Dr.J. on Running


Running Blues

Pique of Pepper Spray

Published January 14, 2002 in The Syracuse Post-Standard.

By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer

I arrived home one day to a pile of clothes on my side of the bed. Following an exceptionally bad run, my wife had started to discard her running gear.

"My right knee hurt, and I had a headache the whole time. I did not drink enough today, so I was dehydrated," she began. "The neighbor's dogs came out at me, so I tried to sprint past them. The pepper spray blew back into my face, and I started gagging, which scared them away."

By this time, the discard pile contained three sets of thermal underwear, five turtleneck shirts, three long-sleeve race shirts, one pair of wind pants, and three pairs of stretch tights.

"At the end of the road, a car came down the hill going about sixty. Dust and gravel got into my eyes, and I lost sight for a moment. I stepped off the pavement, and I twisted my ankle," she continued. I kept quiet, and ducked as she opened the drawers. Out came six pairs of shorts that I hoped were not mine. Seventeen old race T-shirts followed.

"By the time I hit the park road, mother nature called," she whined. "The park office was closed, and so were the port-a-potties. I had to go half a mile into the woods." I watched as she flung seven sports bras and ten pairs of ankle socks onto the pile. She glanced once over her shoulder, and headed to the mud room for her running shoes. "Are you coming or what? You won't want to miss the rest of the story." I obeyed.

"A bird got me as I slogged back up the hill." She pointed to a white spot on her head that I previously mistook for grey hair. By the time I caught up with her she had collected six pairs of shoes, three hats, four pairs of mittens and four wind-jackets. I followed her back into our bedroom.

"With half a mile to go my nose started bleeding, and I got stitches, so I walked the rest of the way home. I started to wonder why I run." With those words, she crashed into a chair and heaved a great sigh.

"Do you want me to carry this stuff to the truck?" I asked, and held my breath for her answer.

"Of course not, silly," she quipped. "You did not actually think I was going to quit running, did you? I just wanted to look at my running gear for a little while. The endorphins will kick in by the end of the shower, and I will be ready to put everything back in its place. We are training for a marathon, remember?"

© 2002 The Post-Standard.

Kamal Jabbour runs and writes on the hills of Pompey, New York. His RUNNING Column appears in The Syracuse Post-Standard on Mondays. Dr.J. created TrackMeets.com, webcasting live Every Lap of Every Race. He receives email at jabbour@i2sports.com.