~Thursday, June 23, 2011

THE DAY

Yesterday was THE DAY. It had been a week and a half since I had been running and yesterday was the day I was going to start it up again. Amazing how quickly gym-guilt can build up once you establish a routine. It had been my longest break since I started running in January.

In preparation for THE DAY, I set not one, but two alarms so my pampered ass could wake up at the crack of 8 to go running before work. It doesn't matter that I also set two alarms on Tuesday because I also thought that day was THE DAY, but alas, it was just practice for Wednesday, THE DAY TO RULE THEM ALL.

The warning alarm went off at 7:40 a.m. and was met with a deft swipe of the arm that silenced it into submission. Then the real alarm went off at 8, and was also met with a deft swipe.

Instead of getting up to go running, I fell back asleep and had a nightmare in which Nameless Teammate was campaigning to have me put to death by hanging. I awoke at 8:30 gasping and screaming. Not the start of the morning that I was planning for THE DAY.

I got up and paraded the dog up and down the busy street to do her morning business. It was cool out, the perfect temperature to run along the river. I berated myself for not getting up. Truth is, I don't do as well in the summer heat as I used to before I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, which is why I had to give up my afternoon runs in the first place. Just in case the overcast day didn't warm up, I packed my running bag and went to work.

Schmoozer and I had been e-mailing about various fitness endeavors. I had just sent him a link to a circuit training I started the night before to prepare for Tough Mudder in February.

I’m thinking we may need to grab a quick beverage so you can tell me all about this madness :-D, he wrote back.

No way. Today is THE DAY. I have to go running, I responded.

Look outside, it's going to rain!

I don't mind getting wet as long as there isn't any electricity in the air.

On cue, the Nothing appeared. The sky boomed and the lights in the office flickered. My computer was now running on back-up battery. I checked the Doppler radar and saw the entire city was encompassed in angry crimson. My e-mail chimed.

Let’s see you jog in this weather! HAHAH.

6 o'clock work for you? I typed meekly. Today was not THE DAY.

We grabbed a table by the unlit fireplace in our happy hour spot. On the wall next to me were eight clocks. He had a tuna melt; I had the "fried goodness" as it was called on the menu. He had four beers; I had four gin and tonics.

Afterwards, I stood under the restaurant awning. The storm had passed, but it was still overcast. I was tipsy, if not a little drunk. I looked at my watch. It was 8:20. I had 40 minutes before dark. And it was cool out and the running trail is right around the corner and my shoes are in the back seat and, my god, I can't believe I ordered something called Fried Goodness.

I changed into my Lycra and stood in front of the exercise barre and steadied myself as I warmed up my hip. I didn't know whether it was a good idea or a bad idea to go for a run while under the influence, but I justified that running is a mental thing and with four gin and tonics, my mind was quiet.

I pressed the button on my watch to collect the data from my run and took off. Due to the recent storm, dusk had settled much more quickly. The running trail was near empty, save for a couple of marathoners and elderly walkers. One guy passed me wearing a head lamp.

About a mile away from my car, the rain had started again. Keeping pace, I extended my arms to the sky and welcomed it. I could feel the mascara run down my cheeks. It didn't stop me. I was running in the rain. I felt badass. The river appeared eerily, its surface no longer visible, hidden beneath a blanket of fog.

Water soon collected on the trail, flooding it in spots. My pace was punctuated with jumping over puddles and splashing in them when the puddle was too large for me. I squealed in delight each time."The Story of Benjamin Darling, Part 1" by State Radio played on my Shuffle. I got the joke: it's a seafaring song and I was surrounded by water. I laughed to myself and set the song on repeat for the rest of my run. There I was, drunk, listening to this song, laughing and jumping through puddles in the moonlight. It was probably the best I felt since Warrior Dash.

By the time I finished my five kilometers, I was running in the dark. And the rainfall wasn't light; it was moderate. I was soaked from head to toe and shivering. But I did it. That day was indeed THE DAY. I broke through my barrier and had a successful run, although the pace was a full minute slower per mile than when I was training. It does all take place in the mind though, or in my case: a dead one.

9 comments:

Seine said...

Oooo, love that song.

Nothing like tipsiness to provide that last ounce of determination. Mine manifests itself in the form of cleaning my room after returning from the bars...

Syd said...

Ha, the Nothing! Love the Neverending Story. That theme song may or may not be on my ipod.

Anyway, good stuff! My concern is that you were running in the dark by yourself with the ipod on, though, so be careful!

Aritza, Goddess .. said...

You really are badass :) Congrats on reaching that objective!

preciousandpriceless said...

fan-frickin-tastic!

j said...

Awesome!

Solitary Diner said...

This almost motivates me to start running again. Almost.

V said...

The Joy.

J said...

This definitely makes me want to go out and run!

Nicole C. said...

Good job! Keep it up! And get your bootie back to boot camp!!

 

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