The alarm goes off at 7:15 AM. I jump out of bed. No hesitations.
I start out strong. My breathing is calm. Effortless. Peaceful. In one word - ease. Each breath is like the flight of a dove with each flap of their perfect wings - my breathing is consistent one breath after another.
I run out looking ahead. Head is high. I am eyeing the first hill and I hit it hard. I tackle the hill with ease. I pump my arms, hold my head up high, and breathe in the fresh air and feel blessed to be smothered by the sun.
My shoulders are free. My arms are flexible and with each step I feel strong.
The other runners run past. They smile. They say 'hello'. They comment on my stride and compliment me on my early morning dedication.
I see other runners joining the path - and I push myself to catch up to them. Setting benchmarks a long the way - forcing myself to catch them. And as I catch them I challenge myself to pass them. And I pass them.
My legs are light. Light as feathers. If someone could experience my legs they would say 'her legs are light as feathers'. With each stride, I am closer to my goal.
As I turn and go back, I am half way. I have to force myself to turn around. I have committed to doing a 10K, but I feel strong and feel like I could go on longer.
As I approach my finish line - I pick up my speed. I start a sprint. I finish strong. Instead of walking at the end of the interval, I run all the way home.
I stretch - I drink a tall glass of iced cold water. I take pride in my hard work for the day, and I excited that day one of training was a huge success.
******************* Now, this too may or may not have happened.********************
The alarm goes off at 7:15 AM. I lay in bed. I tell myself that missing day one of my training plan isn't a bad thing. I will do it next week. I toss and turn. I pretend that the alarm didn't go off. I sigh. I weep. I put one leg off the side of the bed and with struggle - I put the other leg off. I practically crawl to the loo - asking myself why I choose to punish myself.
I head out on the Galloping Goose. I set my intervals to 10 and 1. I start to run. Within a minute I notice my breathing. It sounds like I am having a heart attack. It's very unattractive. Strangers passing by try not to stare. I am pretty sure that I saw someone plugging their ears to try and escape the noise.
I head towards the first hill. I pray for the watch to beep and the first interval to be over so I can walk up it. It doesn't come. I have to force my head up. Keeping my eyes on the top. I curse. I say words that a lady shouldn't say. I curse. I realize that I shouldn't waste my energy on cursing and try and focus on the top of the hill. I get to the top of the hill and celebrate that I made it.
My shoulders are tense. So damn tense. I check in - and they feel like they are up to my ears. I feel like I have a humpback. I feel that I need a sports bra to keep them in place - and strap them down. I see people running by and staring. I overhear '... mumble mumble - hump back running - I never knew...'.
Down the path I see a tall runner join the path. He has a bright orange shirt. I see him getting farther and farther away. I try to just keep him in my sight. He is quickly out of sight. I come around a corner and am excited to see the orange shirt bent over tying his shoe. I try and speed up a bit - as I am excited that I will pass him. As I get closer - I realize that the orange shirted man is not that - but a large orange and yellow 'Construction' sign.
My legs are heavy. So damn heavy. I sort of feel like they are short tree trunks. If someone was feeling my legs - they would say - how does she move with these beasts. They tighten up with each step. I feel like I should call 911 to have help carrying them home.
I had planned where my turn around would be. I am close to the turn around - and I decide to cut it short by about 20 steps. I stop for a couple of seconds and catch my breath.
I see the end. I struggle with myself to make myself run to the end of the path - without stopping regardless of the intervals. I curse. I force myself - there is no ease at the end.
I get home - I make it to the back deck - and try and make myself stretch. I pull myself up the stairs and cry that there is not a cold drink in the fridge - so have to have a glass of tap water. I force myself back outside so that I can sit on the rocking chair on the deck and try and bring my breathing and body temperature to where they should be.
This was just a fun comparison to how I sort of wish my training went - and to what sort of really happened. I am sure that you can guess which was which. Which 'may' have happened, and what 'may not' have happened.
I am not going to lie - as much as I complain - it was a lovely day. In the end I felt strong - I felt proud that I accomplished what I set out to do - regardless of how much I tried to talk myself out of it. This was the first of many Saturday's that will be hard - but I know that it's something that I can achieve so I am fully committed.
Ok - now how about this for a salad?
It was C&C's Cobb Salad for our family reunion. It's exactly how you see it.
Place everything in rows on a large platter - and serve it with your favourite dressing.
Hard boiled eggs
I whipped up a dressing with basil, buttermilk, feta cheese and kosher salt and pepper.