A few years back, before his first NYC marathon, Lance Armstrong appeared in a Saturday Night Live sketch as himself, racing in a Celebrity Ironman. Still wearing his bike helmet, Armstrong bobbed along the run course, his arms flailing incongruously in front of him. The sketch cuts back to baffled-looking ESPN commentators played by Jason Sudeikis and Seth Meyers, who intones, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t think Lance Armstrong knows how to run.”
(Thanks to NBC’s ridiculous practices re. video file sharing outside the US, the only clip I could find of the sketch is part of a homemade montage of SNL sports sketches; Lance’s is third, after Peyton Manning.)
Since I returned to running a few weeks ago, I feel a little like Celebrity Ironman Lance: I’m never sure what to do with my hands when I run. As any new mom will tell you, on the rare occasion you find yourself NOT holding/feeding/carrying/cajoling/diapering/wiping/soothing/swaddling/burping or bathing your new baby, you’ll be frantically running about the house making use of your newly-freed hands to accomplish all of the things you can’t do whilst baby-wielding – sort of like the Tasmanian devil, but clutching a bottle of Febreeze. Anyway, heading out for a run unencumbered has come to feel all kinds of wrong, so to keep my arms from flailing in the air a la Lance, I’ve devised a few other activities to keep them busy. They include, in no particular order:
-Clutching my iPod so tight it jumps songs with almost every footstep
-Waving at stroller-pushing running moms like a lunatic; though since I don’t have my babe with me to identify myself as one of the tribe, most of them look at me like I actually AM a lunatic
-Yanking my too-tight running tights up in the hope that they’ll finally settle somewhere resembling a “waist.” Ah, someday.
-Doing the double-guns finger point and making high-pitched “pew-pew-pew” laser sounds at anyone who passes me – which is, let’s face it, everybody.
-Use my free fingers to count the number of things I’ll have to attend to simultaneously the minute I step back through the door.
At very least, unlike Ricky Bobby doing his first interview in Talledega Nights, I don’t just let them float slowly into mid-air. Thank goodness for that.