Monday, 27 April 2009

Spring and My First Run

Spring is here!!!! In New Jersey weather is a little strange. We seemed to have fast forwarded to summer while still being assaulted with one off cold, wet days. Nevertheless, the flowers are blooming, a topless man with lots of body art is doing his daily crunches in the park outside my house, children are out playing till late in the day as the sun sets much later... all signs of winter being over.

There is another sure sign of spring... my first run outside. I am not much of a runner in the sense I have never been very successful in long distance running. But we all need to adopt some form physical activity so that we continue to fit into our jeans and for some strange contrary, reason I have gravitated towards running. 

No matter how much I try to keep in some semblance of shape in winter, it always proves quite futile. I did try this year. I tried a couple of winter hikes, tried skiing, and joined the gym. I still fit in my jeans but my first run was as always an eye opener. Winter months are just not meant for exercise. Winter is season when the fat polar bear has a better chance of survival than the lean panthers. It is a season to eat, cuddle and keep warm. I cannot believe I complained and whined about winter when winter in return gave me hot food, cozy nights by the fireplace and an excuse to do nothing. Such ingratitude does not go unpunished so along came spring. 

I am not sure why I picked running. I am not a very health conscious person and like my food way too much. Running is hard for most people and in my case I think I just do it because I am slightly masochistic.  My first run is always an exercise in pain, humiliation and frustration.

I set off this Wednesday with the moderate goal of two miles. Despite time spent on the elliptical in the gym every muscle and bone protested. I had picked that stretch because it was a street lined with pretty houses with gardens full of spring flowers. The plan was a pleasant run with flowers blooming, birds chirping, children playing. If any of you remember the opening credits of "My Little Pony”, a cartoon show that I watched as a child, where flying unicorns paint rainbows in the sky. That was how I had pictured spring and my run. Well not exactly but you get the drift. 

In the tortuous 25 minutes ( yes that is unfortunately how long it took me to run two miles) I did not notice a single flower, I was not interested in the children playing. I just wanted them to keep out of my way so I could jog in straight lines and make the ordeal end as quickly as possible. It took a lot of self control not to scowl at a couple of young mothers with strollers that I ran around.  I was however aware of every crack in the pavement, all the elevation changes however negligible, all the curves in the road. 

Since I am masochist I went again the next day and it was only slightly better in the sense I knew what I was in for and my mouth did not keep falling open in surprise at my physical condition. The third day was also just as physically taxing but I did notice one house with the most beautiful trees full of flowers. That is a definite foot forward. I hope to be able to realize some realistic version of my "My Little Pony" fantasy but I am still hoping that winter will come back and I can go back to being a polar bear. 


Yellow thai curry. This is surprisingly easy dish to make. I have not been able to find lemongrass so I just throw in some grated lemon rind. I am sure this leads to a loss in flavour but without the exotic ingredient I am able to have curry for a last minute dinner - a justifiable sacrifice if you ask me. 


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