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On Thinking During Running, Ctd.

“…I’m really glad I’m married to you.” – text from Adrian, sent yesterday

Sometimes Adrian sends me goopy texts like that. So, I asked him, “Where’d that come from?”

And he said, “I don’t know. Just because. I think you’re nice.”

Which doesn’t really add up, but he’s not really forthcoming with more information. Now, of course, I’m not really attracted to the kind of man who can endlessly articulate his feelings. Because that would leave zero time for me to endlessly articulate MY feelings, of course. Still, I am always curious why guys like this (The Oh-No-Reason-Shrug Guy) do and say, well...everything they do and say. It’s like my life’s work, getting to the murky bottom of what this kind of guy actually thinks.

Describing me as ‘nice’ is weird. Most of the time, I aim to ‘be nice’ and I walk about generally contented, but I’ve never considered that sharing a household with me is nice. I’m kind of annoying and rigid and bossy and inept at most processes involved in daily life (cooking, cleaning, fixing things, math). In addition, I tend to think of myself as a rather small-hearted person. I can pinpoint the soft spots and failings of things with a precision that’s dismaying. And whenever you see pictures of me, I’m usually looking sour and serious. (Because I hate picture-taking. I hope it’s not because I’m serious. Maybe I am serious? Oh, gross. Serious people drive me nuts.)

ANYWAY.

This is what I’m thinking about while running yesterday at the YMCA track. Which I’m sharing again because my friend Paul did a hilarious post on his running thoughts, so why not keep up the tradition? In any case, I’m thinking about my mysterious niceness and my tendency toward sour, small-heartedness and how the YMCA smells like that weird burnt plastic smell that happens when you run the vacuum over something un-vacuumable when this guy comes on the track and starts stretching.

Cue up my small-heartedness. I hate sharing the track. I go to the Y at non-peak times so that I can pretend I own the place. I was already annoyed by the weird plasticky smell and the fact that the pick-up basketballers were louder than normal making it hard to hear my delicious Fountains of Wayne. And then this Stretching Guy is stretching. For a million years. I think stretching is dumb. Because Jeff Galloway says not to stretch (unless you have some Tibial-Illial Whatever The Hell) because you just injure yourself. I am also disdainful of people who start off running hell for leather, no walking first. Because they usually stall out pretty quick. You’ve got to walk to warm up, see. Is no one reading their Jeff Galloway? Am I crazy, Gretchen?

Finally, Stretching Guy starts walking. I’ve got about a mile in and I’m like, Great, I get to run past this guy with all my bits shaking in their unflattering way  – thus the non-peak times tendency from above –  but I figure, whatever, he’ll probably start running and lap me (he’s taller, duh) and then it’ll be fine.

But then he’s walking and walking and walking. And I’m like, Come on, Guy! Start running. Whattaya waiting for? You can do it.

Then he leaves the track altogether and I’m a little disappointed. Because I wanted him to be a runner. Maybe he just was warming up for something else? Maybe he’s one of those guys who sits at the bench press station with a thousand-yard stare while listening to Korn?

I’m almost done, when he comes back (maybe he had to pee? get a drink?) and starts running. And I’m so happy! I don’t know why. I don’t mind sharing the track with him, now. I feel like it’s this lovely thing, he and I grinding it out, because if I can do it, so can he, and then WHAM, I get the Runner’s High Sparkling Tingles Feeling, which is pretty fugging great, because I usually don’t get that at under two miles and so I sprint the last two laps and I am full of love for my fellow man and I rule and he rules and hallelujah, world without end.

So I guess I am nice – albeit in an invisible way – and small-hearted. All within a two-mile span.

And that is what I thought about while running today.

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