Monday, April 12, 2010

Rabbit Ears

I’ll never forget “rabbit ears”. I don’t know if that’s what they were really called, but that was what we called the two antennae that were on our TV that looked like, well, rabbit ears. (If you are too young to know what I am talking about, ask your parents). I would plop myself down to watch a program and suddenly the reception on the TV would change, and the screen would get fuzzy. I don’t know what caused this change. Perhaps it was only teen paranoia that made me think it happened only when I was watching, but either way, if I didn’t get up and adjust the rabbit ears, my viewing experience was severely diminished.

Most Sundays, I go on a long run of anywhere between 13-20 miles. I have developed my routine. What I eat and drink, what I wear, who I run with and where I run. Yesterday, I got to the park and looked around for Tom, the guy who I usually run with. He wasn’t there. Bad news, I would have to do my planned 20 mile run solo. I turned on my Garmin, my one luxury, the watch that tells me how far and how fast (relatively speaking) I run. The display on the screen said that the battery was low. I was rather taken back as I had charged the watch before using it. I started off by myself, less than thrilled to be alone on a day that was growing hotter by the minute. After only ¾ of a mile, my watch shut off. I was not a happy camper. Not only was I on my own, I would have no way of knowing how far to run. I would have to pace myself. I was tired and crabby and starting to feel sorry for myself. Then I decided to adjust my rabbit ears. It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t really have a choice. Unless I wanted to run 20 miles with a grouchy jerk.

In the end, I have no idea how far I ran. Based on the time it took me, it was probably at least 21 miles, although it might have been more. I was exhausted by the end, but in strange way, I felt pretty good. I could have given up. I could have been a whiny jerk. Based on those alternatives, 21+ sweaty miles looked pretty good.


  1. I like the rabbit ears analogy and this piece in general. Amazing that you run so much (what to me seems like so much). I love the blog and would put it on my list of favorites, but don't know how. I made that list so long ago that 3 of them no longer exist.

  2. I don't have a Garmin but I usually run with my watch and most of the time with my headphones. Several times a month I take a low-tech run. I have routes measured by my car odometer so I know the distance but I leave the watch and music home. It's so enjoyable! I could take or leave the music and if I'm not training for a race, the watch is dispensible too. More thinking time!