Blogpost, early 2007
I ran ten miles today. I love my cushy U. Wisconsin at Milwaukee socks, but they’r hotsocks – they bunch and chafe a bit over time. ow ow ow ow. Remind me not to take them with me for the long miles, even if they do have exellent memories. They’re the memento I got the year of the crown jewel of my Irish dance career., when I dared leave the nice, safe Rockies region and ventured alone into the maw of the Chicago/Milwaukee corridor. Two of the biggest Irish dance schools in the U.S. – and the winningest world-level school there is – are based up there, both Trinity and Cashell-Denehy, and their feissana (competitions) are something to experience. Mine was either 1700 dancers and 19 stages or 1900 dancers and seventeen stages, and everyone is in multiple events. If you’re competing on stage 10 next, it’s up to you to be at stage 10 whenever they’re ready for your event. Never mind that you’re on stage 19 for this other event category at the other end of the building, still waiting your turn…
I left with five golds and a silver. The local leading light made me her new best friend, and we tackled Irish school the next week together. I got injured and whined a bunch, but it really was a good time, and everyone was very nice. I got to study under the famous Danny Golden – so what if he has to use dye these days to keep his hair that color, what would life be if Danny Golden weren’t golden? My elective was a wheat weaving class. The teacher spoke reverently of a woven wheat museum that had recently burned down; it housed 700 years’ worth of charms and decorations made of woven wheat. My mind danced at the possibilities of seeing where and how folks wove these charms all those centuries ago. I wonder what they meant.
We also went to the Spy Bar, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. You gotta remember my father and a lot of other people in my family really were in intelligence-related work.
And yeah, I’m at the point of marathon training where I have to track minutia like what socks I wear.
I have been struggling with great pain from running. I think I’ve figured it out; check me in three weeks, when I get down to the marathon wire. I’m gonna run like a girl. I have been carefully following pretty standard training regimens and feeling crippled. I couldn’t stand up without pain, hobbling from my sofa to the kitchen to get more water…don’t even ask me about getting out of bed in the morning. My joints are fine. Anyone who knows indestructible me knows my joints are titanium ball bearings that won’t lock up until the lube runs out, which hasn’t happened yet. My muscles and tendons, though, have felt shattered, ripped, separated muscle from muscle, fiber from fiber, screaming in agony. So I’m trying a radical new thing. I’m running like I used to, only I didn’t used to run distances.
I dance like a girl. I’m running like a dancer.
I’ve gotten teased for this before. I run from my toes, from my thighs, with a long stride, body arched forward, eyes on the horizon. I am ready to leap, to twirl, to dodge people in the halls. I am nearly airborne, ready to fly. I am vaulting, nimble, catch me if you can.
This means I need very light, flexible shoes, and to let my feet be as strong as they can. They won’t let me run in my contra dancing shoes, so I’m trying racing flats. I may be the least qualified person to ever wear them. I’ll let you know how it goes.
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