a slug’s life

Today I cracked the ten-mile mark. Not that I ran ten miles today – oh, no! Ho ho ho ho – but that I’ve run my 1 1/2 mile track seven times now. I’m on a Kinks kick and I have to tell you, listening to Waterloo Sunset while looking down at San Francisco, my heavenly city? Is a peak experience.

I started running because I was having a bad-body-image moment. I’m still carrying a lot of post-pregnancy weight. After Claire the fat just fell off me. After Julia it just stayed on. There’s no visible difference yet, only two weeks after I started, but the truth is I’m not really running to lose weight any more. Oh, the idea of having less body-fat is appealing, but it’s not as appealing as the fogdrifts over the city, the wildflowers coming out on the shoulder of the hill, the neighbors walking their dogs, the Kinks on my iPod. I came for the exercise and I stayed for the pleasure of it.

Who knew? Always before I thought I needed other people to push me; they pushed too hard; so I hated exercise. Now I trot along at my own lazy speed, with the result that I enjoy the run enormously and look forward to going out again. I won’t win a marathon any time soon, but I’m hoping to complete a 5k on Sunday. And this is the real surprise: every day I can run a little further. Every day my version of a lazy run is a tiny bit less embarrassing.

They say it takes 21 days to acquire a habit. Does that mean 21 days elapsed since I first ran on March 2? That’ll be this Friday. Or 21 days on which I ran? That’s be April 18, my grandmother’s 101st birthday.

Either way, wish me luck. And envy me my fog, and hill, and owls.

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