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What? I Am a Runner?

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.
Me:        Shoot.
Coach:    Did you land in the hospital after 6 miles last week?
Me:        [silence]
Coach:    Hello???
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!


  • Sara

    March 30, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    You go Mere! Isn't it amazing to look back at how far you have come? That is a LONGER run than your triathlon run (right?). I love that you made the guy high five you. You would fit right in at my boot camp! 🙂

  • Mere

    March 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Right-a-roo! I've only got to lay down six miles a St. Anthony's… granted after a swim and a bike (but who's counting?)

    Boot camp? Oh, I'm not sure about that one, missy. You are some kind of stud woman. 🙂

  • The Injured Triathlete

    March 31, 2011 at 3:08 am

    I'm very impressed with your determination–you ran 7 miles! Yay! I agree with running being mental too, that's why some good music always helps 🙂

  • Jennifer

    April 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    This running thing is probably the most amazing mental transformation for me. What used to be a big race — a 5K — is now a short, easy, blase run for me. Even a 10K almost seems pedestrian to me. It's totally crazy what you can adjust to as your new "normal." I did my 2nd ever half marathon last Sunday, and it was totally bizarre because I felt really good the whole way. I kept stepping outside of myself and thinking "I am at mile X and I still feel strong. This is so weird!" Making me have kooky thoughts about what might be possible for me. You too will adjust to a new normal, when you say "7 miles …pshaaah."


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