I know you are all on the edge of your seats wondering: Did Jeanne do it? Did she actually run six entire days in a row? Or maybe you're wondering: What's for dinner?
So yes, I did it. I ran six days in a row. I ran when I had no time to run, I ran when it was icing and snowing, I ran when it was colder than a gravedigger's heart. I also ran in some of the loveliest weather we've had all year.
It was as though someone flipped a switch in my brain. No whining, whinging, or worrying. I just laced up and ran, and worked life in around it. I. Enjoyed. Running. I can't tell you why, or what made the difference. Some people have a theory that it was all mental—that my enjoyment came from the fact that I was suddenly free from any pressure to perform.
Thursday I ran three miles when I had two planned. Friday it was freezing and icing and I ran hard on the treadmill for two miles—something which, during a normal week, I would just have skipped, because (say it with me now) I hate running, and the only thing I hate worse is running on the treadmill.
And then there was Saturday, Day Six.
I met my running group, led by the speedy and highly capable Coach Peter, at Roosevelt Island:
(Peter, holding forth with a captive audience. Or, maybe holding his audience captive. Not sure what Bex is reacting to. Maybe one too many doughnuts?)
a lovely sanctuary in the middle of the Potomac River. We parked there, and ran down the Mt. Vernon trail towards Alexandria, Va,, along the Potomac, and back, a 4.25 mile roundtrip. A small but (obviously) HARDCORE group of us met in the parking lot and took off in three groups: advanced, intermediate, and run/walkers. It was seriously cold. 32F, 17F windchill, but beautifully sunny, the D.C. skyline in the distance, the water sparkling, the crew teams out in force despite the wind, their coxswain's voices fading in the distance.
I took off with the intermediate group (I think there were five of us) and I had the honor of having speedy Coach Bob running SOLO with me. After I got over the part about feeling stupid for being too slow to run with this speedy speedster (his goal for the National Marathon this coming Saturday? 3:15), I started enjoying myself.
Coach Bob took off after hanging with and encouraging me, and Coach Peter stepped in out of nowhere. I swear the man has a transporter. He just materializes. He ran with me to the bridge (the other four in my group were far ahead) and then ran with me all the way back.
Running with someone faster than you turns out to be a Really Good Thing. (Maybe this is not news to any of you, but it hit me like a lightning bolt on Saturday.) I've spent the past two years avoiding running with faster runners because ... well, it's embarrassing! I'll hold them back! I don't want to be that person!
Saturday's run reminded me of playing tennis with someone better than you, or dancing with a better dancer than you are. When I occasionally go to the local jitterbug hall, it never fails to amaze me that the expert dancers will dance with me. And that they are patient, kind and encouraging. Dance with a highly skilled dancer and he can make you feel like you're a good dancer, too. (Geeze, all of a sudden, I feel like dancing.)
So Saturday's run was like that. Like a really good dance with a really good dancer. So thanks, Peter! You sure can dance.
But, no dancing for me for a bit. I'm off to have this done tomorrow. (The irony is not lost on me that the minute I get the hang of running I have to stop!) and then I'm going to be a really excellent spectator and cheerleader (without the jumping around stuff) for a few weeks.
Peter, Bob, and Bex are all running the National Marathon next Saturday (Bex is running the 1/2). Bring your dancing shoes, people!