Or, Chubbo Takes up Running. Again.
Hello all of Mel’s wonderful readers! It’s me, Chubbo, from over at Rage in the A.M. I’m extremely excited to be posting here on Life is a Marathon. First, I have never run a marathon. Second, I don’t know that I ever will. But I have been a regular runner before and have run a few 5Ks and the good old Bell Buckle 10-miler. So, I’ve got some running experience under the belt. However, the experience was forced out from underneath my belt as large chunks of lard stealthily took its place. But I’m back, baby. This is for all the big girls who read what the skinny girls write about running and think, “What? That’s not how it is!”
Runner’s Rage – a noun meaning the overwhelming and gushing anger that sloshes about inside one’s guts when they try to run, but are kept from being 100% successful because of their own laziness (i.e. chub) or weird physical impediments that no one else on earth could possibly understand or has ever experienced before.
I pull on the sports bra, mushing my voluptuous breasts into one shelf of pro-bounce boob. I wiggle into my running shorts, which haven’t been worn since… well, nevermind that. Who cares? I’m IN them, aren’t I? Oh. Legs not shaved. Eh, it’s not a fashion show. I find the t-shirt that is least likely to hug that small, circular hill rising out of the sinking crater of my bellybutton. Dang. It hugs. I pull on my socks with the flying pigs. I un-double knot my Asics, tuck my pigs in, and re-double knot my Asics, cursing the double knot all the way.
I reach for the door. Oh crap. My back hurts. Of course. I didn’t even do anything yet and something hurts. Typical. I make my way down the 9 floors of my apartment building, glad to have the elevator to myself. My armpits are already celebrating the heat, pre-run. Heck, pre-do more than ride the elevator. I reach the lobby and avoid eye contact with the old doorman behind the desk. I am the only Western female living in this building (so far) and I can feel him staring at the massive wonder that is my midsection.
Thank you God for my legs. Oh they work! Oh loooook! I’m walking. How nice. Alright take it slow. Stretch out those muscles a little bit. Mmmmm. That’s good.
I reach the riverside. I have decided that this is the starting point for my run. Oh, next streetlamp. Oh, right after this tiny hill. Next streetlamp. No, the next one and this time I mean it. Okay, here. I pick up my feet. I begin to swing my arms just a little, making sure I don’t crisscross my body, wasting that precious energy I’ve stored up from the last 5 pieces of cheese pizza and two bowls of curry rice I ate. Feeling good. This is not so bad. I look out over the Han River and try to avoid being run over by zealous Korean bikers with their stupid little handlebar bells.
Good job, Chubbo! You’re moving. You’re not eating ice cream and you’re not sitting on your butt reading blogs and trying not to think about ice cream. Deep breaths. Easy does it. Good pace. Look at that tiny Korean girl. OH MY GOD! I can see half the park between her thighs. Which reminds me…I pull my shorts down out of my crotch, where they have hidden themselves as if a nuclear blast has hit and the only safe place is in my crack. If I run more, maybe my thighs will slowly grow every more distant, like the friend you once called everyday but now only view her Facebook profile like a stalker, clicking obsessively through photo albums to see if she has gained any weight. Run faster! Faster!
NOT THAT FAST! Oh legs. I have legs. And I also seem to have an animal trapped inside me, somewhere around my pancreas, who wants very badly to rip through my intestines, (wait, are they close to my pancreas? Maybe it’s really over near my…) IT WANTS TO KILL ME! STITCH! STITCH! Oh God. Why am I doing this? Because you are Chubbo. But I like Chubbo. She’s funny and she gets to eat goooooood food. Macaroni, macaroni, macaroni, macaroni. I just found my mantra! Runner’s World always talks about running mantras and now I have one! Macaroni, maca- WHAT IS THAT? Oh poor little arch! It’s okay, don’t scream like that. I’m not hurting you on purpose. Please carry me just a little further. Oh please. I know you’re the only little arch in the world to ever carry this weight, but be patient. No? You don’t tell me no. You are MY foot. My. Foot. Stop it. Shut up. Macaroni, macaroni, macaroni…
I have run for…. ooooh 8 minutes and 30 seconds! Woot. That’s like three minutes more than yesterday. Breathe… Um, hello? Breathe. I can’t breathe. I… can’t… breathe. ICANTBREATHE! ICANTBREATHE! I’m dying. Oh my lungs. It’s burning. Burning….. Water! Must have water…. Who puts the water fountain that far away? Ugh, healthy skinny Koreans. Wait, am I still running? Oh my gosh, I’m still running. No. Stop thinking about running. It will hurt less. Let’s make a list of things that don’t hurt: My eyes. Nope, nix that. Sweat running into eyes. That burns. Okay, my back fat doesn’t hurt! Wait, my back fat? I have actually given my back fat the honorary title of body part? What is this world coming to? My back fat does not hurt, but it is very busy. It is jumping and bouncing like a 7 year old on a new trampoline.
I busy myself by psychically trying to convince the back of the size 0 woman in front of me that I have never supersized anything in my life. However, I must confess that I have partaken of the Route 44 at Sonic. Hello! I have legs. I have feet. I have some kind of monster gnawing at my spleen like an aggravated snow leopard attempting to feast on a frozen deer. I look down. Why isn’t The Belly any smaller? I’ve been running for like, oh God, 10 freaking minutes! Why hasn’t it gotten any smaller! Shrink! Shrink!
