Friday, September 12, 2008

8 Miles Before the Sun Awoke






Alarm goes off at 4:40AM.

My body pops as a stretch after my six hour slumber. I say a quiet prayer asking for strength and energy to get me through the day. It's gonna be a doozy. I brush my teeth, creeping around the bedroom trying not to stir Don and Guapo from their quiet repose.

Unsure if there is an air of chill out, I grab a cotton long sleeve shirt to layer over my tank just in case. I delicately kiss Don on the cheek, pat Guapo on his head, and head to Mari's room to kiss her bye as well. I strap my fanny pack around my waist (yes, I have a fanny pack and it's cool!) and fill it with my ID, cell phone, eye drops, and mp3 player. I do a couple of quick stretches and get ready to head out. I open the door and I'm happily greeted by a wave of persistent humidity. No need for the long sleeved shirt. I was reconsidering my choice of cotton tank, but no time to change now. My only "fancy" running gear is a pair of actual running shorts and some good shoes. I don't have any shirts or any other proper shorts. I make do with what I have, although, I may splurge for another extra couple of shorts and leggings. I was wearing my black capri breathable yoga pants. I'm certain these pants were designed for yoga, but I do enjoy running in them.

I set out towards the bagel shop not too far from our place. That's the meeting point for everyone. They are doing street construction, so I have to jump over various bits of rock and debris, as well as zig zag through large orange cones strewn about. I came upon the stoplight and crossed. No, the light wasn't green either. I'm such a rebel. (In late/early times of day when there is no traffic, do you wait or do you cross?) 4:58 - I arrive and see no one, but the workers inside the bagel shop prepping. By this point, I've seen only 5 cars on the street. Under the flourescent light, I begin stretching my legs in preparation for the run. My stomach started to gurgle and chug. I was beginning to rethink this decision when the first person pulled in. He was a friendly man in his early 60s, late 50s. He was wearing flip-flops and opened his hatchback to sit upon while he put on his sneakers. Three others showed up, one of which was the man I'd spoken to the evening before. He was a spirted man, one whom I couldn't wait to hear his story. By 5:09 we set off on the trail. I was promised that we'd run about a mile, stop for a water at the fountain, walk for a bit, then continue running. We'd average 10 minute miles in the 6 mile roundtrip.

We set off and everyone chatted a bit about themselves. One of the ladies is attending school at UTD working on her Masters degree in History. She's from California and told me that tuition in California was less, but the cost of living is more. Through her story, I'd also learned that she spent part of her undergrad in Colorado. All I could think was, man, this lady sure likes learning! The next woman had been laid off from her other job and was collecting unemployment. She jokingly said that she'd retired early. I took it that she really had retired and just to clarify, I asked her if she really had (it was far too early for me to decipher sarcasm!). Nope, she was looking for a job and toying with the idea of going back to school. The other man mentioned that he was nearing retirement. Then there was Clyde. I could go on and on about how inspirational this man was. It'd been a long while since I'd had my random-person-lifestory cup filled. And not only was it filled, but it was overflowing. I'd only caught a glimpse of how his life had been in the past 10 years or less, but boy has he packed a lot of living. He's the 117th man to have run a marathon on all 7 continents. He's swam with hords of hammerhead sharks in the Galapagos Islands. He's climbed Kilamanjaro. He's already run marathons in Reykjavik and North Dakota this year. Later, he'll head to Cambodia to run in another race. I received loads and loads of running and race tips. I'm totally excited about these last weeks of training to race day. Wow! And then, he started to talk about his wife and daughter, both of which have completed ultramarathons...yes, that's 50 miles! Next thing I knew, we were finished with the run and I wasn't completely breathless. My body wasn't taxed in the least, I was still sleepy, though! I made plans to meet up with them on Sunday. Clyde let me know that he was planning on doing 20 miles and he thought that I could handle it. So, 5:30AM Sunday morning, I'll plan on meeting him for that run and I should be home by 9AM and cleaned up by 11 for church. All this planning provided that Hurricane Ike (or his remnants) chooses not to make an appearance.

I bid everyone farewell and lightly jogged the rest of the way home. I couldn't believe it. The sun was still not out. Amazing how much can be done if you only get up early enough. Oh and I forgot to mention: there were quite a few people out on the trail, walking, running, biking, and generally hanging out. Who would've thought?
Later on, I did yoga. Man, my leg muscles were tight. We focused primarily on the legs, but there was some back and neck stretching as well. I even got into a full on plow pose which was actually shocking! I didn't really think that I could do it.

Oh and for grins, we also did shoulder stands. I was able to really push through to straighten out like a needle. I was actually quite proud of myself. Last week, when I tried it, I really struggled and didn't have much balance. This week, I was able to release my hands from my back, and still maintain balance.

I didn't go to sleep last night until 11:30. I was flat out exhausted. I'd stayed awake watching the last DVD of Entourage and I must say that I'm disappointed with Season 4. Seriously. I'm not surprised that this current season isn't doing as well as the earlier ones. It seems they've gotten so caught up in throwing in cameos of all of these other actors that you don't get to enjoy the interactions of the main characters. Oh well.

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