Yellow Lenses and Booties
By Jason Harrod
Winter is here and with it inclement weather. Darkness bookends the workday and finding the time to log those long, arduous base miles has become more difficult with each passing day. The elements, mostly water, have come to NorCal with much aplomb. And the chill, though compared to some it remains warm here in my ‘hood, has made the addition of layers and booties and thermal gloves a must. Sometimes, even yellow lenses are necessary, creating the image of imaginary sunshine, the sunshine for which I long.
I am not one to ride in the dark. Maybe it’s because I am colorblind. Maybe it’s because I am a wuss. Maybe it’s because I have no headlight. Maybe it’s because I am spoiled. Feel free to make up any reason you please. The simple fact remains that I like to ride in natural light. I have grown tired of the trainer, and while I do have ample time to squeeze in some 90 minute rides during the week I have decided at the bequest of my eldest child, that a bit of cross-training in the form of running might be a good way to supplement the base miles and increase my athletic capacity.
I have never been a runner. In fact, I have actually been told that my form has, on occasion, caused some onlookers to wince in actual pain. Don’t get me wrong. I was a division one collegiate wrestler and have been running for some time. I am just not ‘a runner’. We are talking necessary evil sort of thing here.
My son, my eldest child, is between sports right now and has found himself glued to the X-box. He is bright, athletic, and realizes (hopefully through my aid) that a well rounded lifestyle is a must for mental and physical happiness. So the other day he says, he says, “Dad, let’s go for a run?” Who am I to say no to some good, outside quality time with my son? So we ran. And we walked some. And we ran some more.
I cannot remember the last time I ran. I can remember why, though. My thighs are screaming at me. My shins are a splintered mess. My back has one of those dull aches that remind me of the passing of 42 years. My poor, aching feet are blown to bits. The only saving grace about my feet, the part that allows the passage of the miles pounding the pavement, is the cold. It is cold enough that I don’t feel the pain until my feet thaw. Sweet, right?
We are going out today for another run, one of many more until his next sport begins. And while I truly am not looking forward to the act of running, I am looking forward to spending some time with my boy. After my ride today, when I get home and my feet are two Flintstone-like blocks of ice, the boy and I will hit the pavement, the trails, something, and run and cross-train and hang out and enjoy each other’s labored banter. Honestly, I look forward to it.