You know the sort- it starts off by hitting the snooze button
for an hour for 10 minutes before you drag yourself out of bed and then spending the next 40 minutes getting dressed and trying to convince yourself to just head out the door on your run, hoping that if you wait just 2 more minutes the wind and rain will die down. Knowing full well that the forecast calls for 100% chance of precipitation and for the winds to just get stronger throughout the day. And hoping that despite the time and route you are taking that you won’t run into the jackass cyclist who likes to play chicken with runners. You pull on your awesome “badass mother runner” shirt to try and channel something other than the total wimp that you are currently feeling. Then you cover it up with a jacket (color: vomit-inducing green) hoping you still qualify as a badass if no one can tell you are.
So out the door it is. It’s raining those big fat drops that soak everything. The wind is at your back which is nice, but you know that is coming back to get you on your way home. Because there is no way you are running south at the beginning of your run. It isn’t a physical hill, but if you run south at the beginning the street numbers get bigger on your way home. Numbers getting bigger is totally the same as climbing a hill. And you aren’t in the mood for hills this morning, real or imagined.
So north it is. You see no one. Until suddenly a runner passes you in the other direction, dressed completely in black (hello! do you have a death wish?) suggesting you choose a different street so you don’t cross paths with aforementioned jackass on a bike. The rain would be blinding if there was any light to see. You lightly curse the gods of genetics because your husband has the metabolism of a weasel and yours more resembles that of a woolly mammoth, extinction and all. Oh, and that part that you actually want to run and he has no desire. You’re wasting energy by thinking so it’s best to stop now.
Despite that you are in the middle of a major city, it feels like you are slogging through a ghost town. It’s appealing in a desolate sort of way. It’s man v. nature, or something. You’re like Will Smith in that weird virus movie set in New York. Or that really awful vampire movie set in some horrifying town in north Alaska where the sun sets and stays down for a month (I still can’t decide which is worse- the town being overrun by vampires or that they could overrun the town due to the fact that the damn sun disappears for AN ENTIRE MONTH).
As you push your way north you know you are running into a trap. You’re on the interurban bike trail and that is where you know you’ll run into Jackass. But your other option is to run on poorly lit streets with no sidewalks and drivers who might or might not see you, despite the fact that your upper body is wrapped in a color that is most commonly associated with nuclear waste.
You’re on the bike path when you notice a sinister looking bike light flashing in the distance. But it isn’t coming from the bike path- it’s coming from the backyard of a house adjacent to the bike path. Is it actually possible that you have stumbled across the lair of the infamous Chicken-Cyclist? Less than a minute later when he initiates his favorite game with you, you realize it’s true. You turn and shout “Do that again and I’ll kick you off your bike!” He laughs in response. This is too much. You come to a stop, turn completely around and scream, “I know where you live asshole!”, not caring who hears you. No this isn’t one of your finer moments, but someone needs to stick up for the neighborhood runners.*
So you trudge on. The bike path ends and now you are on sidewalks. This is a street you’ve never explored despite the fact that it’s only about 2 miles from your house. Nothing too exciting, but you note the growing trend of having everything in one place! your condo! is right on top of your favorite coffee/sandwich/teriyaki joint! which is conveniently located directly above your parking lot! It’s vertical suburbs. Time to turn around and head back to the old world where houses don’t touch and the only thing below your living area is a crawl space that is not dissimilar from the one where police found a dead body wrapped in a tarp after 10 years. You know you are more likely to go on a weekend getaway to Jupiter than into that cave of horrors beneath your house.
The wind is in full force on the return trip. It crosses your mind that the wind is actively trying to prevent you from getting home. Not cool, wind. You feel like you’ve got a parachute tied to your back. You try envisioning yourself as 2 dimensional because if you’ve ever needed the power of positive thought it is this moment. It doesn’t help, but you aren’t sure if 2D is a positive thought or not, so you don’t chalk it up as a total waste of time just yet.
You focus on your breath, and ignore the fact that your Garmin is telling you that you are running at least 45 seconds slower per mile than your goal. Screw the time. Your new goal is to make it home by running,
walking, crawling, or calling a damn cab, never mind how long it takes.
You think about making rude hand gestures at Chicken Man’s house, but
you actually don’t have the energy to waste on that you’re too mature for that. You aren’t going to give him the head space because you don’t have it to give. As you exit the bike path you notice that life has returned to this lonely city of yours. Thank all that is holy, because now you don’t have to see those nasty vampire teeth as your last vision before death. You have to wait for the light to cross the arterial to get home. Where were these people 20 minutes ago?
You aren’t usually a morning runner, but you love watching the city come
alive awake. You check your Garmin to see you’ve only got .25 to go. Huh. This run didn’t turn out to be so bad, after all. You hit the driveway just as your 4 miles are up. You mentally prepare yourself that you were probably only 2 minutes off your goal time. Looking down at your wrist you see you were 1:45 off goal time. You stop for a moment and ponder if you should be disappointed in yourself or not. You decide not. Sure, you were a little slower than you wanted to be (even factoring the extra minute per mile that you allowed yourself because of the earliness of the run). But. You did it. You went out there and you ran. You stood up to the arch-villain of the neighborhood (at least for the runners). Now you need a shower and breakfast, in no particular order.
Congratulations! You've earned this shirt.
*I don’t hate cyclists. I love them. I see them as my brothers and sisters in
arms legs. I was warned about this guy soon after we moved here. I thought it was a joke until I saw him ride straight at a runner until the runner had to jump into a bush to avoid a collision. He is a big fat jerk face. And if he does it to me again, I will attempt to kick his bike. Because I am mature like that.
Day five: 4.02 miles/45:45 mood: not über happy about it, but I got it done. Next time I’ll try to eat a little something as I know that slowed me down.