Friday, August 6, 2010

Excuse Me, but the Correct Idiom is "Fall off the Wagon"

It happened when I least expected it but fully needed it. Shoes kicked off, one leg slung over the arm of the recliner, saucer perched in hand, butter cream frosted slice of cake in midbite - Sam sidled up to me and with genuine sympathy said, "What's wrong mom? Did you break the wagon?" Wow. Really?

So here's my confession. Somewhere around the end of the school year, the running routine fell by the wayside. Along with it went all the good habits I had picked up. You know, the ones that were contributing to slow but steady weight loss, better eating habits, and greater confidence.

I did try once earlier this summer to haul myself up on that wagon before it left me in the dust. A friend called and invited me to run with her running group one morning. I thought that might be just what I need to kick start my routine again. "Great!" she said, "I'll pick you up at 5 am."

Five am? That was bound to be a committed group of women. Although I wasn't thrilled about the early hour, at least there would be a break from the draining heat of the day that had kept me at bay. But when I stepped out the door at 5am the next morning, it was as if I had donned a velvet sweatsuit dipped in warm water. Even at that early hour the heat was palpable.

We pulled up to the track right before 5:30. Not ten, not twenty, but nearly 200 runners had gathered to train for everything from 5K races in the coming weeks to marathons at the end of the year. My friend was training for a marathon, so I encouraged her to run at her own pace and I'd meet her back by the bleachers in 45 minutes. I found camaraderie in a pace group that slowed down and walked with me when I needed a breather. It was a great experience and I wish I could tell you I went back . . . but I didn't. The fees for the running club weren't possible and I figured all I needed was to get out there and just do it.

Fast forward six weeks and I don't have much to show for that pledge. About 10 days ago Robert rallied us and we started our early morning walks again. I hate starting over, but I know I'll feel better in a few weeks when I'm back in a routine. One of my dear friends from New York was in the area visiting family recently and spent the day with me. She's a runner. A darn good one. She's training for a marathon and was a great encouragement to me.

It's important that I do this. Pray with me that I can stay motivated as the school year is quickly approaching. The boys will be conditioning for cross country after school this year, so I doubt they'll have the energy to go on runs in the evenings like we did last Spring. It's going to be up to me this time around!