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My legs are heavy. So

My legs are heavy. So heavy I can hardly lift them, as if they’re not bone and muscle, but cement-filled sausages. And when I muster the strength to move one foot forward, it’s like dragging my shoe through a river of sludge. The harder I try to run, the more I realize I’m not moving. Anybody else had that dream?

That was my reality yesterday. Spring had sprung and I had a couple hours before we were scheduled to go uptown to catch Far From Heaven a second time, before Oscar's snub finds it vanquished it from the big screen. Not really enough time to go to the gym, but enough time to try to get my running groove back on.

I pull on a pair of gym shorts.

“Where are you going?” Larry asks.

“I’ve gotta get outside and do something. Gonna go for a short run. Just half an hour. One minute of running and and two of walking. Ease myself back into it.”

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Just to get the old heart rate up and do something good for myself instead of blog surfing and thinking I’ve smoked way too many cigarettes over the past week. Yeah, I’d stopped that a long time ago, but Bloomberg’s taking away an inalienable right this week, so I’ve spent the last week lighting up in every bar I walk by.

Feet ensconced in my trusty New Balance 1040s, iPod charged up and turned on shuffle, I set out. The first two minutes were easy. Who can’t walk for 120 seconds? Run, walk, repeat. By the time I’m on the third or fourth interval, I’m huffing and puffing down along the Hudson River, wondering how the hell it was possible I actually ran a marathon some five months ago. “Use it or lose it,” they say. I think I’ve lost it. Keeping one eye on the path ahead of me and the other on my watch’s second hand, I plod forward, waiting for it to sweep back up to 12 and let me know my minute’s up so I can walk again.

I reach the fifteen minute mark. Time to turn around and head home, but I haven’t gone nearly far enough, so I push on towards Houston. I used to be able to get further than this in far less time. How pathetic. Even more pathetic is when I see this hot runner approaching me as I hit another 1-minute interval and won’t let myself stop because I don’t want him to think I’m back to novicedom, on the run-walk program. Like he would even notice.

So I get to Pier 40, turn around and head back north. 20 minutes and half-way done. I add 15 seconds to the run part and think that I might be able to get back into this running thing after all. When is the NYRRC’s next 5K? Short term goals are good. The trip back is easier than the trek out. And when I get to the last running segment, Supersister reminds me that “Summer Gonna Come Again.” Truer words were never sung. I smile as I begin the cooldown for the last couple of blocks before I get to the apartment.

Back home, I crank up the CD player. Alison Moyet’s Singles is on. I do some stretches, a few crunches, and I find myself shirtless, sweaty and lip-synching “Ordinary Girl” into the living room mirror.

Larry comes out of the bedroom, looks at me and laughs. “Sure didn’t take you long to find an endorphin, did it?”

That’s the thing. They’re easier to find than we think, those endorphins. I sometimes forget that they're just a half-hour (maybe 40 minutes) away.