Maybe Not

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After Chinese take out and a vodka tonic with my mom last night, I felt like crap. I desperately wanted to get my ass on the treadmill, but me + vodka + treadmill = let’s not tempt fate. Instead, I resolved to get up early this morning and go for a run out in the real world before work. We live in a triplex, so I can’t very well be stomping on the treadmill at 5:30 am.

As I tossed and turned trying to get myself to sleep, I imagined that a 5:30 am run was the solution to all of my problems. I’d start the day with some quality alone time and some good music, and I’d emerge feeling energized and ready to tackle the day. Maybe this could become a regular thing. It would sure take the pressure off of the evenings if I could get my workout in at the beginning of the day. Yes! That’s a great plan! 5:30 runs every day from now on!

My alarm went off at 5:30. I wanted to choke it, but you can’t choke an iPhone, apparently. You can only throw it.

At 5:40, I felt guilty because my alarm had awakened the dogs and Catch, and they sure as hell didn’t need to be up so early. It was guilt that dragged my sleepy rear end out of bed and toward the general direction of my sports bra and running shoes.

5 minutes later, I was stretching on our front steps with Tom Petty in my ear. This is gonna be great.

I ran. Cool morning air. Quiet neighborhood. Grey sky as the sun rises. Honestly, it was great.

It was great until I got home and realized that I couldn’t just throw myself onto the couch and spend the rest of the day being a vegetable. I had to shower. I had to get ready for work. I had to be a functioning member of society.

I did not feel energized. I felt even more exhausted than when I started. Plus, I’m not used to running on concrete and my hips freaking HURT.

Now that the day is in progress, I regret not turning off my alarm and getting some extra sleep. At least then my eyes wouldn’t feel like sandpaper and I wouldn’t be popping Advil like it’s candy.

I’m thinking the 5:30 am run is going to be the exception rather than the rule. But hey, at least I tried.

Dear Early Morning Run,

We can’t keep doing this.  It’s not you, it’s me.

Love,

Not a Morning Person

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Grouchy Running Guy

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.