I thought about this run all day long. I had the feeling that I was becoming obsessed. In my mind, I had something to prove to myself. In reality I’m sure I had nothing to prove but the gnawing feeling would not go away. I worked all day thinking, “I’ve got to do better than yesterday.” To my surprise I received a performance award at work which came with a pretty substantial cash component. Unfortunately, my perceived inability to run outside for a period of time overshadowed the joy of that moment.
When 4:30 finally arrived I got in my car and headed home. Once I arrived I went upstairs and traded my four-inch heels for my running shoes. It was warm outside so I grabbed a pair of shorts and a breathable t-shirt and I began to stretch. My daughter was watching “She’s Out of Your League” on HBO and I decided to join her while I waited for 6:00. The distraction was welcomed. I asked my daughter to come with me to cheer me on. She says, “Mom, I can’t run!” I respond, “You don’t have to run. I’m going to the track so you can just sit in the bleachers.” No response. Bummer.
Once the movie was over and I was done stretching I took a deep breath and headed to the school. The walk over would serve as my warm-up. Once I arrived I noticed a few people but nothing to hinder me. I put my headphones in and began to listen to Jennifer Hudson, said a quick prayer and started my run. Slow and easy. One time around and all is well. Second time around and I’m feeling pretty good. I start the third lap and I feel a cramp in my right side. I tried to run through it but my body was screaming for me to slow down. So I walked as I held my side. Praying the entire time. Telling myself, “You can get through this, you can get through this.” Third lap is complete and at the beginning of the fourth I began to run again. The pain from the cramp is gone and I’m slightly picking up my pace and I notice a familiar figure sitting in the bleachers. It’s my daughter. As I ran by her I smiled and said, “You are my favorite daughter.” She just rolled her eyes. As I begin my fifth lap I’m realizing that the longer I’m out there the easier it seems. I thought that cramp was going to take me out. Fifth lap complete and I walk at the beginning of the sixth lap but half way around I realize that I felt good enough to run, so I did. At the end of the sixth lap I felt like I could have continued but the sun was setting and my daughter looked like she was getting chilly and I didn’t want to overdo it.
I accomplished what I set out to accomplish. I did better than yesterday.