Saturday, July 28, 2012

An Oral History of My Run Today, Featuring My Body (Project 190, Day Eighteen)

I am just back from my run, dripping with sweat and drinking my cool-down glass of milk.  I'm so sweaty that Mr Bunches thought I went swimming:

"How's the small pool?" he asked, referring to pool we go swimming at.

"I actually went running," I told him.  "This is sweat."

He thought about that for a second and said:

"How's the splash park?"

I let it go, and said "It was fun."

I'm so tired that I thought I'd let my body tell the story of the run today, via an oral history, since that seems to be what everyone's up to.  So I got my brain, and legs, and feet, and stomach, and arms, together and asked them to walk you through the run, song by song:

1.  Counting In C, Jad Abumrad

Brain:  This was actually the start of the run, walking uphill.  I picked this song because it always puts me in a good mood, and if I'm happy, we're all happy.

Legs: That's not actually true.

Brain: Have some endorphins and think about that for a while.

Legs: *sigh*

Brain: So I picked this song to get in the mood, and set the iPod so that I could get back to it in a pinch.  That's a secret I use, setting a song to get to with one click so that when the rest of you "hit the wall," I can get Arms to give us a good song to inspire you all.

Arms: We have little enough to do as it is on stuff like this.

2.  Baby Got Back, Gilbert & Sullivan Version.

Legs:  We thought this was an unorthodox choice to start with, but we think Brain was tricking us, because no sooner did this song come on than word came down: we're going to try a long run.

Feet: It was crazy; suddenly Brain is saying Hey, let's go for the long run like we used to I bet we can do it, and we were all Brain, are you NUTS? It's like 100 degrees out here.

Stomach: I pointed out that I was a lot bigger than the last time we tried that, and it was already getting hot in that shirt.

Brain:  I knew it was hot, but I couldn't get over that other day, where we didn't try to run up the hill.  Here it was, a beautiful Saturday, and why not push us? We hadn't done the long run in so much time.  I wanted to go past the Tree, and get to the Veldt.

Arms: That's what Brain calls this broad plain we run through on the Long Run: The Veldt, because there's just this one tree on it, out in the middle, and otherwise it's all grassy plains with forest in the distance, and Brain pretends it's an African Savannah.

3.  Little Lion Man, Mumford & Sons.

Legs: It was obvious Brain was serious about this Long Run thing, so we're trying to pace ourselves, and then this song comes on just as we hit the big downhill at the start of the run, and we're like Whoa, take it easy, everyone, watch the momentum.

Stomach:  I was starting to get even hotter under the shirt, but I think Brain was a little embarrassed of me, because he kept saying No leave the shirt on for now.

4.  Internet Love Song, Tom Milsom.

Brain: I was so going to skip this song, but Legs sent up word that it was a good mellow song and might help with the pacing.  And anyway, I got distracted by these three bikers who were coming at us, and they were all over the path.

Legs: Brain is always getting annoyed when we have to change course or move to the other side of the path.  And then he'll just go and change sides for no apparent reason.

Brain: It's not for no reason.  There are better and worse parts of the path to be on.

Eyes:  We could see the Tree where the river is, and we were almost out of the park as this song was coming on, which was pretty cool.  Plus, it's nice to have a change of scenery while we run.

5.  Extraordinary Machine, Fiona Apple.

Stomach: Brain is so corny.  This song comes on and he's all We ARE an extraordinary machine! Come on, guys!

Arms:  Stomach was really bugging us to take off the shirt, but Brain wasn't giving in, until we all teamed up on him and said enough's enough, it's like jogging on the surface of the sun.

Brain:  It was still a mess.  If I thought you guys were able to take off a shirt and keep running, I'd have given the command earlier.  As it was, you practically dropped the headphones.

Arms:  At least we got the shirt off.

6.  Counting In C, Jad Abumrad.

Brain:  I had to do it.  We were barely past the tree, maybe 1/2 way through the long run, and everyone was quitting on me.  So I made Arms push the button and bring this song back up.

Legs:  I don't think Brain understands how hard it is to carry everyone around, up and down hills on a gravel trail.  We tried.  We really did.  But as we got to the part of the run where there's usually a little stream only it was all dried up from the heat, we just couldn't take it.

Feet:  It's not like we didn't push it.

Legs:  We just said that's it, we've got to walk, and so we did.

7.  Waiting For The Great Leap Forward, Billy Bragg.

Brain:  I really really wanted to do a long run; I'd been thinking we could at least make it back to the road, and so I was let down for a minute, but then I thought of the Counting Run.

