Jogging is my exercise of choice. It's free, requires no equipment and you can do it almost anywhere. On my good days, I could almost say that I enjoy it. I like the time to myself, the feeling of my body in motion and the sense of accomplishment. Most days however, it is more of a chore, bordering on self-torture.
Today was one of the bad days.
I head out the door around 9am. It is a Sunday so Dave watches the boys and I don't need to push the jog stroller which is a relief. It's later than I meant it to be and the weather is warmer than I anticipated. I over dressed. This is only my second work out this week. No real excuses, I have become a weekend only exerciser. Not the best fitness plan admittedly, but I am L-A-Z-Y.
After a block or two of brisk walking I break into a jog. And by that I mean a slow jog. A real runner would probably consider it speed walking, but I am going to stick with jogging. About five minutes into my run I am already regretting the second cup of coffee I had this morning. I can feel liquid sloshing around in my stomach and I am starting to get a stitch in my side. I knew this was going to suck.
I trudge on, congratulate myself for getting out there. It is just as I am starting to psych myself up for the rest of the journey "Go Rachel! You are a rock star. Most of America can't even run 2 miles!" I see a ridiculously fit hot couple running toward me. She is petite with calves of steel. Her hair pulled back in a neat pony tail, her muscular thighs in light blue spandex, and a fashionable running t-shirt. He is ripped and talking to her without showing any sign of exertion. Crap. I look down at my own ensemble. Fleece pants meant for running in the Denver snow which I purchased last year when I was a heck of a lot skinnier so on-top of the fact that they are stupid warm for the balmy Berkeley weather, they are also less than flattering. My shirt is a running top from REI, which would be fine if it weren't for the baby snot stains on my shoulder.
Onward. I hit the mile mark. Only a mile??? I am at the corner of Sacramento & Dwight, at the HomeMade Cafe, a delightful and popular neighborhood breakfast spot. As I approach I can smell bacon grease, maple syrup and coffee. I sneak a peek as I run by. Families enjoying breakfast together, laughing over short stacks. Singles lingering over coffee with the new york times. Hung over college students in sweats letting the alcohol absorb into fluffy biscuits and gravy. Jealous much? The sight reminds me of my days in Minneapolis. Heading out on a cold winter morning to drink coffee and sip bloody marys in a souvenir pint glass at the Uptown Tavern. We have a whole cabinet of bloody glasses to prove that it actually happened. A. Long. Time. Ago. At least I don't have to burn of those calories I tell myself, pressing on.
I'm not getting any faster. My legs feel like five ton weights. I'm not even half way done.
I turn on to San Pablo, a street lined with thrift shops and international markets. I can usually distract myself by looking in the windows and making mental notes of future shopping destinations. Today I run by a nursery selling Christmas trees. For some reason as I hear the crunch of fallen leaves under my feet and I feel the sweat beading on my forehead this depresses me. I start to think about how un-christmasy it feels here in Berkeley. To be passing by flowering bushes and fall colors and to feel down right hot on my morning jog. Bah-Humbug.
The rest of my run is uphill. Mind you not a steep climb, but when I am running anything more than perfectly flat qualifies. A homeless man yells at me "Work it out lady! Run!". If he was trying to inspire me, it worked, I am running the hell away from him. Uphill. Well sort-of.
Finally home is four blocks away, so I slow my already snail-pace to a walk. Done. My fleece pants are sticking to me. I cannot wait to tear them off. Until next weekend...