Every week, at our Traditional Sunday Dinner at Jamba Juice, I pick up the free magazine, Competitor. I sip my smoothie and nibble my pretzel and pore over the pages. I especially enjoy the editorials (remember this one?). It’s my weekly glimpse into the lives and capabilities of people completely unlike myself. People who can run a marathon…and like it so much that they want to do it again. I read about training schedules and tips, about which clothes to wear for which weather, about moms who take their toddlers out in the stroller and end up being world-class marathoners.
It’s all fodder for my life-long dream of being a runner. I gaze wistfully out the car windows as we drive past women running along the side of the road. “Look, there I go!” I’ve said it so often, that Devo often beats me to it. “Look, there you go!” It’s nice to be married to someone who truly understands me. <sigh>
So nice, that I thought, Wow, we should run together. <vigorous nodding> Then we could be one of those couples effortlessly sprinting down the road, talking and laughing, hair blowing in the wind, muscles rippling… Brilliant, inspired. I talked about it for so long, that when we made our 5 Year Anniversary Resolutions, one of them was to run a 5K. Together.
Unfortunately it is time for a reality check:
I hate running. Devo hates running. I have only ran a mile without stopping once, maybe twice, in my entire life–and I was jogging so slowly that the walkers were passing me. It wasn’t very pretty. You remember the kid in school who was always the last to finish running laps in PE? That was me. Devo ran well in school, but only because he was extremely competitive. Not because he enjoyed it or anything.
But Competitor calls my name week after week: Leilani, you know you want to be a runner. You know you do. Say yes to your Inner Runner.
I said, “Well, perhaps…”, and did some internet research on training programs for beginning runners. Then I narrowed my research to beginning women runners. Then I got sidetracked and researched running apparel. Women’s running apparel. Google is always an excellent place to start an exercise regime.
I said, “Maybe”, and bought a pair of running pants. And a sports bra. Because there is nothing more irksome than frequent shorts-readjustment when you are trying to effortlessly lope along with the wind blowing through your hair. And because I’m still nursing.
I said, “I’d really like to do this”, and bought a pair of running shoes.
Side note: Did you know that running shoes are significantly lighter than, say, tennis shoes? They are so light, they actually encourage you to pick up your feet and try a little jog. Or a little jig. Running shoes have cool mesh on the toes. While excellent for straining split pea soup, and excellent for ventilation, I do not suggest taking running shoes to the beach. I did (of course I did) and now, weeks later, I am still getting sand between my toes every time I wear them.
Then Janeen told me that she trained for and completed a triathalon when she was, like, 3 months pregnant. And I thought, if she can do, I can do it.
And on Monday I said, “By George, you’ve procrastinated long enough!” and after my yoga class, Devo and I took the girls to the track. Luckily, Lia wanted to run, too. Children are great for masking side-stitches and gasping. But then, I stiffened my upper lip and said to myself, “Self, stop being a pansy.” So I tucked Lia into the stroller and off we went, side by side, just like in my dreams and…
I ran all the way around the track. Without stopping. Imagine that, an entire quarter mile.
I was so proud of myself, I would have done a little dance if I could have mustered up the breath and energy for it.
But as I walked away, flushed and triumphant, I couldn’t imagine, not even remotely picture, going another 25.2 times around the track. And then multiplying that by 4.
But that’s okay. I’m not aiming for a marathon. I’m aiming for a 5 K. So onwards, forwards, upwards!
In other endurance related news, I began reading “War and Peace” this week. I only have another 1029 pages to go. It’s kind of freaking me out. Has anybody else out there read it and lived to tell about it?