's hear it for telecommuting, so I can actually get some work done.

Coming back home has changed over the years. For one things, it's not really Home so much anymore. Well, it is, and it isn't. It's the home of the past, it's live action reminiscing. Home is where the SOOTTAD is. Waltham is where I hang my hat(s). (I guess I'm hardly ever home these days.) It's good to be back to spend time with family and friends, but I'm really not as excited about coming back as I used to be. It doesn't feel like an escape, a time-out from the hectic day-to-day, it feels like an interruption, a disruption. Time apart from the SOOTTAD is a part of it, but I feel like at a deeper level, my connection here just isn't as strong anymore, not that that's a surprise or anything.

The usual list of random notes and observations:

  • Ugh, headache -- probably because I'm a bit dehydrated. Hopefully I'll acclimate soon.
  • I know that I should be pleased that it's in the 70s, but I actually feel like it's just a shade too warm. I'm actually a bit uncomfortable. WTF is wrong with me?
  • I'm a few years shy of 40 and yet I still feel like a kid the moment I drop my bags off in my old room at my parents house.
  • All of my married high school friends here have spawned kidlets. All of them. It makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong.
  • To be fair, there are actually only three who fall into the previous category. But 100% is still 100%.
  • there are a lot of bees in the backyard. I couldn't find a hive or anything, but the constant buzz is just ever so slightly disconcerting if you stop to pay attention to it.
  • I've mentioned this before, but I still find it amusing that nasturtiums and morning glories are not annuals here.
  • I seem to recall many years ago, the California government outlawed the use of gas-powered leaf blowers, and yet I still see them being used. I wonder whether the law changed, or it's enforcement, but I think I'm more bothered seeing, in drought sensitive southern California, people using a hose to wash leaves into the gutter off a 50 foot driveway.
  • I still find it weird to see water constantly running down the gutters along the sides of the street. Constantly. And somehow this didn't used to bother me when I was a kid.

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