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Back in the Game?

Tuesday morning Steven had to work early, so we got up at the rather uncomfortable hour of 3:30. I thought this would be a good opportunity to run before work as well as before I had a chance to talk myself out of it. Accordingly, I laid out my running clothes Monday night. I was set.

One of my sisters gave me a reflective vest and an LED safety light for my last birthday. I wore the vest once when I felt my outfit was too form-fitting to be sightly. Now I had a chance to wear it for the reason it was intended. I put a tissue in the handy zipper pouch, attached the safety light, and I was off.

Right away I felt I was running faster than I had been. I did not feel gazelle-like or even vaguely graceful, but at least I did not feel that I was plodding along. I turned the light off after a block or so. There were plenty of streetlights for one thing. For another, I was running on the sidewalk. I did not want to confuse the cars.

There was not much traffic in any case. After I turned off German Street it seemed there was none at all. I felt a little uneasy running in practically the middle of the night. Then I started to flash back to Army Basic Training. I joined in March. We always did PT (Physical Training) in the dark. It’s funny how sometimes when I remember Basic Training I remember the camaraderie and feeling of accomplishment. And sometimes I just remember how much it sucked.

I switched channels in my brain by looking for houses with lights on. There were not many. I amused myself by trying to guess what the lights I saw were for. I think most were bathroom lights, left on all night to discourage burglars or help aim.

It was not long before I realized I was doing very well. My legs were pumping along with nary a complaint. My breathing was just fine. Could I be back in the game? A part of me tried to exult, “This is AWESOME!” However, most of me was still feeling ill-used at being out of bed so early.

I had not made a decision about how long to run when I set out. 24 minutes was how long I had gone on Sunday, so certainly no more than that. Maybe not as much. I still had a day of work to get through. 20 would be acceptable, I thought. After all, runs during the week are just to keep my feet in (get it? Like keeping one’s hand in, only you run on your feet? Oh, never mind). Also to burn a few calories. As usual, I have been overindulging in the food department.

I ended up doing 22 minutes. Compromise is a good thing. Tabby was happy to walk my cool-down with me. After stretching, shower and coffee, I consumed a protein-filled breakfast: scrambled eggs with feta cheese and a glass of one percent milk. Very satisfying. It was also very satisfying to be able to think to myself all day, “I ALREADY ran!”

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