Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

Be Flexible.

I have a half marathon coming up on April 2nd so I was supposed to be tapering this past weekend by doing a long run of 6 miles. We were in my hometown for the weekend. Since, I am in a running club there, I talked to one of my IRRC friends about meeting up at 8:30am on Sunday morning. I thought I had it all figured out. But...even the best laid plans often fail. In my head, I had me going to 7:30am Mass and then changing and meeting my friend at the high school to begin our run. In my head, this made perfect sense. In my head, all was going to work out just fine. Until...

1. We stayed up until nearly midnight playing Hand and Foot.

2. My husband pointed out that we only have one vehicle and there was no way he could get to 9:30am Mass if I had taken the van.

3. I felt some guilt creeping in about going to Mass at a different time than the rest of my family.

So, I called and canceled meeting up with my friend. But I knew I still needed to run. This was, after all, my last "long run" before the half. I haven't been entirely consistent with my training already. There is no way I should skip *another* run.

What's a girl to do...? Well, I woke up in the morning, got the kiddos ready for church and put on my Sunday best running clothes. Yes, that's right. I donned a pair of black running tights, obnoxiously bright green shirt and jacket and my Brooks Adrenalines for church. I was a sight for sore eyes for sure. I was banking on the fact that I had learned that God doesn't care about your appearance. I used my husband's Smart phone to figure out the mileage from the church to my Grandma's house, where we were staying. It said it was 4.3 miles. I knew if I added on a bit by going through some neighborhoods, I could end up at 6 miles with no problem.

At Mass, I hid in the back, letting myself be seen only for Communion. My head was down and I avoided eye contact with all those people from my parent's church who I was sure were whispering She used to be such a pretty girl. What happened? As soon as the last strains of music faded away, I slipped out, shoved ear buds into my ears, put on my husband's Nike knit cap, protected myself from the cold with some muffs and gloves and headed out.

All was going well as I went through my little town. I reminisced about all the fun things I did in the "Downtown" area during half days from school and thought about a few of my Elementary and Junior High friends as I passed their old houses. All was going well. I left the main area of town and headed into a community of homes. I hadn't lived in this town in at least 12 years so this particular neighborhood was new to me. And, I promptly got lost. I went down 3 different cul-de-sac streets before I finally found my way out. No problem, I thought, This makes up for the extra mileage I needed. 

I went from there into another neighborhood. This one was familiar to me as growing up, I had many friends who lived there. I knew it like the back of my hand. Well, at least I did years and years ago. About 2 streets in, I realized that it looked a lot different when you are running it and not peering out the back window of your parents mini van as they drove you to a slumber party. I was lost again and this time, I didn't need any extra mileage. 6 miles had passed.

Somehow, I found my way out but I was on a busy street. Ok, obnoxiously green jacket, don't fail me now... I picked up the pace, not because I wanted to but because I was having to dodge cars. I felt like Frogger but with a quicker pace and no extra lives included. Thankfully, God must have been watching out for me because I didn't get hit and *only* had 3 cars blare their horns at me. I got to my Grandma's house just as my GPS watch clicked to 7.5 miles completed.

What a run! Though there were quite a few obstacles, I loved it. And it was just what I needed.

Thank goodness I was able to be flexible and roll with the punches because there is no way anyone would be able to    want to plan something like that.

The moral of the story is not to give up if your workout plans go awry. Just get out there and do *something*. You'll be glad you did.

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