So last Friday pretty much went like this:
Woke up, fed and marched the kids off to school, came back and checked my email. Sorted and sifted through the usual "You've just won a colon cleanse" ads and found one hiding in there from my sister who lives in Austin. My older sister (I'm throwing that in for effect).
So, in her email she asks me how I'm doing, talks about what she's been doing, etc., and on and on until she gets to the point: She wants me to run the Capital 10k with her at the end of March.
What? Me? Run? Um, yeah... OK. I look at myself in the mirror and think, "OK, yeah, maybe I could use a little training and run -- no problem." So I reply and tell her that first, I think she's crazy and, second, I'm crazy, too, because I'm agreeing to do it with her and will there be paramedics there to scrape me up off the asphalt when I pass out?
That evening as we were driving back from our healthy dinner of Sonic burgers and fries, I reset my car's little speedometer thing to try and judge a mile in my neighborhood. I realized that from my home to the half bush near the community park is exactly half a mile. My wheels were turning -- in my head, that is.
Fast forward to this past Sunday: I woke up early, full of energy (oddly enough) and before everyone else (even more odd) and decided that this would be the day I faced my demons and put on my running shoes. I got up and put on my jogging bra, stared at myself in the mirror and wondered where that little fleshy pouch just below it came from. "Oh yeah. Child one, two, three, and four... mmm, thanks for that." I put on a T-shirt so I wouldn't startle the neighbors and get a letter from my Home Owners Association during my run, threw on shorts, grabbed my shoes, and headed out the door.
I sat for a moment in awe of how silent my nieghborhood is that early in the morning. I heard the birds for the first time in a while -- they weren't drowned out by traffic sounds or airplane noises. Then I decided that it would probably be a good idea to stretch away the cobwebs from my thighs and calf muscles. My first attempt almost sent me back inside and back to bed. It was pretty painful, and reaching my toes was out of the question, so I opted for a couple of calf stretches against the wall and headed down the steet.
Things were going nicely. I was huffing and puffing along, minding my own business until I met... THEM. I rounded the corner and saw the end in sight: My little half bush where my car read the half-mile mark -- and my turn-around point to go back home. Well, between that little bush and me came trotting two other women in totally fashionable matching jogging suits and sunglasses. They were heading right for me.
I tried not to sound so loud with my heavy breathing/gasping for air as they uttered their awfully perky and way-too-cheerful "Good morning!" to me and ran past. As they passed me I could hear them continuing with their conversation as if they never missed a beat and could have been sitting down and cloud watching or something. I know for many of you this may not seem like much of a big deal, but there I was trying to remiain CONSCIOUS during my run and these two were having a CONVERSATION! I could barely breathe and I longingly remembered days when I was fit and trim and could converse and run two miles every day back in high school. I began to wonder if I'd ever make it to that level of fitness again. I also thought to myself, if I don't stop and turn around now I will land in this itchy grass dead from a heart attack and no one will know who I am because I left my ID at home!