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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Runner's High

I went for a 2 mile run today. Okay, 1.96 miles, but who's counting? I have never been a runner. Ever. In fact, anytime I've tried, I've totally T-O-T-A-L-L-Y sucked at it. I have the endurance of a 15 year old virgin boy. I played basketball in junior high and high school, but was not-so-discreetly positioned as a bench warmer because I was really good at sitting still and not breathing heavy. Oh, and I couldn't make a basket to save my life, but let's not mince words... I played softball in junior high and high school, too, but we all know there's no real running in that sport. In college, I played rugby, in which I did, unfortunately, have to run. However, if you know anything about rugby, there's only a need for one of two things: speed or power. I don't really have power, either, but compared to my speed, I guess I was pretty strong! I was in the scrum, and mostly just had to tape my ears down, squeeze my eyes shut tight, plow into a pack of 15 other girls (only half of whom didn't want to kill me), and hope for the best... Of course I had to run in practice, but I quickly learned all the shortcuts through the woods and figured out how to make a mad speed walk look pretty close to a run... And honestly, the vast majority of us were there to push people around in a mostly-socially acceptable manner, then drink beer and sing ridiculous songs with them afterward - running and athleticism were certainly not on our tryout lists.

A few times since college, I've tried to run and did meagerly okay doing about a mile each time, but I never really stuck with it. This winter, though, I finally found some motivation that stuck around for a bit. My husband was running pretty regularly on the treadmill at night, and I thought, if he can do it, I can, too. Nothing like a healthy dose of marital competition to get me going! :)

Well, sadly, when I say I finally found some motivation that stuck around for a bit, I guess I should be more specific. I think it was a whopping total of 3 weeks. Seriously. But for me, that's pretty darn good! Not only do I have the endurance of a 15 year old virgin boy, I have the attention span of a cat in a butterfly garden. Three weeks seemed like a lifetime for me. I didn't actually stop running because I got bored with it, but because life happened - again! We were getting ready for a vacation, and I got overwhelmed with laundry, packing, planning, and other crap that was happening at work. I slacked off on it, and sadly never got back into it. My friend mentioned to me that she was doing a 5K two days after I got home from my vacation, and I was so wanting to sign up with her, but I (for once) had good foresight and decided to say I'll pass. Her goal, though, was to do one 5K each month, so I thought I'd be able to find some motivation to get back on the treadmill and run that next one. Well, who knew there wouldn't be another one for a couple of months??? Ugh.

Anyway, my experience running this spring encouraged me to believe that a 5K could be a reality for me. In the past, I was usually only able to run a mile at a time, and felt pretty winded in doing so. This spring, though, I don't know why, but I was able to run longer and farther. I could run for close to 3 miles, which is just a few extra breaths and strides short of a 5K! Damn that vacation for throwing me off track!!! :(

So, I typically get annoyed by my impulsivity, but this time, it worked to my advantage. Last night, out of nowhere, I decided to go for a run in the morning. I set my alarm for 6:45 am (on a day I had NOTHING to do other than keep my kids from sticking forks in the electrical outlets or making the cats wear wedding dresses and marry each other, again) and actually got up! I got dressed before I could talk myself out of it and headed out the door. Two steps past my driveway, I realized that I forgot to brush my teeth and for a split second, I seriously considered aborting my mission (I had smellevision ideas of how awful my own breath would taste while I was literally sucking wind out there), but the force was with me and the wind was beneath my wings. I was fearless and unstoppable! I managed to run 2 miles, even sprinting the last 1/4 mile! I felt so good while doing it, and I got a whole new perspective on my neighborhood at 7am! Who knew so many people are up at that hour, much less with their front doors wide open and the TVs blaring?

Anyway, starting my day with a run felt great. I felt so good I drank 2 huge glasses of water, took a shower right away, and even ate a somewhat healthy breakfast. It was oatmeal, albeit the instant kind with maple brown sugar flavoring. Hey - it's a start! I got myself and the three kids out of the house by 10am, and had a fairly productive day. I managed to resist the usually unavoidable calling to take a nap this afternoon when the kids finally gave me a minute to myself. I made dinner, swept the whole house (which usually only happens on the second Wednesday of the month following the second Tuesday that falls on the first day of the new moon), and got the kids bathed and to bed almost on time. (I didn't clean the cat litter, put weeks old laundry away, or chip smushed-in-and-now-solidified Eggo waffle crumbs off the living room rug, but let's start small, shall we?) What else can account for this amazing turn of events??? I mean, my iced coffee was good, but not that good...

In fact, I'm even planning on running again tomorrow morning! I've mapped out some routes on line, and even looked up some upcoming 5Ks in the area. I'd love to be able to answer the age old, "What'd you do this summer?" question at our annual work retreat this fall with "I ran my first 5K!" And plus, think of all the new shoes I could buy if I became a serious runner? They say you should get a new pair of kicks every 100 miles or so... 2 miles/day x 3 or 4 x/week = 3-4 pairs/year! Woo hoo!!! Now I just need to find some friends to sign up with me!

Well, if I really am going to get up and go running again tomorrow, I need to get this ever-so-slightly-more-toned-ass to bed ASAP! Let's see if either of those things actually happen!!! Cross your fingers for me and I'll hope for the best!

P.S. Is it totally tacky to wear the same clothes again tomorrow? I'd change my socks at least... I'm sure the people who see me would be wearing their same bathrobes or pajamas, too... I won't say anything if they won't!

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