When did that happen? I think today.
Last week, Coach Monster laid down a seven mile run on the schedule. When I saw this number last week, I sent him an email: “What? Are you crazy? Who is going to pick me up from the hospital after that?”
Seconds after sending the email, my phone rings. It was him.
Coach: Are you serious?
Me: About dying from 7 miles? Yes.
Coach: Let me ask you a question.
Coach: Did you land in the hospital after 6 miles last week?
Me: No, master Ironman, sir.
Coach: So you mean to tell me that you can’t run one more mile than last week?
Me: [I thought for a minute] Do you mean run outside?
Coach: What!!? [he pauses, clearly frustrated]
Hey Missy! Does triathlon take place indoors?
Me: Well, I’ve seen those ones that Lifetime Fitne—–
Coach: The answer is: no, triathlon does not take place indoors. So yes, you should run outside.
Me: Okay. I understand. What about all those hills?
Coach: Hills?? Hills? You are worried about hills?
Me: No. I mean, it’s just….
Coach: Yes, you run outside with the other people on the hills. Got it?
Me: Yes, I’ve got it [sticking my tongue out at the phone].
I hang up. I think, I hate that Smarty Pants Ironman coach of mine. Seven miles? Seven miles? I came from the sport of Olympic weightlifting, and even that sport was a decade ago. Seven miles has not been in my vocabulary. Ever. I sighed. Well, I do what that Coach Monster says. So I guess I’m doing this, I thought to myself.
Well, this morning was the scheduled run. I slept well last night. I was ready and trudged out to Alexander Park in Lawrenceville. Five laps around the large trail = seven miles. I had new music on the iPod, including new suggestions from readers: Ali in the Jungle, Paper Planes, and S&M by Rhianna. I was ready. Then the rain came. Okay, I was still ready.
During the run, I continually passed this guy (running the opposite direction on the trail) who was equally as slow and fluffy as me. We smiled each time like, Yeah, you go…too! And by lap three, I made him high-five me each time we passed. He played along, and by the end of the run, he tried to avoid eye contact with me. I still held out my hand. He high-fived me. What a trooper! Yes.
And….1:21:00 later, I was done. Seven miles. The absolutely farthest and fastest this fluffy, ex-weightlifter has ever run. Ever. And just like that, for the first time, I believe I am a runner. Yes, still a slow one… but a steady runner. A runner. A runner. A runner!
Three miracles about the seven miles: the run wasn’t overly painful, I didn’t die/fall/trip/pass out, and I enjoyed myself.
And tomorrow, I rest. Happy hump day!