What happens when you wake up at 5am on the morning of your first race and realize that not a single bus runs past the park you are supposed to run through?

You check out the local taxi situation, learn that a 20-minute trip will cost you 30 dollars. And then you put on your race shirt and your mascara, and instead run 5.4 km along a well-known and well-loved route. The sun rises, the mist burns off the river valley, Whoopi Goldberg sings in your ear. Your legs are fine. You hold your head up. And you burst in the door 40 minutes and 30 seconds later, just as your husband is waking up.

Counting this as a win.

an update

My holiday from the scale continues. I'm no longer scared about the number, I'd just rather concentrate on behaviors for now. What sorts of behaviors?

Not eating at night, gallivanting about on my bicycle, drinking water, planning meals, preventing running injuries, painting fingernails...

I've felt wonderful this week. My skin is glowing, my jeans fit better, my digestive system is happy to be waking up hungry, my metabolism is back, my stomach feels flatter, my legs feel stronger.

The one black spot has been some recurring shin splints. The race is tomorrow, and though I have a plan, and a playlist, and lots of carbs on the counter for breakfast, I am worried that my legs are going to fail me. My running has been on-again, off-again for the past two weeks, and I think that only with two ibuprofens and a lot of luck am I going to be able to run tomorrow. Up until I picked up my race package this afternoon (thinking I might as well claim my free t-shirt), I wasn't even planning to show up. My plans have changed. I have come a long way this year. Even though I won't be able to run the entire course without walking breaks, and even though I may have to walk the last section if my shins start to act up, I am determined to prove to myself what I can do.

I'll post a report tomorrow night. Wish me all the luck you can muster.

(Goals for the upcoming week? To run a couple of short distances, concentrating on my form. To bike every day to make the hills easy again. To climb 75 flights of stairs at least once. To use the dumbbells twice.)

an update

Well, I haven't lost an ounce. The sheets of ice on the roads, and the windchill, and the dark are all continuing to get to me. I need some excitement. Some motivation. Some distraction. Some push.

I've registered to run a race.

To run.

A race.

Now I'll have to brave the cold.

I am nervous. I am excited. I am convinced that I am entirely not myself (or, not who I was), and I am thrilled. Running a 5k is on my list of New Year goals, but I had doubted I would actually have the guts to register. To my own surprise, I am really going to do it. I start training tomorrow.

an update

The goals last week were to lose a pound, and to run five times.

I lost a pound.

And I ran five times. I covered, over the course of the longest run, 5 km, 3 of which I actually ran. On the way home, as I turned into our street, instead of collapsing in a heap of palpitations and nausea, I started to sprint.

It is strange to watch my shadow flowing beside me in the grass. I can move so fast? I feel like an animal. I am the mortal envy of my lumpish younger self, who didn't eat because she was convinced that she would not be able to do anything worth fueling for.

Tim rode beside me, measuring our pace with his bike computer. He said, "You're much faster. More than that, you're fast."

(Also this week, I bought a pair of school sweatpants. For running. In size small. This is double-time dream fulfillment, since when I was little, the coolest girls were the skinny ones who went around with the names of their universities on their bums.)

I am terribly disappointed that I won't be able to run this week. I pulled a tendon connected to one of my hamstrings last night, and need to let it heal. (Ha! A runner's injury!) Instead, I'd like to ride my bike four times, jump rope three times, stretch daily, and journal my food intake/hours of exercise again after a bit of a lapse.

As for longer-term goals, I need some new ones. By Christmas,
I would like to weigh 150 pounds.
I would like to have gone swimming with Laura.
I would like to have had people over for supper.
I would like to be able to do 10 push-ups in a row.