Yesterday was a long day of work, walking, and hot weather. Despite this, I still had a fair amount of energy when I came home at 8 o’clock yesterday evening. As I was coming home I was thinking about whether or not I felt like running and though it is easy (and very appealing sometimes) to just say, “Today was a tough day. You deserve some couch time,” I made up my mind to run. This dilemma of feeling like I just want to stay home, but wanting to continue to see the results that running has given me is constantly at work in my head, especially when I’m tired and lacking energy. But, in the end all I have to do is remind myself why we started running to begin with: to get healthy, and I go for a run.
I told my husband upon my arrival that I needed 15 to 20 minutes of horizontal rest and then I’d be ready to run. Good to my word, we were putting on running clothes soon after. The weather was not good at our house and, surprisingly, worse at the park when we got there. Stale air, muggy, and still quite hot even though it was well after sunset.
We started running and immediately I caught sight of another man and woman running right in front of us. We see very few female runners at the park at night and the handful (and by handful I mean 2) we have seen run solo. It was nice to see another couple. But, then the competitive monster inside of me kicked in. We are always getting passed by runners. We aren’t the slowest around, but it’s annoying when you think you’re doing well and then get passed by a trio of middle-aged guys with beer bellies who are not wearing proper running shoes. Sure, they only run about 10 minutes, maybe 15 tops, but they haul ass right past us.
I locked my sights on this couple and I wanted them. It was like they were a wounded doe and I was a big bad lion. We were going about the same pace and the distance between us did not change much for 6 or 8 minutes. We followed them all the way through the park as they were on our normal running route. On a typical run I usually start feeling good around minute 7 and it typically lasts until the end of the first interval, minute 20. So, as the 7th minute approached I was feeling good. I wanted to overtake this couple. In fact, I needed to.
I’m always the one who slows us down, keeps us on a pace that won’t use up all our energy. I’m the responsible running partner. So, often my job is to reel my hubby back in when he just wants to run like a gazelle and leave me in the dust. But, yesterday that all went out the window. It was me who pushed us faster. From minute 7 until minute 20, I started pushing the pace and caught the couple in front of us around minute 14.
The problem when you run intervals is that you stop and walk so as soon as we started walking at minute 20 that couple was on their way past us. Though they did turn around and go back while we kept going straight. So, we walked and started running the second interval and I was pooped. How I regretted pushing it in the first interval. I really slowed down. But, it was nice to see that I could run faster.
After the second break my husband’s first words were “You just had to catch that couple, didn’t you?”
After I nodded slightly ashamed in the affirmative, he said, “I wish I would have talked to them and asked them to keep running with us since it motivated you to run faster.”
Oh well… the fact that I was tired from a long day, pushing it in the first interval, and the fact that it was such crap weather made that final interval really hard. But, I finished it even though my hubby charged ahead, finishing strong.
At the end of every run, we sit on a bench and drink the rest of the water we carry with us and then get up and buy a couple of bottles of cold water from the park cafe. When we sit down, the wooden park benches sort of absorb all the sweat our clothes have absorbed. I’ll warn you now, this is kind of gross, so you can stop reading if you are reading this and eating. My husband is the sweating kind so every time he gets up from sitting on the bench there is a little bum-shaped sweat stain left behind, like it’s his calling card. I have to say I’m always a little jealous. Sweating that much is like a badge of honor to me. I see his sweat stain after every run and yes, while it is gross, I’m a little envious. I work hard, but I’m not a huge sweater.
Well, that all changed after last night’s run. It was ridiculously humid and hot last night (have I said that enough?) and when we got up and I checked to make sure we hadn’t left anything behind there was my hubby’s sweat stain and next to it a fainter, smaller sweat stain – like a baby sweat stain. Finally, the fruits of my labor were visible. Despite the embarrassment of leaving sweat stains on a park bench I was proud and half-thankful that we run at night so our running imprints are not obvious to people walking by.
Are you the sweating kind? Is it a badge of honor for you or just gross?