Right in the middle of a great dream. One of those that you want to live in forever. Alarm sounds.
Bed's soft, temperature's just right, and my princess feels perfect beside me. Quick roll call of pain: upper thighs, check; knees, check; calves, check; ankles, feet, and shins, check. Shins are new this morning. Everybody wants to sign up, though--even the muscles in my back are getting in on this action.
I've read up on the dangers of over-training. The thing is, when you're my size, you need all the training you can get, and you probably aren't even mentally dedicated to push yourself to the point of over-training. The other thing is, one day off for "recuperation time," can quickly become eight months of not doing this anymore.
Okay. Okay. I'm up.
It's not so bad, really. Once I'm walking and waking up a little, it feels all right. Gather my thoughts, work out the kinks and the little pains, this really isn't so bad.
I get to the point where I am supposed to start running--my predetermined run-back-home spot. I reached my goal on Tuesday and was planning on starting from the same point at least until Monday.
I continue walking.
Not far, but enough so that it feels like I've exceeded my goal by a respectable margin.
And then I turn around and begin running home.
What I didn't realize when I originally plotted this course is that almost the entire run back is uphill. Sucks my air away and kills my muscles, but I figure that's bound to happen anyway.
I pass the usual morning crowd--mostly runners who are much better at it than I am, who smile as I pass, their breathing quiet and their steps light. I trod past them, stomping and breathing so loud that it sounds like I'm auditioning for the part of "mouth-huffer phone pervert" in whatever movie needs one of those.
I try to think about other things. Going to watch movies tonight with some friends, that will be fun, I hope. I prepared salsa last night, and while I was sampling it, my chip went to shrapnel inside my mouth, got stuck between two of my teeth and one little piece lodged in the roof of my mouth. Good salsa, though.
Almost to the bus stop, once you get there, it's no sweat. I've been running the bus stop since I first started, I can make it home from the bus stop easy, anyone can make it to the bus stop, right?
My glasses have fogged up completely, so I can't even tell if there are people waiting at the stop until I'm right up on it. Nope, no people. Means I'm early. Nice.
I take the corner to my street, and this, this is why I hate waking up in the morning. This is why I dread hearing my alarm and reading the little message that tells me Get out of bed AND GO RUN!
This last bit, where every day, it feels like I just can't make it. Feet are cement, legs are nothing but rubbery pain. Breathing's a joke, heart feels like it might explode at any moment.
But just this last little bit. Just to the sidewalk, and then it's all over for the day.
But no. Today, there is a car parked by the sidewalk, and a guy walking his dog. Today, I can't hit the sidewalk and immediately begin giving myself my pep talk.
I make the left onto my sidewalk, nod to the guy with the dog, and continue down until I get to my apartment. Just another twenty feet, but it's twenty feet of panting, sweating, hurting, misery.
Up the stairs, into my apartment, surrounded by cool air and familiar smells and the darkness.
Mission accomplished one more time.