So I had my own mini-version of the now-infamous Chicago Marathon this afternoon.
No, I didn't run 26.2 miles. But I can say that, within the first 26.2 feet of my run, I was just about ready to quit.
In fact, I was so gasping for air that I am pretty sure I popped a blood vessel in my lung, causing me to then wet my pants, much in the same way little kids do when they get really scared and lose all control of their systems.
Okay, so maybe I didn't exactly wet my pants, but I did almost cry like a five-year-old, so same thing. Almost.
Let me take a few (labored) steps back. So I thought that it was a good idea to go for a short, 40-minute (translated to 4 miles in my pace book) run this afternoon. I woke up in a bad mood, carried it around like a flask in my pocket for most of the day, and then figured I would actually look at and use the training program my coach sent yesterday. Today was a run, so I said, "What the hell." I strapped on the shoes, grabbed the iPod, and shoved off.
I got about two blocks (no joke here) when I realized the following things:
1. I most definitely still had a respiratory infection.
2. My lungs instantaneously burst into flames.
3. It was still about 85 degrees out at 2:45PM, and I was too arrogant to think about bringing water (for crying out loud, it was only four miles, I said. Oh boy, would I choke on those words.).
4. Not even the new Hilary Duff song on my iPod would pump me up enough to make the rest of the run. (But on a completely unrelated sidebar - how about poor 'ol Hilary? What with all the Nicole Ritchie baby momma drama to deal with - and I got to hand it to Hilly because if that were me, watching my ex knock up some pseudo-celebrity and then get married to the skank two weeks after we broke up, I would FOR SURE choke a bitch. Fo' sho'.)
Dang. Sidetracked again.
Where was I?
Oh right - the realization of my misery.
So, like the stupid triathlete that can't take no for an answer (also exemplified by my run and bike ride last week while in the midst of a fever and bloody cough - yeah, that's me, folks), I kept going. I made it gasping to the turn around, at which point I stopped, walked about 10 yards, and then started playing that game you know we all play - the one where you say to yourself, "Okay, start running at the next light post...no, next one....okay, for sure the next one."
I eventually started running again, made it back to the main part of the beach path, and then discovered the one working water fountain in Evanston. Glory Be Hallelujah!!!!! I drank up the grainy dirt water like my mom and her wine at 4AM last call, and started again. I made it 37 minutes until I just said enough.
I was two blocks from home.
When I stopped my legs were shaking, I was gasping, and I managed to form a nice white, chalk line around my mouth, like the ones the police use to mark where a dead body is. Only in this case, the only thing dead was my pride.
Four miles. And it felt like 40.
And now I can sympathize with the poor souls of yesterday's race.