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It’s so hot.  Sooooo hot. It’s the kind of hot where you sweat when you step out of the shower, which makes me believe that showering may be a waste of time.  And, it’s only June.  It’ so hot that I considered joining a pool, something I didn’t think I would need to do until our kids become walking age.  But it’s so damn hot.  So, I searched online. 

I’m not a water person.  I’m not an outdoor person.  Have you seen my picture?  This ginger isn’t so attractive after a day at the pool or at the beach or a few minutes in a Walmart parking lot.  I’m convinced that every Walmart is a gateway to Hell.  I burn faster within a five-mile radius.  Give me ten minutes outside with out sunscreen and prepare to nurse my blisters the rest of the day.  Of course, if I’m going to be out – let’s say at the Farmer’s Market (because that makes me sound trendy when I really should be saying “the line for giant corn dogs at the state fair”) – I will slather on sunscreen.  And I don’t care what people say about the number on the bottle.  If one reads “80” and the other “25”, I’m buying the “80”.  I’ll give it a chance.  I wear hats, sunglasses and make sure to reapply sunscreen if I’m out for the long-haul.  I do this so that I don’t end up in an oatmeal bath or need to wear The Hubbs’ baggy clothes for a week or need to change my personal theme song to “Rock Lobster.” Imagine my glee when I found an indoor public pool. The heavens are listening! I’ll admit that “public” can sometimes mean “Hey, come swim with that homeless guy who hangs out under the 540 bridge while he takes his monthly bath.”  But this place is pretty swanky.  Well, it looks swanky from the pictures online.  I haven’t actually been to the facilities to check them out.  However, from the online info, it seems that I can take water aerobics in the mornings.  Hello!  I can swim with a bunch of grandmas and be the best looking one there.  Take that, golden girls.

Finding a pool meant I had to find a bathing suit.  Can I point out that just because I would rather have a suit with a skirt because of some “issue areas” doesn’t mean that I want to look like a two-year old with a frilly bottom.  And nevermind trying to find a maternity suit (yes, maternity – there’s a baby in there, so they tell me) that provides my lower half with some decent coverage.  Oh, and one that provides ample support up top?  I don’t want to accidentally practice nursing on the guy that isn’t looking where he’s swimming.

I just want to get some exercise.  And get out of this heat.  And do it some what fashionably.  And beat those grandmas at their own game.

How long until fall?

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I survived.  I ran a race and survived.  We ran the Governor’s Cup in Columbia, SC last weekend.  This is my first race, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Ex: Make sure you’re not in the middle of re-tying your shoes when the whole thing starts.  People will run you over.  I ran my fastest half mile in the very beginning of the race just because I felt like I was being chased.  The more avid runners and pros ran the half marathon (13.1 miles) and we ran the 8K (5 miles).  I was so impressed with the mix of people who were in both races.  Young, old, men, women.  Okay, so I don’t think I saw any larger people running the half marathon, but there were people running the 8K that didn’t look like  your average runner – myself included.  I’m proud of that.  You don’t have to be a lean machine in order to get out there and push yourself.  And I PUSHED.  Some people may not realize this, but Columbia has some hills.  And, I will admit that I did stop and walk a couple of times and there were moments while I was running that walkers passed me.  Not the fastest in the world.  In fact, when I crossed the finish line a lovely volunteer handed me a medal for the half marathon and I had to give it back to him and explain that I’m just really slow, that I’m actually part of the 8K race that should have finished about a half hour ago.  Thanks.  I didn’t even care that he was laughing in my face because I was shoving half marathoners (come to find out, they’re very light) out of my way to get to the water table.  YOU have cramps?  Move it!  I don’t care if you need a banana to save your life.  I’ve got cotton-mouth.  I need to hydrate, dammit! 

 

race 1

My awesome running buddies.  Well, the ladies were much better runners than I and they sped off to run at their own paces.  That was fine because batman, I mean The Hubbs, stayed with me and ran at a much slower pace than he would have liked until the very end when he sped up a hill and crossed the finish line to go and run like a gazelle back to the car to get the camera and take pictures of me crossing the line.  The Hubbs.  What a guy. 

 

race 2

Here we are after the race.  The lady in white is a great friend and mother of one of my best friends.  Yes, MOTHER.  And, she finished way ahead of me.  Kudos, Jane.

 

This past Thursday, the 17th, I turned 27.  Twenty-seven.  TWENTY-7.   I’m okay with that.  Really.  I’m fine with being three years from 30.  Peachy.  Honestly, I’m not worried about my outward appearance.  I have looked like this since I was 13.  I am used to it.  I am, however, wondering more and more about what I’ve accomplished in my almost 30 years as a human being who takes up space and leaves more than just a carbon footprint.  Here’s my list of things, “things” being very general and encompassing whatever I want:

