Saturday, December 25, 2010

Serenaded by frogs

They say to be a runner all you need is shoes, a shirt and shorts. Being an elite runner, I need a little more than that, but at least I don’t have to carry around a hockey bag full of equipment.

OK, I do carry a bag when I go to track workouts. That bag has a little of everything, from my racing shoes, extra spikes, Band-Aids, skin lube and even duct tape. But when I’m going out on a trail run I don’t need that much gear. In fact, when I was in high school, I don’t remember having much running gear at all. That was before these high tech fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin. In those days it was cotton T-shirts that would get heavy and wet.

Looking back, I wonder how I could stand it. I don’t remember having a running bra until I was in college.

Today, I’m lucky because Reebok supplies me with all my running gear. With my contract, they even custom make shoes for me. I need very wide shoes because I have bunions. Let me tell you, runners don’t have pretty feet. Jon, my husband, is a toe runner, so he constantly has black toes and is losing toe nails.

When I was working as a physical therapist, patients would show me their feet and tell me they couldn’t run because of their bunions. I’d take off my shoes, show them my feet and say, “I run 90 miles a week on these.”

There aren’t too many running gadgets in my bag.

I’m not much of a gadget person. I’m not one who runs with a pair of earphones in and an iPod turned up.

This week I went for a run along the coast through Pebble Beach and I could hear the frogs near Bird Rock. I’d miss that if I were wearing headphones.

If it’s raining out, like it was this week on the Monterey Peninsula, I’ll throw on a hat and a jacket. I have to admit rain is my least favorite element. I am definitely not an Oregon girl.

The rain was so heavy Sunday I went for a run on the treadmill at the gym. I really don’t like the treadmill, but one thing about them at my gym is they are set up in front of a full-length mirror. That gives me a chance to watch myself, watch how my feet land, pay attention to my form — make sure I’m being efficient with my stride.

It beats trying to watch television at the same time. I don’t see all that well, so I can’t read the closed-captioning on the screen.

No, I prefer a simple run by the ocean and listening to the frogs serenade me.

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