Five weeks ago, my husband convinced me to start running with him. Something about extra energy, sense of wellbeing, long-term health benefits, chance to wear cute workout clothes, no more excuses now that the girls were in school, yada yada yada. He had me at “extra energy.” It was an incredibly sweet gesture on his part as it meant doing his marathon training early in the morning so he could spend half of his lunch break at the park jogging in slow motion alongside a wife who is allergic to exercise. I think I managed 300 meters the first day before I had to stop and concentrate very, very hard on not dying. (Dan kindly refrained from cracking up.)
In the five weeks since, here is what I have discovered:
- My body is deeply committed to opposing this silly running venture. If my right side isn’t stabbing me, my left side takes over. If my sides are playing nice, my knees ache. If my knees are on their best behavior, my head is pretty much guaranteed to start throbbing, and when it goes on coffee break, there’s always a big toe or an eardrum or a spleen willing to act up. See? Allergic.
- Likewise, my brain is refusing to compute any information that might make me feel positive about the whole experience.
- Like how I’m up from 300 meters to 4 ½ kilometers.
- Or how my breaks now consist of walking rather than lying on the ground gasping like a chain-smoking fish.
- Or how I don’t need that second coffee every day anymore.
- No, my brain keeps up a steady stream of complaints about how hard running is, how painful it is, how intensely unlikeable it is, how I feel like poo, how I feel like I’ve been dipped in lead, how I feel like the slug of the earth, how I feel like biggest failure in world history, how much I want to stop, how much I want to pluck out my sides and cast them from me, how much I want to collapse and sleep forever, and how much I hate everything that ever existed, most of all those athletic wear commercials featuring sexy runners smoothly and effortlessly conquering the pavement.
- Something about increased blood flow disables the filter between my brain and my mouth.
- My husband deserves to be sainted.