I started running in the ninth grade. We had to run one mile for Physical Education and I think it took me thirty minutes. I remember being one of the last people to finish and I still remember the look of haughty disdain from the Physical Education teacher. I was a teeny tiny thing with zero athletic prowess.
I continued with running throughout my life, into my adult years and after having two babies. I took some breaks throughout the years after my “Wellness Epiphany Moment” in High School.
Recently I ran a small, 10k and placed third for my age group and it was the first time I had placed in any race in over twenty years. As I ran, I wanted to stop and write down my thoughts. The June southern humidity- spawned from all things that stick and make my eyelashes sweat, spawn a rolodex stream of consciousness and I immediately need to put on paper.
Alarm goes off on Saturday Morning
“oops this must be a mistake?”
5 minutes later. SEVEN alarms go off at the same time.
“Why did I sign up for this thing back in March, all jacked up on coffee and endorphins from a cool morning run?”
I crawl to the coffee machine and make a giant pot, hoping to link the nectar intravenously. I pour and sit and wait for it to render me human. I look at my watch.
My eyes pop out widely, as I slurp my coffee through a semi-consciousness state.
“OH SNAP. I was supposed to get everyone up an hour ago!”
My husband stumbles downstairs. We politely disagree as to why no one is organized with AIS. (Asses in seat). My minions ask why I had signed them up to walk the 5k with their Aunt.
…”BECAUSE FAMILY TIME IS FUN TIME AND WE ARE HAVING FUN FAMILY ACTIVE FUN TIME!” (I say out loud).
We arrive and I smugly smile at my sister as she is standing in the place she saved for us and warded off all the annoyed race participants who set their alarms appropriately in order to snag an efficient parking space. Oops.
I roll my eyes at the people stretching. Okay, I roll my eyes at myself because I rise from the sofa like the cute Old dude from the Movie “UP” while placing my hand on my lower back sighing “I really need to stretch more.”
The Race Guy commences the race.
.04 – I have to pee. Does anyone else have to pee? I have to Pee. Why did I drink so much coffee?
.45 -I still have to pee. Pee. Pee. Did I set my little runner tracker thing?
.46- Why did I wear this fanny-back-pack thing? To carry my giant mini tablet phone? It’s hitting my back like a freight train.
.57 -Everything Hurts. That speed walker just passed me. Why is this dude sweating already? WHY AM I SWEATING ALREADY??
1.0 -If I had signed up for the 5k I would be almost half way through by now. How do marathoners do this? What do they eat? I wonder if I had some Runners Goo Goo, I would feel more energized. With Goo Laced Energy.
1.05- I wish I had finished more of those Yoga Sequences from the Pinterest Yoga Running Lady. And stretched versus rolling my eyes.
1.10- Is that a mosquito biting my back in the same place? Why hasn’t my frieght train fanny-back-pack smothered the mosquito.
1.50 -Okay, I can do this. I am a runner. I’m pacing with Lululemon Lady and she looks pretty serious.
1.55.- I really should not have consumed three Empanadas last night from Happy Havana. It’s not mixing well with the banana and coffee.
1.76 “So watcha watcha watcha want..” My hipster ring tone bellows out form my mini tablet phone crushing my back. I don’t even look. I trust my sister has my kids securely, if not, my husband has his mini tablet phone too.
1.86- No one seems to notice my hipster ring tone so that was an anticlimactic thought.
1.93 I wonder if this Lulelemon Lady is in my age group? Should I start chatting her up about the humidity?
2.5 I would be sprinting if I was in the 5k. Sprinting a 10.50 pace right now.
3.2 ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THIS IS LAPPED? I thought the second part was shady with a slight downgrade of hilly terrain and breezes from a lake nearby?
3.45 oh noooo….NOT THIS HOT STRETCH OF TREELESS DEATH. I AM SWALLOWING THE BLINDING WHITE RAYS OF THE SUN! I grab a cup of water and try to chat with the water people. They are not interested in my musings. I thank them for their kindness in volunteering, and ask where to toss the cup. They point to the ground. I look at them as if to say “I would not deny an opportunity to volunteer and opt out of running right now?” They do not hear my entrapped ADHD thoughts.
3.89 QUICK, I need a distraction. “Oh wow, that guy’s lawn looks super nice, and he’s sitting on his porch watching us ‘Hi Guy, your lawn looks fabul-fantastic’ no. I didn’t say that. Thinking Counts.
4.97 So close. I’m so close. I think the 7 miles I ran in December is really helping me right now, oh shit, I’m speed walking.
5.45 I’m pacing with my Dad. Or a guy that looks like my Dad. Wait does his t-shirt say “GOT BEEF?”
5.78 I’m breathing really loud. I’m annoying my own damn self with my untrained, labored breaths right now.
6.20 I can see the finish line. I’M SPRINTING SO FAST (9.89MPH) I’m passing “GOT BEEF?’- DUDE’
I CROSS THE FINISH LINE, with my eyes closed.
I give everyone giant hugs and slurp water as I also dump on myself, like a Victoria’s Secret model after a Cabo shoot. I look over and see ‘Lululemon lady’ beaming with her family. My face is that fabulous-flushed-cardio-pink. My neat pony-tail-running-bun flails off to the both sides of my face. I am in my happy place. What brings you to your happy place?