My Nana turned 82 last week. As a birthday gift for her, my aunts arranged for the family to come over on Sunday and re-do the landscaping in Nana’s front yard. I assured Catch that there would be so many of us that it would be no big deal and we’d be done in a couple of hours.
Unfortunately, only a small percentage of the family actually showed up. What could have been a little work ended up being quite a lot of WORK. Shoveling, squatting, bending, kneeling—all very physical, and very tiring.
When I woke up on Monday morning, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I could barely move my arms and legs. Unfortunately, Monday also happened to be the day this week that I was free to do whatever I wanted after work, and what I wanted was to go for a run.
I never run out in the real world. I prefer sweating it out in the privacy of our bedroom, where our treadmill lives. I know, though, that running on real solid ground is not the same as running on the treadmill, and I really want to start working on the whole solid ground thing. (Goalz—I haz them.)
So, I mapped out a very short, 2-ish mile run from my office complex to a local park, then two laps around the park and back to the office. I left the office in my running clothes and made my way through the building feeling totally exposed despite being appropriately covered.
I hid behind some bushes to stretch. It probably made me look insanely creepy, but it felt better to do my pre-run lunges in the privacy of shrubbery than for an audience of the Baja Fresh patio next door.
Then, I was off. Running from my office. Oh, the irony.
I failed to take into consideration that it would be about 80+ degrees and totally sunny at 4 pm on the first Monday of Daylight Saving Time. It was hot. I was already sore and uncomfortable. This was going to be a SLOW run.
There was another gentleman running around the park in the opposite direction. We passed each other a few times—he was running significantly faster than me. As we passed, I would look up with the intention of smiling, but he never looked at me. Eventually, I just figured that a) he was just a grouchy guy or b) there’s some unspoken rule that I’m not aware of about interacting with other runners.
Toward the end of my last lap around the park, I was really struggling. The sun was getting to me and I was so sore and tired. I felt like there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to keep running all the way back to the office. I started to negotiate with myself. Just finish this lap and then you can walk back.
Suddenly, I look up and find myself face to face with grouchy running guy. He gave me a big smile and a thumbs up. I gave him the biggest smile I was capable of in my total misery. I know it couldn’t possibly have conveyed how much that thumbs up meant to me, but I hope it gave him an inkling. His gesture was all it took to give me the final push I needed. I picked up the pace a bit and ran my ass off all the way back to the office.
Thanks, grouchy running guy. I really needed that.