This morning I took a jog around the neighborhood, rather than run on the treadmill at the gym. This allows me to sleep for an extra 45 minutes and be a little less self-conscious about whatever random workout clothes I put on (dark bra + light shirt is much less of a problem outdoors before sunrise). Scott was nice enough to come out with me today, riding his bike (on the sidewalk… tsk tsk) behind me. That meant I could go down dark and shady paths because his bike has a headlight and I’m less likely to be abducted/raped/murdered when he’s with me.
I’ve noticed pretty much since I started running that I have an affliction of sorts caused by years of show choir and marching band: It is incredibly difficult for me to run or walk to music without matching my footsteps to the beat. It’s even harder to ignore the beat if it’s a song I’ve ever performed… and boy howdy that covers a lot of music! If the song is too fast, I find myself taking shorter steps. Too slow? I lengthen my stride and keep to the beat. Also, I have some smallish quirks relating to certain songs. For example, when “Barbie Girl” comes on, I tend to swing my ponytail more and bob my head left and right.
About 20 minutes into this morning’s run, “Greased Lightning” came bopping in through my headphones, and the music... moved me. That’s right, I did the arm motions to the song’s chorus every time through the song. Now, we were on a stretch of road where there were no dog walkers or drivers. It’s unlikely that I would have done the same thing if I was aware of anyone else. During the 10-miler when the song came on, I did the hand motions to “greased lightnin’…go greased lightnin’” but not the full-blown hand-arm combo. (those particular hand motions, by the way, are good for relieving dehydration-related sausage fingers)
(the chorus starts at 0:31)
It’s also unlikely I would have done the same thing if Scott hadn’t been with me. Occasionally during my longer training runs in the summer, I would take an extended walk break and start belting out a few lines of “Rainbow Connection,” as interpreted by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Those little performance breaks have become my way of saying “I know you’re there…thanks for not ditching me!”
So there you have it. If you’re ever in my neighborhood before dawn and see me jogging, just hang back a few yards and wait for the show. You never know what you might get!