To the bike rental shack. I can make it to the bike rental shack. Okay, maybe to the porta-potty. Yeah, I can do it. Eh, that next crack in the sidewalk looks good. Oh, hello knees! Hi. I’m sorry, but the run is OVER. Now is not the appropriate time to begin hurting. It’s over I tell you! Over!
And so ends my every run. And the 10 minutes grows to 15, and the 15 turns into half an hour eventually. And then I’m running miles at a time. Tomorrow, The Belly will be begging for another go ‘round. Because once you start, it hurts so good! For all of you who feel my runner’s rage at your body, remember: if you’re angry enough, you’ll work hard enough, run fast enough, and begin to change your body one step at a time.
[From my hiking journal]
March 12, 2009
From Ghorepani to Tatopani
Old Kamala Guest House, Room 503
Day 11 of Hiking
Last night I had awful dreams about being burned by fire because I saw the fire burning in a long line down the mountain before we went to sleep. I dreamed I lost my cat and my baby in the fire. Today as we made our way from Ghorepani to here, we saw several burning, the smoke rising from all the different fires making one huge cloud above us.
I could still see the lengthening line of fire as we started up Poon Hill at 5:30 this morning. It was not as cold going up as I thought it would be, but at the top the wind was serious. I tried to think happy thoughts on the hike to the top, but I just got so angry because every time I thought I was at the top of the mountain, there was a turn and 100 more stairs to climb. It was 3,000+ meters high. It probably took me close to an hour to reach the top. There was a lookout tower, but I assumed the wind was even worse up there and let Kenny and CB check it out on their own. Needless to say, I was not a happy hiker. When the sun rose, it was pretty and the mountains were bigger than life, but it was still hazy and I was cold. I did manage a smile for one or two pictures, but I was not awed by the mountains.
Perhaps that is one of my defects. We come out here and I'm confronted by the Himalayas themselves, and yet, I remain nonplussed. I would have rather hiked up later, not in the dark, missed the haze, and seen the mountains at a decent time of day. Or just skipped it altogether. Even at Annapurna Base Camp, I wasn't blown away. I guess mountains just aren't my thing. Oh well, no one can say I didn't try.
After hiking back down, we had a beautiful breakfast including delicious hashbrowns and headed down toward Tatopani. Tato being hot in Nepali and pani being water. And by down, I mean down. It was downhill all the way. If you ask, my knees will tell you all about it. I listened to the Funeral album by Arcade Fire and ended with In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel, both fitting perfectly and suprisingly motivational on hikes! [Thank you, Rob, so much!]
We didn't get to Tatopani until 4:00 pm so it had been a slow day. We headed straight for the hot springs. I was unimpressed. The water wasn't anywhere near hot-tub hot and due to all the fires, the pool was filled with ash. I didn't last long, being the only woman in the pool anyway. It was weird. The fires had come all the way down to the tree line, where the people who lived there had started fires of their own to make sure it didn't pass down into the town.
Tonight we met a British man who talked to us during dinner. He says the roads they're constructing will kill the tourist trade. Why hike somewhere if you can just take a taxi instead? After dinner we played Go Stop with CB again. I'm giving him my trekking shoes and izen because the shoes fit him perfectly. Our feet our the same size. Exactly. We were so lucky to have him as our guide.
I got blisters today- on our last day of real hiking!
Warning: If you are particularly sensitive in the mush area and prone to throwing up in your mouth a little whenever you are exposed to smiling, gushing, happy people twining their lives together, you may want to skip the following pictures. Or just have your barf bag handy.
February 27, 2009
Jasmine Executive Suites, Suite 1112
1. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market: Incredible. We got up so early and still missed the local trading because our taxi driver got lost. Twice. We got a little ripped off with the boat tour for an hour, but had our own boat so that was nice. Probably my favorite part of today. Being on the water was nice and cool. And we saw a big iguana type thing swimming in the canal.
2. Salt fields. Probably Kenny's favorite.We saw the fields on the way back to Bangkok from the floating market and Kenny made the driver pull over on the side of the road so he could get some pictures.
3. Thammasat University= Beautiful Campus. A truly lovely walk through the grounds, right on the river. Great relaxed atmosphere.
4. 2 Elephants in the Street. It was so cool seeing them up close. They are so large. I mean, you know they're large but you don't really know until you're next to them. One had a reflective light tied around his tail.
TIME SPENT IN TAXIS:
1. 6:55-9:00: To Floating Market from Sukhumvit. Taxi driver was a mistake. However, I manage to sleep most of the way.
2. 10:15-11:45: Back with the same driver but to Wat Pho. He took a crazy route and the traffic was heavy. I slept some more but felt car sick and had a huge headache when we got out.
3. 5:45-6:30: Back to Sukhumvit from Kao San Road. Traffic was insane and after got far enough we popped out and walked the rest of the way.
Conclusion: I am already tired of taxis and miss Seoul Metro and the bus system which is easy and so freaking cheap. TOTAL TIME IN TAXIS: 4 hrs 20 minutes!
I am so tired but happy with how the day turned out. It was full and vivid and fun. Now if only I could poooooooop!