I did it. I laid my running clothes out last night and had Sam set his alarm for 5:30am and when it went off, I got up. I got dressed, I went downstairs and I walked to the park. It was closed. I refused to give up. Instead, I went down the running trail that leads to this place called the Cite Internationale. It is right next to Interpol, so I figured it would be safe. I planned to just warm up there and make my way back to the park when it was set to open at 6:30.
There was a sprinkling of joggers and a few passing bikes. I was glad the path was fairly well lit. There was just one small area where things were darkened, but I just stayed alert--you never know.
Just when I was beginning to relax, I saw a guy walking in the opposite direction--on the opposite side of the bus route... where there isn't a sidewalk. He didn't LOOK creepy. He was pretty normal in his jeans and dark coat. But he had a long umbrella that he kept tapping on the ground like a cane. Step-step-tap. Step-step-tap. Well, at least if he decided to turn around and mug me, I'd hear him coming.
When I got to the end of the Cite, I turned around and headed back to the park.
Just as I was getting to the dark area I mentioned above, I turn and notice that Mr. Step-Step-Tap is taking a piss in the bushes. Not IN the bushes taking a piss. No, still on the curb of the bus route, but pissing into the bushes.
Okay, here's how my paranoid mind works (which I developed upon Ryan's birth... some strange brain change): "He's taking a piss to get his equipment ready to rape me. And all he needs to do is conk me over the head with that umbrella. I'm right here next to the dark area and I'm not walking very fast. Seems like a good time to start jogging." Still pissing, he turns his face toward mine and instead of turning quickly away as though he's embarrassed, he continues to piss and stare at me at the same time.
Jog, hell, I started running.
At first, I had planned to just run through the dark part and back up to the well-lit area, but just for good measure, I kept going. Probably five minutes. And I wasn't doing my regular distance jogging bit. I was full out running. I knew that my knees and ankles--not having had much more action than having walked Ryan to school every day for the past two weeks--were going to complain later, but my gut said, "too damn bad."
I survived it. I don't even really think there was that much to worry about. The pre-Ryan Joelie (hell, the pre-Sam Joelie) would have been like, "Dude, you wanna rape me? Go ahead and try, punk. I don't have anything to lose." But now I have kids, and either out of a desire/compulsion to watch them grow up or out of some instinct to preserve myself to HELP them grow up, I have become a skeerdy cat. *sigh*
I went back to the main gate of tha park, but it was still closed. So, I took the bike path until it started to go down under an overpass...a DARK over pass... at which point I stopped and said aloud, "Oh HELL no!" I turned around and went back toward the park. I looked at my Garmin. I had gone two miles. And I had mostly walked it and it had taken half an hour. I could go home and be satisfied that I had made a start. But I'm not much of a half-assed person. (I mean, have you SEEN my ass?)... So, I crossed the street and headed into the now open park. I did the other mile, mostly walking but at two points, full out running. At about 90% effort for almost one minute I did a 9-minute-mile. It took effort, but I wasn't hurting badly afterward like I thought I would.
This is all good news. Remember that I haven't done anything in like four or so weeks (right?). And I haven't done anything serious and regular for several months. So, the ABILITY to do a 9-minute-mile pace even for one minute isn't a bad thing. See, I'm not out to set any records. I'm merely out to FINISH this marathon in January without being ushered to the sidewalk so the back-of-the-race vehicle can pass. I just want to finish. Doing the math, even if I WALKED most of the marathon tomorrow, I could finish in the 6-hour time limit. I have 108 days to make that better.
Two years ago, I did my Houston Half in like 2:20 or something. I was at least 20 pounds heavier than I am today. If I train and if I lose another 20 or so and IF I don't get injured, I can do the full in five hours. I'm sure of it. I'm giving myself the month of October. If things happen like they did today, I'm golden. If they get even BETTER, I'm set. If they deteriorate and if by the end of Oct, I'm crawling and moaning about my plantar fasciitis and my knees, I'm screwed and I'm cashing my bib in for a refund. I know there are people out there standing in line for a bib. I'm asking those folks to give me one more month to be sure.
After stretching and coming back home, I also did 50 crunches and some arm weight exercises. I would have done more, but I was already doing the crunches with Lolo crawling on my belly, Lily stepping on my hair and Ryan messing with my bike next to me, so I gave it up.
Funny stuff... On my way back from walking Ryan to school, I stopped in the grocery store at the end of my block. I've decided that the small things we buy should be purchased there--it saves gas and is in a way "buying locally." Plus, it supports my community, right? PLUS, the guy that runs the place is hilarious. Well, after paying and after he and the cashier went on and on about how beautiful Lolo's eyes are, he and I spent half an hour talking about American politics!!! HILARIOUS!!!! I love it!!!
Well, I had better get some writing done while Lolo is still napping. I only have one picture for you so far today and it's just a shot of my calendar. I refuse to change it to October because I'm just not done looking at the September picture. Oh, I know, there might be an even BETTER picture in October. But September is JUST SO GORGEOUS!!! Take a look:
Oh, yeah, and P.S. I LOOOOOOOVE cloth toilet "paper"!!!
P.P.S. I forgot to show the pix of Ryan helping me make bread the other day...
Okay, so I guess I did have a few pix to show you. *shrug*