Thursday, August 12, 2010

An ode to (and a lament on) badges of honor

I have bruises up and down my legs. Because the Northeast is in the midst of a humid, hot summer, I have no choice but to wear skirts and dresses (ignoring the fact that I like to wear skirts and dresses). Inevitably, the combination of bruises and leg baring articles of clothing leads to some interesting conversations. Conversations that center on the myriad lumps, scrapes, and bruises that decorate my legs.

I like to think of these things as badges of honor*. The bruises on the insides of each of my ankles have been garnered on the many miles I have run in preparation for my first marathon in November. You see, the inside heel of my shoe will hit the inside of my ankle, and this leaves a nearly indelible mark. However, the more miles I run, the more times my heel hits my ankle, and the more visible the mark becomes. By the time November 21st rolls around, I fully expect that you will be able to see these twin bruises from space.

My knees are quite spectacular thankyouverymuch. They are surrounded by scrapes and bruises, most of which have come from my weekly soccer games. I’ve been playing soccer for most of my life at this point. In fact the only activity I’ve done longer is running. Soccer is great. I get to spend time with amazing people, kick a ball around, and work out some serious frustrations. However, being the physical sport that it is, soccer leaves me battered at the end of the day. My knees reflect that.

Every bruise and scrape that mars the elegance of an outfit (she says as if her outfits have elegance) is a testament to the fact that I work hard and play hard, and I see them as points of pride. However, there’s pride and then there’s pain. My legs hurt so much on Tuesday and Wednesday, and my knee was so swollen, that I ended up cancelling my recovery run. Not postponing, but full-on cancelling. It was the best thing for me (legs feel great today), but it was truly disheartening to find my war wounds getting the best of me.

On tap for tonight: 5 miles, with 3 miles of speedwork.

*Well, all of them except the nasty one on my shin. That, and any other mark that I get from bumping into a table or tripping over the cat, is just another sign of my own klutziness.

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