Running Like a Dirty Girl

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Did I improve my lap time?

I don’t run like a girl. In actuality, I run more like a baby penguin with bad knees. (Do penguins have knees?) Running does not come easily for me. My Freshman year of high school, I was on the track team. In a school of 100 kids, everybody was in any sport they tried out for. My event was the sixteen-hundred and my move was to sprint that last 1/4 of the last lap, passing at least two other runners. I usually came in 3rd to last.

Over the past decade, I’ve run a little bit here and there. Mostly just basic training, so I won’t die during any 5k runs I’ve signed up for. There is no simple answer why I sign up for running events. My imaginary, future self is really healthy and they look fun to her. The event I’m doing next month was the brain child of my fit niece, Katie.

How I think I look when I run

How I think I look when I run.

“Let’s do the Dirty Girl Mud Run!” Katie said. “You and me and Janet (my sister) and Becca (Janet’s daughter.)” It sounded like good, dirty, fun. A couple of more cousins signed up to run (heyo Cristin and Jennifer). We’re getting a hotel suite for us gals so we can talk and giggle and have a nice reunion. Here’s the kicker, the 5k event is in Denver. I live at So. Cal. sea level. Professional athletes bitch about exercising in Denver’s altitude. Listen…I may die.

So the point is, I started running again to prevent the possible altitude/exercise related death. The training has been sporadic due to headaches, tummy aches, lady aches, cramping toes, bad knees, too much sun, not enough sun and general laziness. It’s a 2.5 mile loop from my place to this cool mermaid statue and back. Some days it’s an easy jaunt, some days I want to turn back after every jostled step.

Today went like this:

For the first two minutes, I cannot breathe and my legs are made of lead tree trunks.

The leaden tree trunks continue throughout the run. I should invest in much lighter running shoes.

My exercise tracking app, Endomondo, breaks into the song Run to the Hills and informs me that my first mile took 10:51. Shut up Endomondo.

It’s uphill to the mermaid statue .25 miles away. I don’t wanna. Luckily, the My Chemical Romance song  This is How I Disappear starts on my run mix and I kick it up a notch (probably to around 10:46 mile).

How I actually look.  No, even though I look scared, nobody is chasing me.

How I actually look.
Even though I look scared, nobody is chasing me.

Turning around to go home. Crap, there is a cat in the middle of the street chasing a pigeon. There is no traffic here, but must save kitty. He puts up no resistance as I pick him up and put him back on the sidewalk. I get a nose kiss for my trouble, but this didn’t help my lap time with Endomondo.

Getting close to two miles and about completely out of breath. I so want to stop running (jogging) and just walk the rest of the way. Just when I need it most, Keep Pushing comes on the run mix. So, I keep pushing, while mouthing the words and air guitaring…in the middle of the street.

I hit replay on Keep Pushing to get me all the way. Ah Kevin Cronin and REO Speedwagon, you have kept pushing me until I jogged home.

So I ran the entire way today. Maybe I get up to a 5k by this weekend. Maybe I’ll survive the Dirty Girl in Denver a month from now. Yeah…and maybe I’m a Chinese jet pilot.

This is the Run Mix I made on Spotify. Let me know what pushes you, so I can add it on.

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