A 12 minute mile is just as far as a 6 minute mile.
Today was an I-dropped-my-keys-in-the-gym-toilet sort of run, literally and figuratively.
If I’m going to drive somewhere for a run, I like there to be a bathroom at the start. It’s just good sense. Start on empty, that’s my motto. So when I decided to try out running on Fort Riley, naturally, I parked my car at the gym and went inside to use the facilities. I didn’t have my pack with me. It was just a quick pit stop before setting out so I hung the keys on the hook on the stall door. Quick, quick, quick. Went to the bathroom, flushed, grabbed the keys from the hook, quick, quick, quick, and before I knew what was happening the keys gracefully flicked off the hook and were sent in a perfect trajectory straight into the commode. Quick, quick, quick became gross, gross, gross, thank goodness the toilet was empty, but gross, gross, gross. I had two options: 1. Go to the front desk and ask for cleaning gloves and explain my situation. 2. Do a quick, quick, quick snatch and grab. What would you have done?
So I left the gym with one strike against me, but that wasn’t going to dampen my spirits. The morning wind was cold in the parking lot and I was starting to thinking maybe this wasn’t the best spot. However, I hadn’t even started running so, of course, I was cold. I just needed to get moving. I grabbed my pack and set off in a quick, quick, quick pace to get the blood flowing.
I hurt everywhere. And the hills. Oh my, the hills. Everything from the waist down was in agony. Tight calves, tight hamstrings, burning quads. I should know better than to lift legs on Friday evening and expect a great run on Saturday morning. And I’m pretty sure the beer and staying up late last night did not promote a quick, quick, quick recovery.
I pressed on. I started to get frustrated with myself. I wasn’t getting anywhere. Running on post was a bad idea. It all looks so blah and sterile, the wind, and on and on in my head. Everything was going wrong. I walked some. I felt like a little failure. I stopped for a moment and stretch my calves on the curb. I prayed that God would give me a fresh start for my run.
When I started back up, I felt a little relief because I was running downhill now. But before long, my legs were in pain again. Do I need new shoes? I couldn’t take it. In those moments, it seems like you feel too much. I could tell now that my socks were too thick. My shoes were too tight. And there was one hamstring that was more nagging than the others. I was at least two miles from the car. Ow, ow, ow.
I walked some. Took a few pictures. And let my mind sort out the shambles of this run.
Bottom Line: I was simply not prepared.
So now what?
Well, I had to get back to the car. And it was cold. So I ran as best I could.
But in my head, I had two choices: 1. Stay frustrated about the run. 2. Call a spade a spade, this was a bad run. And move on.
While I was sorting this out in a half-jog, I remembered what I said to my husband last night, I want to go for a run tomorrow, but mostly I just want to hang out with you and help work on the office. That’s right! I had other things to do today that were more important. I was not going to let this bad run ruin my whole day. It wasn’t even meant to be a big run. Once that weight was lifted from my shoulders, I realized how happy I was to be out running. It was not one for the books, but who cares. I was running. I was doing exactly what I wanted to do. Slow, slow, slow.
There are things you can change and things you can’t. The only thing I could change was my attitude. God answered my prayer. Not how I anticipated, but better. He refreshed my outlook and gave me a fresh start for the day. I got back to the car with the same endorphins as if I had had a great run; joyful that I had been out running and praising my heavenly father for keeping me focused on what matters most. Maybe a bad run was just what I needed to remind me that running will never be first place in my heart. At the end of the day, I don’t need to be quick, quick, quick. I need to be a follower of Christ, a devoted wife, and loving mother.
When I got home, my husband and daughter were about to leave for Home Depot for drywall. Great. They need dad-daughter time and I needed a shower. I have my fresh start for the day, oh, and a disinfected set of car keys…