Friendship and a 5K

This morning I woke up early and ran my fourth 5K! My friend Jen and I ran together. It was her first.

And I think it was my favorite one thus far.

Because neither of us cared about our time or being competitive.

We were just doing something to be healthy and to hang out together.

Plus, it’s sponsored by Guardian Angel Services, an organization both of us care about. We’re both in social work.

Jen and I have been friends since freshman year of high school– 1995. That’s 20 years! Holy cow.

The event was called Angels Against Abuse, and before we ran there was a speaker. She talked about how she found the strength to leave her ex-husband, the man who was “the father of my children.”  She repeated that last phrase emphatically– and I got it. Wouldn’t that be the primary arrow aimed at any woman trying to move on and escape an abusive relationship? Aren’t women always pressured to forgive all because they are expected to sacrifice not just her happiness, but her own well-being and safety in the name of keeping the family together? She said she knew if she didn’t leave, one day he would kill her. The most incisive moments for me was when she read excerpts of the love letters he would write her after the abuse. The promises, the begging, the hope he would spark that he really did want to treat her better. Her belief that *she* was the one who could heal him– he’d had a rough life.

She credited her counselor with helping her manufacture courage to start her own life with her children– safely. That counselor was her advocate at each court date, all the way until the divorce was finalized.

Afterward, they hugged. I was definitely tearing up.

And subsequently, the race stated.

There were times she needed to slow down and walk, and there were times that I did. And both of us are happy to comply and wait until the other was ready to run again. We’d talk a little.

And she was always positive, always fun!

It was equal. And both of us suggested running again to the other and encouraged each other to keep going.

We were also laughing because we got hit with not just substantial wind resistance, but rain!!

It was really coming at us! Luckily I had a hoodie from the event, but I was soaked. My toes were squishy in my shoes.

I joked that we were “hardcore” runners now! I I felt like such a bad ass.

Crossing the finish line was such an achievement!! I’ve never had to deal with so much weather in a run.

I did see my time at the end,  but didn’t make particular note of it.

Then we grabbed some refreshments and snacks, thanked each other for a great race,and went our separate ways.

Neither cared about how we ranked. We had achieved our goal!

And now it was time to go home and enjoy it.

In two weeks we have another 5K, in Chicago. Cannot wait!!

Daredevil Run

I am one stubborn woman.

Tonight, that was manifested in running with Eleise during a storm– though mostly humidity, thunder and lightening. Just a sprinkle of rain. We both considered rescheduling for tomorrow, but in the end we were game for the challenge.

It was only a short mile anyway! We reasoned if we stayed close in her neighborhood, we should be fine.

All I can say is, WHAT A FEELING! The wind was so loud and strong I couldn’t hear anything she said.

And to my absolute JOY, there was no awkwardness. No pain in my legs or feet, no trouble breathing. It didn’t feel like I had taken a running break. I didn’t feel I had to start over– it was easy. It was probably the easiest run I’ve yet had.

We made it .91 miles before the lightening was getting brighter and closer, and we returned to safety at her home.

Our time was 10:48.

So close.

But sadly, the sound is now iffy on my phone. I put it in some couscous, since I don’t have any rice. Hope it works by tomorrow!

That’ll teach me to stuff my phone in my sports bra when it’s raining!

The bottom line was that I missed running for 9 days, and I wasn’t about to allow 10 to happen.

Today was my return and I wanted to stay on schedule. Mission accomplished!

First Run in the Rain

Today I did it!

It was a short run– I wasn’t bundled up well enough. Not quite 30 mins. But I ran along a trail near a canal– the trail was closed. I didn’t care. I ran around it.

The water was so loud– much higher than usual. It must have been closed last week when it surely flooded over the bridge– but currently, it was okay.

The parking lot was empty— normally there was at least SOMEONE there.

The solitude was fantastic. Even being cold was fantastic!

Invigorating.

I loved the MUD.

Deliberately squishing my bright shoes into it, feeling it give underneath my footfalls.

Running where I’m not supposed to go. I felt like such a rebel. YES.

I thought about trying to leap over a wooden sign standing a barricade— but that just seemed like a good way to break my leg. I’m short, and I’m no trained sprinter on a track. So I just ran around it.

You can’t always leap over obstacles–sometimes you need to circumvent them a safer way.

But regardless, I did. And ooh, it was delicious.

It made me sweat, and I was cold because of the rain.

Probably my most intense run so far, actually– because of the trail. It felt more like an obstacle course.

My shoes aren’t so pretty anymore– they’re a bit wet. They have mud in the tracks.

THIS is more like it.

Rain or Snow, all the excuses need to go

I’ve lost my motivation to run in this erratic cold and wet weather.

My feet are cold. I don’t have enough running clothes for a variety of weather conditions. I need “running” socks that are water resistant. Those are excuses I tell myself.

Recently I acquired a few more basic running clothes. I’m getting there.

But the truth is, I just haven’t felt like running.

I need to just get out there and find out as I go what I need. I have the basics.

Now it’s just about discipline.