Sleep in! my poor weary brain cried.
For the first time in maybe my whole life, my weary body protested.
Run! my achy (from my first 5K length run!) joints whispered. Run! You can do it!
(Is it weird that my achy joints kind of sound like Rob Schneider?)
The plan formed itself quickly. It’s Election Day. My polling place is about a mile from my house. Run, vote, run home!
I got up, fed the dog, and pulled on my running clothes, thoroughly enjoying the long sleeves, the cropped running leggings, the fleece vest. November in New England is a gray, raw time, but perfect for someone who runs hot–literally.
I apologize to the folks in line with me for Precincts 4 and 7. I was probably a little steamy and sweaty–and not in the good way. When I plugged my ear buds back in, and Chaka Khan reminded me that “I’m Every Woman,” I was feeling pretty smug.
And then a young guy in sleek tech fabric and $200 shoes passed me. Twice. Uphill. Yeah, he was doing sprints up the long hill I was chugging down.
Don’t judge, but Britney gave me back my perspective. I AM stronger than yesterday. Civic duty and a run all before 7:30 AM. I’d packed my lunch the night before. I had time for coffee AND a shower.
I’ve only been running since March. I can only usually run on Sundays because of our family schedule. Other days I do other things to get my fitness in. My progress is slow and steady. For a long time, I ran even though I loathed it. Forty is coming in a couple of years, and getting into–never mind keeping in–shape isn’t going to get any easier. Running only costs me shoes and some key pieces of clothing. It gives me time to breathe (or pant, whichever), and not think about anything but one foot in front of the other. It’s only in the last few weeks that there have been glimpses of pleasure in the aches and the rhythmic sound of feet on pavement to my favorite running playlist.
I recently read a post over at Another Mother Runner that made me laugh, but also gave me some insight into why the running has stuck with me. In a time in my life when a lot of things are out of my control, or spun out of my control and are taking their sweet time coming back into line,
…Because guess what you can control? You. And your run. Whether or not you chose to go. Your one foot stepping in front of the other one. Your pace. The route you go, the effort you put into it, the miles you cover, the quiet you keep—or the music you blare.
My right knee is a little sore, and my quads hurt, and I’m already looking forward to Sunday. Who knew such wonders existed?