I have written before about my journey to and beyond forty. I decided to start taking better care of myself. This body and everything inside of it has to last until I am at least 110.
This caused me to reflect on the things that I was putting into my body. I am not going to say that I eat perfectly now. Far from it. But I do make better choices than I once did. Another thing that I had to implement was an exercise program.
For years I had a leisurely approach to exercise. Now I know that exercise is the key to feeling strong and healthy at my age. Or any age. So now I have regular workouts three times a week with a fantastic group of people, along with my amazing trainer, The Evil One.
Then one day someone said….You should come run with us!
Why? Was there a bomb?
Seriously though. I run. Some. I can run a mile like a beast. Once a year and a half ago I actually ran three miles on the treadmill without stopping. I thought I was going to need medical attention. But I did it. I do love the idea of running. It changes your body faster than anything else. But there is a reason. It hurts. It hurts a lot.
So these women had been running for a while. They like to do three miles on their SHORT days. They invited me to come along. I agreed.
What was I thinking? Why do I keep getting roped into this stuff? Again, sheep to slaughter.
We set a meeting time. It was supposed to rain that evening. I kept hoping the rain would hurry up. I am sure the Evil One had threatened the rain though, so alas…..it did not come in time to save me. I strapped on my best running clothes (which are not that great because people don’t usually care what I wear in my BEDROOM where my treadmill is located).
I arrived at the rendezvous point. I had my iPod ready. They had already warned me that they didn’t do any chatting. They were there to run. Gulp.
Everyone else arrived. We stood around and chatted for a couple of minutes. This wasn’t going to be so bad. Why had I been so afraid? Everyone put their earbuds in, gave each other a nod and we were off. I swear I head that song from Rocky playing in my head.
I was third in line and at first the pace that was set seemed very manageable. I was sure that I usually ran faster than that on my treadmill. This was going to be a snap.
We trotted along the sidewalk as I had my tunes turned up loudly. It started misting at this point. Nothing serious and it actually felt pretty good to be cooled off by the light rain. This was going to be pretty alright.
We continue up the street for a good piece. I still had my good pace going. I was going to survive the run. I started singing the tune (in my head) that was playing on my iPod. I watched the first two runners as they continued to lead the group. I thought about what I would…
DEAR GOD. ARE WE CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN?
Suddenly my legs were on fire. My lungs felt like someone was trying to sit on them. Not only was this a hill. It was the hill that did not stop. I thought about stopping. No. I couldn’t do that. Then I would get lost from the group. I had to keep moving.
Finally when I didn’t think that I could take it anymore the hill leveled out. We were once again on flat ground. Isn’t this where we should have stopped and celebrate surviving that hill? Hey you two in the front….did you know that we barely survived that hill?
I guess not. We kept moving.
As they ran in perfect formation around this curve and down that street, I started noticing that I was falling behind. Ever so slightly. I thought it was okay. My body needed a break and then I would kick it into high gear and catch back up. I had a plan.
Only problem, there was ANOTHER HILL. I struggled. I felt dizzy. I felt like I was surely going to throw up. Had I even remembered to eat? The gap kept growing between us. I was falling further and further behind.
I could see up ahead that the two leaders had rounded a corner. I thought as long as I had them in sights I would be okay. When I finally made it to that corner, they were nowhere to be found. Vanished. I am pretty sure this is where they had someone in a car pick them up because humans couldn’t run that much.
And then I was alone. Others who were further behind had drifted off onto their own paths. It was just me. And it was dark. And raining. And I was about to pass out.
Seemed like a good time to turn around and walk for a while. I traveled back to the beaten path so that at least if I passed out someone would find my body. I walked back towards the place where we had started.
Then it dawned on me that I had left my cell phone in my car. As in my only means to contact anyone if I needed medical attention. Great.
I forged ahead into the dark walking and running at intervals. I am no quitter so I was limping along as best I could. Then I noticed two white males up ahead, also walking in the rain. And then I knew.
It was quite apparent that they were trying to lure me to the white van with no windows. I watch Criminal Minds. I slowed my pace to a leisurely walk as to not catch up. From behind I could keep my eyes on them. Odds were better that they were law-abiding citizens than sadistic killers but one can never be too safe. When running alone. In the dark. With no phone.
The males eventually turned a corner going in another direction and I was once again alone. I finally made it back to the road where this whole adventure had begun. Up ahead I could see my car. I made my way toward it, relieved.
I felt pretty good. I wasn’t able to keep up with the more seasoned runners but I did show up and I did give it my best effort. And I was not murdered. So I considered it a win.
Learn to stretch yourself. Attempt things that you aren’t completely sure you will be able to pull off. I sure did feel like a winner sitting there. Safe in my car. Unmurdered.
That is until the other runners looped back around, snuck up behind me and scared the crap out of me by slapping my car window. Then they said…you wanna do it again next week?
To which I replied: Sure!
I said sure? What is WRONG with me?