But you can run from your parents house to your grandmothers house! I’ve done it before and I did it again this past weekend. I mean – you can probably also run to your old home but it might be awkward when you get there seeing as how you don’t live there anymore.
Being home for the holidays is always restorative for me. Seeing people and being in places that have been with me since my earliest years always provides me with a renewed sense of self. A reminder that I am indeed – me. My grandmothers house has smelled the same to me literally since I was born. The voices of my aunts and uncles once and twice and three times removed have not changed.
My memories are in those people and places so when I hear them talk and walk through those places my oldest memories are evoked – not always specifically – but in a way that just awakens the many people I have been over the years. I like that feeling.
I was hoping to run a local half marathon while I was in LA for the holidays simply because I’ve never run a race in California. As it turned out I couldn’t find a race during the time I would be there so I ran from my parents house to my grandmothers house. I remembered making this same run during training for my first marathon in 2010. I remembered really enjoying it because I would run a route that I had only ever travelled by car before. I still get a kick out of doing this and I still get a kick out of looking at signs on the freeway and thinking “I could run there from here.”
There was a wrinkle this time.
Sunday: I picked up a little upper respiratory tract infection on the flight from BWI to LAX (though I wouldn’t know this until Wednesday).
Monday (Christmas Eve): I ran but came back thinking “that was much harder than it should have been.”
Tuesday (Christmas Day): Fever
Wednesday: Fever + “Oh crap – I have to run Saturday. Lemme Google whether or not I should run with a fever. Nope. I should definitely not run with a fever.” I decided to get to urgent care to find out what’s what. I got my diagnosis, some steroids and a coughing pill to take care of my new hack-a-thon hobby. (BTW – I hate coughing. It makes my head hurt and it’s just generally really annoying. I really need some quality time with a therapist to unravel my irrational hate of coughing… and printers… and also inconsistent bluetooth connections…)
Thursday: My fever breaks – the cough pills do zero for my cough.
Friday: No fever at all. Still coughing like I swallowed half a raisin cake and a half dozen gingerbread people in one sitting for Christmas breakfast. Oh wait…
So on Saturday, even though I was still coughing pretty bad, I decided to run. I did ask the doctor about it and he said as long as the fever was gone that I’d probably be okay, Just to listen to my body. So I took that and ran with it. Literally.
I set up Live Track on my Garmin Connect app so my family could track me and potentially spot if things went south and come get me. I didn’t think it would come to that plus I had my phone, but I had wanted to try out live track for awhile and this seemed like as good a time as any.
About 10 minutes into the run, my phone dropped signal and Live Track stopped working. I had no idea. About 12 minutes into my run – as I’m making my way up a half mile 7% incline, I got a text from my dad. SO I’m on this hill – breathing with half a lung and I see his text on my watch saying that it looked like I stopped.
Live Track was “working.”
When I reached to top of the hill, I pulled the phone from my pocket and let him know I was feeling good.
About 6 miles in I noticed that I had not coughed in awhile and my breathing felt better than it had in days. I love running.
As I ran past my parents old apartment building it struck me how close they lived to my grandparents at the time. My dad had just been showing my oldest their old budget from that time. Rent was about $130 a month! I would love that rent right about now… We drive by all the time but passing by on foot is different. I took a picture and a closer look that I usually do, trying to guess which apartment would have been theirs.
I love the parks around where they live (there are many) and I had a chance to take a detour through one, enjoying the large horse trails and eucalyptus trees. I finished the run through an old park my brother and sister and cousins and I would play in as children.
I loved the freedom of that park. We could walk down without any adults and just run from end to end, dropping sticks or leaves into the creek and ‘racing’ one another all the way for what felt like hours.
I ran again – from end to end – in the same time machine I hop into every time I’m there. It seemed much smaller now of course, but what’s more is that I realized the more I visit this place as an adult, the less of it I remember as a child. I suppose that’s true of everything else to some degree. The people, the voices, the places, the smells… though my sensory responses run much deeper than just memories.
It made me think about my life looking forward, reinforcing that the only way for me to feel “myself” again was to keep moving, to live, and to let time do what it does best. Pass.
Next Week: My respiratory infection get’s an upgrade…