Yesterday, for some strange reason, I woke up at 5:15 and left the house at 5:30 to go running. After running in the evenings and not really getting to bed before midnight all last week, I really wanted to go to bed early on Friday. That didn't happen. I had cakes to decorate and presents to wrap and a tricycle to put together. So, I went to bed around midnight with the alarm set for 5:00.
It was dark the whole way to Ko'olina, and I was thinking, "I don't really want to do this. I want to go back to bed". I got there a couple of minutes late, but nobody had started running yet. I tried my best to act like I really wanted to be there. They (Team in Training) explained the route, and we were off. I started out next to my sponsor, Cheryl. She's really nice, but slower than me, and she stopped to walk every few minutes, so I just set off by myself. Thankfully there were bathrooms along the first part of the route, because my IBS always strikes when it is least welcome. Boo. After two pit stops, I was feeling much better. I caught up with the walkers, and then with Cheryl, then I was on my own for a while...too fast for the slow folks, and too slow for the fast folks. The route was a 'run away, then run back' type of deal, and I wasn't even wearing a watch, so I had no clue when I should turn around (I was supposed to run for 90 minutes).
The first part of the route was along the Ko'olina lagoons, and absolutely beautiful, then it turned into running along some railroad tracks into the middle of nowhere, with tall yellow grass and tumbleweed looking things. I was sure that I would stumble upon a dead body or something. There was not a palm tree in sight, and dirt everywhere. I forgot I was in Hawaii. The ground was supposed to be gravel, but it was giant chunks of rock, which was very hard to run on.
For some reason, the urge to sing came over me. Weird? Nah. There was nobody within earshot in either direction, and singing regulates your breathing while running (as long as your cardiopulmonary system can handle it). I started singing worship songs because that is just what felt like coming out of me. I started to feel really good, and I think I even picked up my pace.
I finally started to see someone in the distance. Bill had stopped to stretch. I asked how long we had been running and he said, "47 minutes", then he took off back for the lagoons. I stretched for about a minute and then decided that I was going to keep pace with him the whole way back. Using Bill as pace bunny wasn't the easiest thing. He is about 60 years old, 230 pounds, and runs in shorty shorts with no shirt. So, for the entire way back, I imagined that he was Josh Holloway and that I was chasing him through the jungles on LOST.
We got back at the 83 minute mark, which means that it took 47 minutes to run to our turn around point and 36 minutes to get back. However, because of my two pit stops, I figured I kept close to the same pace on the way out, as I did on the way back. Bill must have felt like he needed to run faster on the way back because I was 100 feet behind him the whole way. Ha!
I walked the last 7 minutes of my 90, and got to witness a group of people getting baptized in lagoon number 4. I felt so good, and it was just refreshing to see such an awesome thing happening. Then I ran into Bill, and asked him how far we had gone (he had one of those Garmin GPS watches). He told me that we went 7.62 miles. I about crapped (again). I felt SO good. That averages out to just under eleven minutes per mile. If you take off around three minutes for each of my bathroom breaks, I was running ten minute miles! That is my pace goal, to ultimately finish the Hibiscus Half Marathon in under two hours and fifteen minutes.
This is going to sound like I am tooting my own horn, but I'm going to say it anyway. I'm pretty sure that I am a natural athlete. The problem is that I sit on my butt and let that talent go to waste. The entire five years I was the Air Force, I ran a total of about twelve times. From the time I got out of the Air Force until Sam was born, I think I ran twelve times, and maybe did Zumba like ten times. Even since Sam was born, I've ran for a few days, then took a month and a half off, then ran for a few days, and took a month an a half off. I possess the ability to get up and have energy and stamina after doing absolutely nothing for long periods of time. I think that if I had the time and motivation to actually train for a year, I could actually win a race, or at least place. If I could spend every day in the pool for two years and train, I bet I could give Dana Whats-her-face a run for the title of post-baby Olympic swimmer. Of course, I'm never going to be that motivated (much less, have that much time). But, I am going to try to not let my athletic prowess go to complete waste, like I have been doing for the majority of my life. I am in better cardiovascular shape than a lot of skinny people I know. The thing is that I could care less if I can run faster and longer than them, I just want my body to look like theirs!
Anyway, I had a GREAT morning. The running felt good, the weather was perfect, the people were nice, and I achieved a certain sense of peace, like a connection with God, that just felt amazing. I didn't want to leave right away and head back to Honolulu for the crazy day that was in store for me. So I hung out and stretched awhile, waiting for the others to return. SIGH.
On the way home I stopped and picked up mine and Amanda's packets for our race next Saturday. I got all giddy when I looked at my little paper number that I'll get to wear. I was thinking to myself, "Hehe. I am a runner. Woo hoo." Also, the race will only be 6.2 miles, and I had just done over 7.6! I was in an amazing mood.
I got home and had just over three hours to get ready for Jocelyn and Trevor's birthday party. I put Jocelyn down for a nap, fed Sam, kind of cleaned the bathroom, picked up the house, took a quick shower, made a giant fruit salad, prepped onion, tomatoes, lettuce and bacon for the burgers, set up the tables and chairs, inflated the bouncy house, set out the carnival games, set up the shave ice machine, hung up decorations and didn't stop moving for a second. Whew. People started showing up and there were kids bouncing and playing, people eating and talking, and I just felt happy.
We even made a new friend. The husband of a Diaper Swappers friend came by to hang out. He just moved here, and his wife and their son will be coming in May. We invited him to stay and go with us to the magic show on base later that evening. So we cleaned up the party, and got the kids ready to head out. We drove to where the magic show was supposed to be, only to discover that I am crazy. I thought the show was supposed to be on Saturday night on the Air Force base, when it was actually on Friday night on the Navy base. What? I really am losing my mind, and I was so embarrassed to come to this realization with this new friend in the car. Oops!
We got home, and Jocelyn started to play with some of her new things. A friend, her husband, and her two boys that couldn't make it to the party, stopped by to drop of a gift for Jocelyn. They stayed and played for a while. During their visit I sat down on the floor for a few minutes to talk/play, and my body just shut down. I was yawning over an over again, and it was only 7 o'clock. I felt rude for yawning so much with company over, but I couldn't help it! I felt like it was 1 in the morning! When our guests left, we gave the kids quick baths, and curled up on the couch to watch an episode of 'Rescue Me'. I think I passed out in the first fifteen minutes. I wanted to get on Facebook and upload photos form the birthday party, but that didn't happen, and still hasn't happened.
Today, I woke up with the sickness that Brad has had for the past week, and feeling like I broke my right foot. Every part of me aches. I'm going to feel miserable for a while, but it is totally worth the physical suffering, because my spirit and my psyche are feeling the opposite of miserable thanks to the amazing day I had yesterday!