Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Skinny


I haven’t been skinny since 1980. Granted, I was seven years-old, but since that time I have been average, athletic, voluptuous, and just plain fat but never skinny. 


I know some people who have never donned fat pants after Christmas Dinner. These people work hard to simply avoid looking like skeletons. Many of us think we would love to trade places, but some of these women are just as miserable about being too skinny as the rest of us are about being too fat.

I don’t care about being skinny; I want to be strong.

I can imagine how much easier it would be to run if my legs had a little less padding. If I were stronger, I could do cool things like run 26 or more miles. Sure I ran a marathon, but anybody can do that. I want to be a step above “anybody.”

There’s a forty-mile race in Switzerland that looks awesome. But could an average hausfrau get into good enough shape to sprint through the Swiss Alps like a Heidi on steroids? And why would she want to? She’d have to be crazy…

I threw a first-class pity party after the marathon. My knees hurt constantly, even on piddly 2-milers. All I could visualize was a lifetime of couch-potatoing, watching helplessly as my spare-tire inflated over my size six jeans.

The straps for my knees have saved my running life, as I can now run pain-free. I’ve tried other exercises, but there’s nothing I’d rather do than lace up my shoes and take off through the countryside. I have become addicted to being outside in the wind, rain, sunshine—it doesn’t matter. There’s no rehab center that can hold me.

I love Sundays because the farmers don’t work in the mornings. And if it is rainy, like today, the farmers don’t work at all, which means the roads belong to me.

The sun came out about noon, and I grabbed my gear and was out the door. There was blue sky above me, a strong wind against me, and clouds swirling around. I sloshed along the muddy country road and over the hill, where my friends the deer were waiting to greet me. As they galloped away, a huge stork landed in a freshly-plowed field. It is the fall migration, and the storks are on their way to Africa. I wondered who they would see along the way. I’m certain they will meet better runners than me.  

It was a race with the rain clouds as I headed home, but the sun held its ground. And as I ran, I looked up to see a rainbow.

I’m not making this up.

It was an incredible run.

I want more.


The Skinny:

Weight: I have gained five pounds since the marathon. Grr…Not for long. I’m consuming vast quantities of fruits & veggies.

Miles: I’ve been running about 8-10 miles a week the past couple of months. This week I’m kicking back into gear. I ran 3 Monday, 4 Saturday, and 4 today. I need to work out a new running schedule though, so I am slowly increasing the mileage.

New stuff: Today I skipped up hills, which was actually really fun (and really hard).  I don’t know if I’ll be doing that when all the farmers are out…but maybe they need something to talk about.

Weather: it’s gotten cold here in Franconia, which means it’s perfect for running. The biggest problem now is mud and wet shoes. I’ve got a pair of gore-tex running shoes on the way; we’ll see how those work out. My Merrels from last year are too small (marathon training has increased my shoe size). Good thing Nike makes a size 12. Yikes!