It was inevitable. I put you off long enough. I even tried to turn you into a long walk a few times. But you won’t be put off. Not forever. Not when we have to “Run for Amal”. Not when a marathon is looming in the future.
Oh I cavorted around the cruise ship in flip-flops and a sundress, eating a gelato every afternoon. I didn’t give you the time of day. I had cream in my coffee instead of milk and desert every night at dinner without so much as a glance your way. I knew you were there, in the shadows, waiting on me with every bite of chocolate chip cookie, but mocha lattes on the upper deck pushed you back into the deep recesses of my mind. I thought I saw your outline pass by me the day that I hiked up to the trail to see the Mendenhall Glacier but I told myself it was just the wind that whispered “You need to get on the treadmill.”
And so now I am home. I turned you into a walk and talk catch up session with Jamie this week. I had company and made you sit in the corner for a few days. I begged off meeting up with you yesterday because of my cold. But I sit here staring at my picture of Amal and I know that we must have a “come to Jesus” in the morning. It won’t be pretty.
The alarm will go off at 5:15, an ungodly hour for a Saturday. I will fortify myself with coffee…black please, and my new Brooks running shoes that should be broke in with those two killer walks I took this week. I am going to put my Megan Trainer playlist on repeat and slug it out. You will not be gentle I know that. You will squeeze the last bit of air from my lungs. You will make my calves burn and my feet will ache….especially my right one. I will curse you under my breath at mile 2 and wonder why I am not home snuggled up to The Mister. Sweat will soak my face and run in my eyes making them burn and I will think about that water bottle hidden in the ditch next to the stop sign at mile 6…still so far away.
But somewhere, probably around mile 5 we will make peace. You will forgive me for ignoring you for 10 days straight, and I will swear off sugar for the next 10. And somewhere around Lakeport Drive, when the sun comes up and that stupid dog that loves to lay in the driveway and bark at me, we will be friends again. I will forget the pain you caused me and you will remind me of that feeling of freedom that my legs can carry me so far. You will remind me how blessed I am to be able to run at all. I will feel exhausted and strong all at the same time. I will high-five Jamie at the end and we will smile and say “Not bad for old ladies”
And once again we will be friends.