I have just crossed the line from a "recreational runner" to a "psycho-crazed-training-for-a-marathon" runner. OK, admittedly I stopped being a recreational runner last summer, when our Running Diva group emerged and started training for craziness such as half marathons, 25Ks and the like. But this week I have turned the corner. I have been obsessing about missing training runs like someone from the TV show "Obsessed" thinks about flicking light switches. Up until this week, my runs have been automatic, enjoyable, and natural. Visiting my mom this week, without the normal distractions of taking care of my house, teaching classes, and juggling a crazy schedule, I've had lots of time to obsess about my running. Or lack thereof. In the Carolina heat and humidity, the only time for me to get out for a jaunt is super early in the A.M., before my momma heads to work. Since I threw the phone across the room yesterday morning and blogged to you all about skipping out on my track workout, I came up with a grand plan. Note: Here comes the psychosis.
I thought, "WOW! What fun would it be for me AND the boys to run along the track?! I could get my workout in, they could play outside, and we'll all be happy". I raced to put my running clothes on and brought the kids down their sneakers and sleeveless shirts. "Boys! We are going RUNNING!", I proclaim. They glance up at me from their DSs with glassy eyed blank stares. Oh yeah, I think, these kids need exercise. We lace up our sneaks, fill up the water bottles, and grab our ipods. I am having visions of my 5 and 7 year old trotting alongside me on the track, me listening to Lady Gaga and them jamming to Alvin and the Chipmunks. We open the door and the sun blares in our faces and the heat hits us like a ton of bricks. "Mommmmm...it's hottttt". "It's fine," I protest, "get in the car and let's hit the track". I glance up at the thermometer in the car. 87 degrees, it reads. At least it's not 90, I rationalize.
We park the car and walk down to the track, the boys at least 50 steps behind me, already with looks of boredom and disgust on their faces. "Won't this be soooooo fun?", I ask. I show them the long jump sand they can play in, the football field they can run on, the bleachers they can climb. Mild interest creeps on their faces, but I still see a hint of "what in the HECK are we doing here" behind their already sweaty brows.
I set off to begin my planned 4 mile run: 1 mile warm up, 6 x400s, and cool down. My first lap around the boys are doing some long jumps and give me big, smiley waves as I pass. Lap 2 both boys, on the football field, join me for about 100 feet. Lap 3 I get tentative high fives. I am sure I detect the start of protests and frowns but I keep on truckin. Lap 4 (1 mile) I pass them sitting down on the field as they are saying something to me but alas, my ipod is turned up too loud to hear them. Lap 5 I find them laying on the field and at this point I decide I might only be able to get in 3 miles. I do a couple random 200s (man...it is warm out here...). Lap 6 they are both yelling something at me. I'm no lip reader but I could see the words HOT and GO. I yell back "Go play under the bleachers...I think there is shade under there. Drink your water!" and I press on for some more random 200s. Lap 7 I don't even look their direction but blurt out "2 more to go and I will buy you toys and slushees at Walmart!!!". If I can just get to 2.5 miles I will be happy... Lap 8 they are near tears, faces flushed, begging me to leave because they are so hot. Guilt is setting in for sure. I tell them to give me one more time around the track and we'll leave. I finish my lap and stop the Garmin at 2.25 miles and they trail behind me as we head to the car. I am still desperate for 2.5 miles though (don't ask me why...I think I was dehydrated and being totally irrational) so I plop them in the A/C cooled down car (gotta love remote start) and I continue to RUN LAPS AROUND THE PARKING LOT until my Garmin rolls to 2.5. Seriously? Laps in the parking lot? Am I insane?
Probably. But as we headed to Walmart to buy treats (the only public place I felt comfortable going to stinky and dripping in sweat), I felt pretty good that I got out there and did something. No, it wasn't the 4 miles I planned...but it was more than half that and it was something.
And I felt even better that I did that measly 2.5 miles because I had to miss this morning's 11 miles because of a wicked thunderstorm rolling through at 5:30 am. I am not crazy to run in that nonsense. Not yet, anyway.