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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

“It’s Warthog’s day!!” (According to Zach).

Matthew announced yesterday that he brought his sheriff sticker badge to school for show-and-tell. (The boys each got a couple at the courthouse on Friday when we finalized Kayli’s adoption). When I asked him what he told his class about our outing he said, “I just said that I went with my mom and dad to court where we saw the sheriff.” Nothing about Kayliana or adopting…just basically that mom and dad were visiting their parole officer or something. Awesome.

So, I admit that I put on a little bit of baby weight. (Yes, I know that I really can’t use that excuse since I wasn’t the pregnant one, but it was called coordinating a National EE Convention followed by lots of house projects and a stressful waiting-for-baby time that really did it). I just didn’t have time to work-out and that has continued since Kayliana – who is awesome but not very conducive to frequent periods of working-out – moved in. Alas, I’ve put on several pounds of winter warmth. Which need to be shed. Plus, I miss running. Plus, I HAVE to run not only for my mental (and physical) well-being but also because I AM signed up and hoping to do the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon again this June. So, really, I NEED to adding runs. This once-a-week thing on Saturdays is just not going to cut it.

Now, I’ve been an early morning runner off and on for the last seven years. My plan was to gradually start in again. And then I remembered how, despite having an awesome sleeper-baby, we do still get up occasionally during the night and I’m just tired! I also remembered how it’s FREEZIN’ in the mornings right now. And I remembered how awesome cozy my bed is at 6am. So, Mike and I came up with a plan – until April (when it starts getting lighter out in the morning and I’ll be back up to 3-4 runs a week) – I will run in the evening (just once or twice a week) when he gets home from work.

Last night, I was all pumped for my run. I donned my reflective-jacket, white cozy stocking cap, cell phone, emergency whistle, and flashing little red light thingy that clips on to me and gives me a headache if I have to see it while running. As I said, I’m somewhat used to running in the dark but it can still be a little disorienting at times. Especially when your eyes have adjusted to the dim light and the occasional bright patch from a street lamp and then a bus drives towards you blinding you with its’ headlights.

And obviously, as a woman, running in the dark, I’m a little extra vigilant, cautious and tuned in to any possible dangers – be it man or beast! (I certainly don’t listen to music when I run alone in the dark). But I figured that this is actually a much safer time for me to run alone as more people are out and about at 6pm than at 6am. I once read that 4-6am is the most likely time for robberies to happen. It’s true! I speak from experience – I once stopped a car thief. (Yeah, basically I’m a secret ninja-guru-master-undercover-swat-police-officer-chewing-watermelon-bubble-gum).

I was doing fine and enjoying my run when my heart literally flew up into my throat (OK, not literally). I watched as a huge dark figure seemed to be sprinting close to me. And of course I was by a nighttime vacant dark park and not in front of a house or business where I could yell for help. I watched for a moment as this large body-shape continued near me…and then I realized it was just my own distorted shadow being projected on the sidewalk by some passing car headlights. I took a deep breath. OK, shake it off.

I will – for the next couple of months – miss running during the sunrise (like this gorgeous one from last week)! Running at night is kind of fun in its own way – with people arriving home from work and families sitting down to dinner and the smells of different cooking wafting out of windows – it’s an interesting time to experience the neighborhood. As I neared the last stretch of my run, I saw up-ahead, a young woman walking her dog. I was coming up behind her and debating how to run by her without freaking her out! I switched to the other side of the path so I wouldn’t clip by just next to her but at the last minute she veered in front of me causing me to kind of swerve around her. She had her hat pulled way down and hadn’t heard my footsteps coming at all. Just as I passed her she saw me and jumped.

I said, “I’m so sorry! I couldn’t figure out how to tell you I was here without freaking you out!” I’m sure, had she heard my approaching footsteps, she would’ve automatically assumed I was a scary bad boogey-man or something. She laughed and said, “Exactly!” I guess next time I’ll just start – from 100 feet away – saying, “On your left, on your left, on your left…” ‘cuz that won’t be at all annoying or weird.

During the very last part of my run – before I push up the big hill to home – I have the privilege (yet torture) of running by McDonalds (where the delicious smell of fries fills my nose) and the gourmet chocolate-wine-coffee shop (how I don’t actually live in this place is a miracle. Even more crazy is the fact that I’ve only been there twice and yet it’s just a couple blocks from home). I always wonder what people would think if I stop in at McDonald’s or the chocolatery all sweaty post-run. I’ve never done it and I’ll fight the urge…but I really do like to picture the potential looks on people’s faces.

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