Friday, June 16, 2006

Bad Idea: Running Up 40 Concrete Steps to Catch the Red Line in Flip Flops (that are a size too big)

I don’t own a car. I rely on Chicago’s public transportation system to get me pretty much everywhere.

Every day, I ride the El to work and from work. A year and a half ago, if you would have asked me, I would have said that I was “livin’ the dream” (the dream being that I would live and work in the city sans car and all of the stress that comes with driving in rush hour gridlock, instead taking advantage of the fabulous public transit this city offers). And I actually would have said “livin’” with an apostrophe. I might have added “l-i-v-i-n” if I was in a movie quoting mood.

Fast forward to today, and if you ask me, I will tell you, “The dream has turned into a nightmare.” I’m just kidding; it’s not that bad. I still love not having a car, not paying for a car or car insurance, and not getting stressed out in city traffic. It’s nice to read a book during my commute. But, eventually, the love affair with public transit ended (doesn’t it always?) and some very cold, harsh truths began to take their toll on the relationship. These include: watching your train or bus drive off with out you on it; running like a maniac down the street to catch the bus or train; not getting a seat and having to stand after a long day (some people don’t mind this; I do and I will fight you for a seat. “Out of my way, Grandma!” I’m totally kidding… or am I…)

This morning, I ran to catch the El. And while I made it, it was not without a price. As I ran up the last few steps to the platform, the train pulled into the station and I, eager not to miss it, picked up my pace and tripped on the last step. Sadly, this is the second time this has happened in the last two weeks. And yes, as the title of this posting suggests, my shoes are too big and I’m sure this was a contributing factor.

Running to catch the train is a bad idea. If I fall again, which is likely, I could potentially hurt myself. If I hurt myself bad enough, I could miss out on training for the half marathon, which could lead to me attempting to run the half marathon unprepared (because by then I would have healed) and passing out half way through the race course effectively ending my "little engine that could" style running career.

Patience, my friends, is just one of the many virtues that I lack.

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