Yesterday, as I pulled into my driveway, Mother Nature bid me a hearty hello by way of darkening clouds and a cool breeze that sent shivers up my spine. Ever the optimist, I reasoned, At least I'll have a more comfortable time out than Luke did on Monday. Poor guy was dripping with sweat before his feet even hit the trail. The smell of his workout clothes permeated our master bathroom for the rest of the night. THAT was fun.
I walked into the house and promptly into Kara's arms, who knows to associate the sound of the garage door opening with my arrival home from work. Luke got dinner started while I hung out with the kids, and then I thought I really ought to get upstairs and into my running gear. I also wanted to jump online to compare the two couch-to-5K training plans I had at my disposal: the shredheads one and the reader-recommended one offered by Liz and Katie.
I was changing into my shorts when I heard the clap of thunder. I was looking up stretching exercises when I saw the downpour of rain.
My heart sank as I came back downstairs.
"I don't know if I'll be able to run today," I said to Luke, gesturing to the raindrops outside our window. "I can't very well go out in that."
"Well, some people do," Luke replied, "but it's probably not the best thing for a beginner."
"Maybe it'll let up soon," I said, and to pass the time, I picked up The Everything Running Book Luke's been holding onto for years in the event he ever got back into the sport. I skimmed information about safely building a mileage base and keeping a training log and how to buy running shoes and types of running shoes and the PARTS of a running shoe and even running socks. Socks! Why didn't I think about socks? I don't even have a damn wristwatch and now I need to worry about my freaking socks.
And I thought about the couch-to-5K plans and how on one hand the shredhead route seemed really easy to follow but the reader-recommended one was better suited for endurance and I wondered if I knew enough about stretching to avoid injuries the first day out and what if I didn't do the right stretches or stretch long enough and OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD. My running career was over before it began.
I felt a lot like that college-aged kid in Jerry Maguire who shrugs his shoulders (after back stabbing Tom Cruise by going with another agent, the bastard) and says, "I just wanna play football."
Half the time I wait for the ideal moment to begin something new, and the moment never comes. As much as I love organization and structure, sometimes you just have to do.
So I turned on my Shred DVD and did stretches from the first two levels. I butt kicked and touched my toes. Then I grabbed my cell phone--my two-years-old, ancient cell phone with no picture-taking capabilities but was perfect for keeping track of the time--and walked out the door.
The rain had slowed to a drizzle, and the sun was already out. I took my time walking on the path through my subdivision that leads into the trail. At 5:43 p.m., I was off.
I...was...running! My six-month-old, newly crawling son could have outpaced me there and back, but still. I ran for five minutes straight just like I originally planned, and it felt wonderful, so quiet, no music, no conversation, just me and my thoughts and concentrating on getting to 5:48 p.m. And when I got there, I turned around and walked home, which was more than sufficient for a cool down. By then, the drizzle was a welcome relief.
And that was it. I had completed my first run, without so much as even one sore muscle the following day.
I know there are better ways to go about this. I know I might change my mind about how to achieve this goal. But right now, I'm running, and that's good enough for me.