It was a blustery day in the forty acre woods, Pooh fans. Thirty-six degrees and wind gusts of 27 miles per hour. That would have been a good thing to check before I ran today. Bluh! Running around the deck of a fishing ship in the north Atlantic would have been easier. Anyone behind me probably thought I’d had a two finger tequila breakfast, the way I was drifting on the sidewalk. It was brutal. Note to self: Running with the wind BEHIND you most of the time is easier than running INTO the wind. Trust me, I reeeeeally needed the wind behind me today.
I last ran ten days ago. Ouch. I worked overtime all last week, including a half day on Saturday. Saturday afternoon and evening, we had a birthday celebration for Hubby and Mama J., and yesterday afternoon was spent curled up in the fetal position trying to catch up on sleep and watching 100 One hit Wonders on VH1 Classic. With the exception of one aerobics class Thursday night, I didn’t exercise at all last week, and I felt it today. I also ate a lot of meals on the run last week, things like pizza and candy bars. I felt like a lazy old slug oozing down the street today. I kept slogging away, though. I have just nineteen days until the trail run. Nineteen measly days to get my shoes broken in and log enough miles to feel as if my pokey butt can withstand the 14.5 mile test.
The closer I get to the date, the more nervous I get. I was so afraid last week that I’d talk myself out of it, that I went to the store and bought trail shoes. I’m too tight to spend that kind of money on something and not use it, so I kind of forced my own hand…er feet… by buying the shoes. Now I have to get back on track, building up my mileage and eating right. Poor nutrition can lead to a lot of, shall we say gastric distress, during a long run. I’d rather not have to cop a squat in the middle of the woods. I’ve got to clean up my diet pronto, or I’ll be toting the Sears catalog in my pit stop bag. I also have to get my mind right or I’ll start wavering the first time I get a side ache or a little winded on the big day.
And that’s what I was trying to do today when I hit the street, get my mind right. I wasn’t doing a very good job of it. The wind was pounding down my spirit, and the sunshine disappeared behind the clouds as soon as I started running. My energy level was low, and I ended up running on fumes. About two-thirds of the way into the run, I was feeling pooped and starting to act like a big ol’ quitter, when a little blessing dropped out of the sky. As I crossed a street, I spied a woman sitting on her front porch in her housecoat with her head wrapped in a towel. Obviously, she had just showered and for some reason was sitting out in the cold, having a very loud phone conversation. She didn’t look like the exercising kind, but apparently, she appreciates the effort. As I passed in front of her house, she paused long enough in her phone call to shout out to me, “You go girl!”, and immediately went back to her phone call. I didn’t know that woman, but I sure am glad she took 1.2 seconds to holler out those three little words of encouragement. It made me feel good. Like I’m not a quitter. And that I need to quit thinking like one. It put enough wind beneath my feet to get me through the last mile, and I actually ended the run with a pretty good sprint. Isn’t it amazing what a little comment or word of encouragement can do for a body? I wish I could remember to do that every day for someone. You never know when it’s the words they need to keep them hanging in there. I may just run by that woman’s house every day during the next nineteen days, in hopes of getting a little push here or there. Better yet, I’ll see if she can plop herself on every third mile of the trail run. I don’t care if she brings her phone, as long as she remembers to holler at me.
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