Today, Saturday, June 11, I ran nine miles. Arena stage to Thompson's boat house and back.
I started strong, ran the whole way with the group, but didn't really have anyone to talk nonstop with...the thing I need most on these runs. It wasn't too bad getting there...down the mall, past the washington monument--which "they" are busily tearing up the grass around--to thwart the terrorists? dunno--up to memorial bridge, past the kennedy center, along the potomac, turn around at the boathouse.
But the thing was: All week long, I could not shake the thought that I cannot do this. Running is 80 percent mental, they say; ha, actually it's 100 percent mental, bcs only mental people do it (no offense). I could not self-talk myself (sorry self-help books!) into thinking that I could do it.
Made the turnaround, past Kennedy Center, past monument, but then I REALLY had no one to run with...until.....wait...until like magic... a lovely gentleman named PARIS just showed up, asked if I was OK (NOT). By this time I was waaaay behind my group, I was stooped over, bobbing and weaving and dragging my sorry ass ...Mr. (Monsieur?) Paris just SHOWED UP exactly when I needed him (how miraculous is that?), and talked me in the rest of the way, about 3 miles or so.
He told me to stand up straight, to slow down (like I could go any slower, but it turns out I could), he showed me how to do this shuffle-run; little steps. He talked to me about protein, what to eat, how to train during the week...and about this great smoothie place in arlington, which sounded like a long way to go for a smoothie, except within about five seconds of hearing the word "smoothie," Jeanne could think of nothing else. Mr. Smoothie (I mean M. Paris, our hero) said, oh I'll drive you there after this, giving me hope that there would BE an after.
So I finished in about 2:04, which is how long SOME people take to run entire marathons, but,: I don't care.
After we finished, Mr. Paris got in his SILVER MERCEDES and I followed him to smoothie heaven, where, when the smoothie guy asked me my favorite fruit, (I am not making this up) I could not think of the name of a single fruit. I said I'll have what he (Paris, my fiance) is having. Some protein-whey-soy-energy-chocolate-make-you-very-very-strong smoothie.
As I was standing at the counter, I put my head down between my legs (so charming!), sweat pouring off me, and Mr. Paris brought me to a chair, brought me water and paid for my smoothie PLUS bought me a special vitamin concoction.
Well, if that wasn't a date, I don't know what is.
But this blog is about running, not pseudo-dating. So here's what I learned today: Nine miles is about 20 times farther than eight miles, and there are some really amazingly good, kind people in this harsh, cold, big, bad uncaring world. Angels, even.
(p.s. you no longer have to be registered to leave a comment! I, um, found and then changed the setting. It was exhausting.)