  1. I kind of taught myself how to crochet from a YouTube video.  Kind of.
  2. I made a comeback as an average ability ice skater last winter.  The rink was very cold and full of bored teenagers.
  3. I am planning my first grown-up garage sale.  And, I’m truly excited about it.
  4. I got married.
  5. I traveled out of the country on our honeymoon, if you count Victoria, BC as out of the country and why wouldn’t you?
  6. I now file important papers like tax information because if I don’t The Hubbs may try to stick my face in the paper shredder.
  7. We got a paper shredder.
  8. I made big-girl decisions like quitting my job in order to be a happy person.
  9. I changed my name in order to reflect the The Hubbs’ possession of me.  For all you scoffers out there, I think he got the short end of the stick on this one, so don’t have a hissy.
  10.  I decided to get over my fear of my own rear in tight running shorts.  It is now everyone else’s problem.
  11. I graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and survived the grimacing faces of others who wondered how I was going to support myself on a humanitarian degree.  Hello!  See No. 4.  I also got a degree in This Is How You Gain 20 Pounds, This is How You Waste The 50 Bucks Your Grandma Sent You, and How To Invite Homeless People To Sleep In Your Car.  I am very educated.
  12. I already reached the stage of lactose-intolerance.  Whew, glad I’m not one of those ladies waiting a lifetime.
  13. I am willing to admit that I only watch the Baby Story episodes that highlight cute couples.  Is that wrong?
  14. I am doing my part to clog the internet highway with my ramblings and status updates via WordPress and Facebook.  Not ashamed, I tell you!
  15. I have written plays, stories, fiction and nonfiction.  I prefer fiction.  I like to make things up, is what I’m saying.  Unicorns are real!
  16. I was once in a pageant.  In high school.  I won the title of Ms. Senior.  Maybe I can reclaim the title once I’m over 50.
  17. I once waxed my own bikini line.  Never. Again.
  18. I now understand what a “deductible” is.
  19. In response to the overwhelming news coverage of “The Recession”, I asked The Hubbs why the government couldn’t just print more money.  Somebody had to ask, okay? 
  20. I am in a long-standing non-lesbian-esque love affair with Joan Cusack.  So, that sounds weird.  I love her in a non-restraining order kind of way, a non-sexual way.  I think she’s pretty great.  I also like slipcovers.

I think I have pretty good ideas.  Most of the time my ideas rock, in fact.  Like, adopting a dog –  Destro is my child, quitting my job to stay home and write – SCORE because the commute is quick, and turkey kielbasa is a fine substitute for beef – that’s right BIRD is the word.   So, when I decided to run in an 8K (5 mile) race in November, my streak of righteous ideas was apparently over.  Note: I am making The Hubbs run with me.

This all started while I was on the treadmill at the gym.  I was finishing up my 30 minute run when suddenly I was transformed into an athlete.  I didn’t want to stop running.  I wanted to run for as long as I could. I imagined that I was a long-distance runner in the summer Olympics with packets of liquid carbs tucked in my sports bra.  I was long and lean and running toward the finish line of a marathon.  I lasted for five additional minutes. 

I’m just not meant to be a runner.  Seriously.  I am not aerodynamic.  I am not tall with long springy legs and I turn bright red after five minutes of cardio, which can be scary to those that don’t know I’m not having a heart attack.  Oh, and I hate being sweaty.  But, there’s something about making the decision to run a race in November that was satisfying and exhilarating.  I guess it’s the idea of doing something I never thought I would do.  I never thought running could be a part of my routine.  No one would believe me if I told them I was going to run five miles.  Then there’s the whole running in public, being sweaty and jiggly in front of other people – hundreds of people.  Plus, I will probably be bringing up the rear (in more ways than one *wink*) in the race.  The proverbial tortoise.  Do you get a prize for finishing last? 

And, what does one wear when running this distance?  I cannot wear those itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny running shorts.  No thank you, ma’am.  My thighs will thank me to stay away from those.  I will stick with, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, my tight black knee length running shorts. BTdub: I have gotten more than one unsolicited compliment on my shorts by random  gentlemen, so they MUST be flattering (Aunt Louise, “BTdub” is short for “BTW”, which means “By The Way” – loves!  Thanks for reading).  Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll make it to November.  Holes in my shorts might come off as a bit tacky.  And I do NOT do tacky.  Maybe I’ll go with the calf-length pant, but then there’s the issue of undergarments.  Honey, do not tell me to go commando.  I do not appreciate the appearance.  I also do not appreciate the wedgies I get wearing regular undies while running.  What’s my happy medium?  And, could someone run next to me carrying a bottle of water and a sweat rag? And a mascara wand for touch-ups?

Right.  So, I’ve already paid the forty dollars to register The Hubbs and me for this race.  There’s no going back.  It’s kind of like the marriage license.  That cost forty dollars, too.

I need to detox.  I need for someone to chain me down and force clear liquids into my mouth for approximately 3 days.  I need chicken broth and water.  I need an all liquid diet.  I need to flush out my system and start all over.  I need to go to the gym and take that hellish cycling class I hear everyone groaning about.  The one where at the end of the class the riders peel themselves off their sweaty seats and walk their jelly bow-legged selves to the showers – immediately.  I need to sweat the weekend out of my pores.  I need to eat only natural, organic fruits and vegetables and nuts for the rest of the week.  I need a mud bath.  I need a stomach virus.  I am almost prepared to say that I need to do a colon-cleanse, which, reminds me of a classic dinner scene in the Nutty Professor.  His mother mentions getting her colon cleansed and the table shakes as the Professor’s father and brothers release their gases in response.  Oh, Eddie Murphy, you’re a gem.

I need all of this because I made and ate The Hubbs’ birthday cake.  I should say that I made him a brick of sugar for his birthday and then I set it on fire and then we attacked it with ferocity.  As I ate said cake, I could feel my teeth dying.  I could feel the plaque in my arteries strangling my blood flow.  If I am not now suffering from diabetes, it will be a God send.  My body is screaming at me.  It’s pissed.  So much for those 4 miles I ran on Thursday.  I am back at square one staring at my fingers and wondering how they move.  Tomorrow, I will figure out how to walk again.

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© Alissa C. Miles and "And So They Did...", 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material including pictures from posts and/or other pages without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alissa C. Miles and "And So They Did..." with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Basically, don't steal my stuff. Thanks. -A.

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