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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

ummm, you don't know me but...

I picked someone up at the gym today.

No, silly, not like that.

You see I had to run 10 miles today. I had no wiggle room on this as we are getting ready to be out of town for the next 3 full days when I will have no chance to do this almost 2 hour run, plus I need to rest my legs up for the mammoth 20 mile run (yikes! and yay!) this Saturday.

So today was my day. This GORGEOUS day- nearly 70 degrees, sunny, cloudless- I was headed to the gym because that is where the child care is. I was trying not to feel sorry for myself. I said to Sandi before she left for work, "Tell me one thing that will make me feel better about running inside on a treadmill today. Just one thing." (I rely on her heavily for this role in my life. She never disappoints.) But today she just kind of looked at me, searching her cerebral databank for some optimistic thought, clearly coming up empty.

"I know!" I said. "I will save my skin the sun exposure!"

"There you go," she said and gave me a somewhat pitiful look and a kiss and left for work.

I coudn't think too much about it. I felt like a bad mom for keeping my kids inside and a bad human being for using electricity to run inside. It just seemed so wrong.

I did okay for the first hour and then made a mental game of the next 30 minutes and as I was rounding mile 9 into 10 at about an hour and half I just wanted to get off that treadmill and gulp some fresh air. So I looked at the woman on the treadmill next to me, doing a walk/run thing and looking like she was working pretty hard, and after a minute's contemplation, pulled out my earbud and flagged her down.

"Can you run a mile?" I asked. Somewhat of an intimate gym question I suppose but I was kind of desperate.

"Yes," she answered, clearly wondering where this was going.

"Would you please run my last mile with me?" I asked/pleaded.


So there we were, two complete strangers pumping it out. I think it was as hard a mile for her as for me. When we were done I thanked her profusely as we wiped down our machines and she kind of seemed like she wanted to get away. No small talk, no introductions, no bonding over her sort of saving my ass.

I fear perhaps I am about to or already have crossed the line of appropriate personal boundaries and I am in danger of just sucking life like a parasite to propel myself forward. It's okay, I know who my friends are. That said, I won't be offended if you see me coming in my Brooks and my running shorts and take off in the opposite direction.

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