I am standing in my kitchen wearing only what God gave me save the polish on my toes and the ketchup on my face. How did I get here: a thirty-five year old woman covered in sand and goosebumps shoveling a gooey veggie burger down while the birds and bees whisper, “She ALREADY knows?” It was easy. I did what I always do. I went for a run.
The running has been long and lovely lately. The workouts are rolling around and while the speeds aren’t fist pumps, consistency is doing more than kissing my cheek. In other words, I feel good. The last three Saturday workouts have progressively and slowly improved- perhaps not so much in time, but definitely in effort. I had a two by four mile set where I clicked off six minute pace for the series. I had a six mile set where I alternated 6:15/6:04 on nice wavy hills. I had a gut wrenching Tuesday of steep grass hills. There was a distance Tuesday over varied terrain with a bright moon burning into a rising sun. In truth, there has been a lot of long distance. I am good at long distance relationships. I am a happy girl.
I am also a busy one. I am either running around or rolling around teaching classes in the grass. There seems to be so much GRASS! Remember when you or she was pregnant and ALL you saw were pregnant women? Suddenly the entire world was about to give birth! Well, I got eyes for grass. Don’t get all munchie on me unless you are a sheep. Little blades of grass have filled my shoes, my socks, my mini van, and my MIND. I drive by manicured lawns and consider how many times around that would make a mile. Golf courses? Forget it. I’m still trying to figure out how to steal a workout on the caged wonder on Las Positas. LOOK AT ALL THAT GRASS!
Instead, I drive to Westmont, to Girsch Park, to Shoreline and I loop. I loop. Did I mention that I loop? Around and around and around. When sprinkles come on, I charge through them. I stand there staring at my van dripping in sweat, water and grass and I catch my reflection: getting older. Ah-ha, but I am not. I cannot be getting older if I am half dressed running through sprinklers out in public. I’m thinking that logic doesn’t work. Then you should stop thinking. Clearly I am not! I’m just running.
But that is not true. I am putting a lot of thought into my running from the terrain I am running on to the shoes I am wearing to the recovery drink and foods that I am eating. Tis the serious season. The kicker is that it doesn’t feel serious and that’s the beauty of it.
Today I logged 19 miles and turned out a nice four mile set on hills: 23:45. This is far from a fist punch time for me as I’ve run almost a minute faster in workouts, but what was exciting was the feeling that accompanied this effort. It was appropriate. Now appropriate feelings are probably something I am not really that good at- so when I feel them, I figure this is progress.
Miss Progressive grabbed her water bag and lounged around in the smoking sun to chat with Ricky, Dan and Jim. ”That’s A LOT of water,” Ricky pointed out as I unloaded some seven water bottles to the concrete. I have two for recovery drink, an empty one that was a carb drink, and four that are pure water.
“I am trying to stay hydrated.”
“OK camel,” Ricky laughed. Ricky never makes jokes at me- I need a moment to snort. And then we talked about cheese which makes me want to go take an ocean soak. I can’t explain everything that goes on in my head. I wade waist deep in the waves that soak me to my shoulders. I live by the ocean. I love that I live by the ocean. Later I got asked if I could have two things with me on a desert island what would they be? Answer: Running shoes and a man. I can go for a run and he can spear a fish or make a house and like I said I can go for a run.
Mmmmmm fish. I am starving on this island and so I head to the house that man built. Nobody is home. I strip my wet cold clothes off at the back door and throw them in the wash. I head through the kitchen with the intention that I will head my course to the shower, but the thought of ketchup over takes me and I stop at the fridge door.
There is no time to be appropriate I must have ketchup. I mean, a veggie burger with ketchup.
This looks like fun! YOU HAVE TO BE A GIRL!!!!
Event: RUN She.Is.Beautiful 5K and 10K
Date: Sunday, September 23
Place: East Beach Bath House
Fee: $25 – $30
Address: 1118 Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Contact for Volunteers: Beth, 963-4757 x10 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: Some girls run to stay in shape. Some girls run so they can indulge in the so called sins of bread, chocolate, and wine. Some run for the cute race t-shirts. Some run to unleash their daily fears. Some run to inspire their daughters. At the end of the day, we all run for a reason. What’s your reason? 15% OF RACE PROCEEDS WILL BENEFIT Girls Incorporated of Greater Santa Barbara. Volunteers and participants welcome! There will be no day-of registration. Participants should register directly on the Run She Is Beautiful website at http://www.runsheisbeautiful.