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So goes the title to one of my favorite Explosions in the Sky albums. You can stream it on Grooveshark or buy it and listen wherever whenever as I do. Their music sometimes has this ephemeral quality that’s ideal for running on a bone-chilling day. Some of the songs are about 10 minutes long so you can sink into them. Also good for yoga or sipping tea while icing the phantom swollen weirdness just above my ankle.

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I finished reading The Time Traveler’s Wife this weekend and sort of jinxed myself. Time traveling Henry discovers he time travels a little less when keeping himself physically active with lots of running and TMI bedroom time. At one point he admits not knowing what he’d do if he couldn’t run. I looked over at my own workhorse feet and agreed. So glad I haven’t had any running injuries.

Yesterday I alternated from my trusty pair of busted running shoes, to a shiny new pair that’s been sitting in my closet for months. My reluctance to switch is in part due to a certainty that switching will cause injury. I’ve ran in my older shoes for years now. But yesterday’s spring-like weather put me in the mood for something different. I figured with all the slush the run would be slow going and taking the new pair for a 9-mile test run would be fine.

Not fine. Maybe the problem was I tied the laces way too tight. It started to distract me towards the end, but I didn’t think much of it since there’s always some ache in the last mile. The run was later followed by a 3-mile walk with some of my old theater buddies. By the time I got home and took my boots off, the area just above the front of my ankle was swollen.

Maybe it was the combination new shoes, or the funny way I stepped running through slush, or the too-tight laces. Maybe my busteds didn’t like being benched and exacted revenge. I still have 19 miles to go to hit my February goal, so I iced and elevated all night. After a few hours the swelling was down and a slight bruise formed; I went to sleep expecting it to be worse but not really knowing. In all the years I’ve been running, I’ve never had any swelling on my legs or feet.

I woke in the middle of the night after walloping myself in the chin. Does anyone else hit themselves in the face while they sleep? First thought was to check the swollen situation. Aside from a touch of tenderness, the bruise and swelling were completely gone. Middle of the night magic. And it was still gone when I woke up.

So I did my 6-mile light run this morning. My laces were so loose they kept coming undone. I need more Velcro in my life. It was a crisp, curiously pain-free run peppered with thick ice patches. Back to normal. Yesterday’s warmth and swelling were fleeting anomalies, hopefully. Speaking of which, I don’t know if this is a real thing, but last night I read Stephen King’s short story “Strawberry Spring”. In it, every 8-10 years an unusually warm period in late winter is referred to by New Englanders as a strawberry spring. It’s followed by a brutal snow storm and naturally brings a thick fog ideal for concealing a seasonal serial killer. It’s nice to not live in a Stephen King story, right?

Our radiator is acting funky again and it’s a little chilly in our apartment today. Actually, it’s cold. There’s frost inside the window right next to the radiator. For the record, staring at a candle flame did not make me feel warmer. Nor did adding cinnamon to sauteed spinach, though it is tasty. I’m debating having it fixed because while it’s nice to layer up, it’s exhausting and kind of depressing to be cold all the time, hence Explosions in the Sky cheer-me-up jamboree.

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