Legs:  We're not crazy about the counting run.

Feet:  It's this thing where Brain says Okay, walk 100 steps, counting only the left foot as a step, and then run 100 steps, and then after you do that, you walk 90 steps, and run 90, and then 80, and so on, until you get down to 10, and then start counting up, again, and do that until you get home.

Legs:  Like we said, not crazy about that.

Brain:  But I convinced everyone, and so we started counting the steps, and Billy Bragg comes on, and that's a great song to jog to, all light and bouncy and yet challenging in tone, so we walked 100 steps, counting each time the left foot gets down.

Feet:  Why do you do that, anyway?

Brain:  You think it's easy being the brain? I've got to count the steps and listen to the lyrics for inspiration and decide when to change the song and make sure the eyes watch the path and keep track of where we are.

Legs:  Like when you forgot we were swimming yesterday?

Brain:  It's a lot of work, being me.

Stomach:  Try being me! I've been sucking myself in for years.

8. Golden Phone, Micachu & The Shapes

Brain: I remember when we first heard this song, on that date with Sweetie where we were in that clothes store and the help said something had "scurried into a corner" and both Sweetie and I for some reason thought the thing that had scurried away was a turtle.  For some reason.

Legs:  By this point, we're on the part of the path that's all  ups and downs and curves, and Brain is still making us do the Counting Run, and trying to distract us with stupid memories like that.

Feet: It wasn't working.

Arms: Plus, Brain gets all crabby, like when that lady ahead of us suddenly stopped and turned and Brain was all "What the heck, lady, haven't you ever seen a jogger before?"

Brain: Did you see how she reacted?  We're like five feet away and she stopped and whirled around like we were a team of Terrorist Rapists. I thought we were going to get pepper sprayed.

Stomach:  Don't blame me.  I was sucking myself in.

9.  So What's New, Herb Alpert.

Brain:  This song came on just as we were getting to the best part of the run, the boardwalks.

Legs: Brain goes nuts over the boardwalks through the swampy part of the woods.  He's always "Oh, this is so scenic." It's not so scenic when you're half-covered with a pair of sopping-wet jogging shorts.

Feet:  I like it.  The boards are all springy.

10.  Giving Up On Love, Slow Club

Brain: So what's cool here is this song synchs up perfectly with our running and walking, so the beat makes it easy to count, forty-one, forty-two and it's such an awesome song.

Legs: It really is.  By this point, we were like, F- it.  Let's just run as far as we can each time, so Brain would count our walking steps to like 30 and then we'd jog for a while and then walk again.

11. I See You Baby, Groove Armada.

Brain:  And then this song comes on, right near the part where we're going to get to the road, and by now, we're walking like twenty steps and then running for a while, which is what it's all about: pushing ourselves, going one step further.

Stomach: I was surprised that we got out onto the road where people could see us and brain let Arms keep the shirt off anyway.  Usually I get covered up again around people.

Brain:  You earned it.  Let the people look.  We've been working hard.

Legs: The road part was the hill we walked up the other day, and today we ran up like 2/3 of it, which was really something.

12.  Wavin' Flag, K'naan.

Legs: We were like, no way, Brain, you set this up, when this song came on at the end, 'cause it's a superawesome song to finish a run to.  All that when I get older/I will be stronger stuff in the lyrics.

Brain:  I didn't, though.  It was just chance.

Stomach:  Whatever it was, we finished up the whole run from the top of the hill home and it was incredible.

Arms: And then I got to do the most important part -- the V-for-Victory at the end of the run.

Brain:  That is not the most important part!

Today's Workout:  Long Run, outside.
Latest weight: 251. 


Andrew Leon said...

This is my favorite one of these posts so far. My parts never talk back.
It's so sad.

Rusty Webb said...

You know, I did push ups on tuesday. It may be lame, but I could have done nothing, which is what I've done since. I'll probably be living on the after glow of those push ups the same way a fading football star retells the tales of his glory days.

'I was just finishing up rep number 4 when I thought about giving up, but I dug deep... real deep, and eeked out another one. I felt like a superhero.'

Oh boy.

Briane P said...

Andrew: I'm glad you liked it. When I was done, I actually was going to delete it because I didn't think that much of it.

Rusty: You ARE a Superhero.

anna. said...

i love this! let me know if you need suggestions for good running music ( :

anna. said...

also i seriously love your kid. "how's the splash park?" haha.