Yep. That was me. You know, the girl with the iPod, singing loudly, playing a little air drum, and, in between, smiling like a lunatic.
I couldn't help myself. I was outside on a cool, clear sunny day, and on a run around a local lake - a course I haven't done since before I got pregnant with X almost two years ago.
I don't remember the last time I felt that good while running. Usually, I'm in pain. My foot. My hip flexor. My back. My side. My backside. Sometimes it hurts the entire time, and the only part that's great is when I'm done.
Maybe this run was so fantastic because I wasn't on the treadmill in my garage, alternating staring at the concrete walls with willing the mile readout on the screen to go faster, even if my body refuses to.
I breathed fresh air. I didn't have to worry when I turned off my music I'd hear X crying, awake from his nap and irate I wasn't getting him out of his crib. Immediately.
The path around the lake is nice because it's a good mix of flat, downhill and one long, gradual uphill. It's a pretty popular place.
I drive by it a lot. I see the runners, the walkers, the joggers pushing baby strollers, people out with their dogs.
And I always think I should be out there.
Yesterday, I decided it was time.
I put X down for his nap and bolted out of the house (David works from home, so you don't need to call the authorities. Besides, the dogs are there, and they're big and bark like maniacs if so much as a leaf drifts by). It's less than a 10-minute drive to the lake. I parked in my usual spot. Stretched for a couple minutes. What, do you have a stopwatch? Okay, okay, it was for like 30 seconds, because I despise stretching.
I stuck my ear buds in, turned on my iPod, and off I went.
I remembered why I love to run. Everything worked. You know that feeling? Sure, I had a twinge in my knee toward the end, but otherwise, I felt really strong. Which is not normal, believe me.
I wondered why I'm having such a tough time getting back into it with any kind of consistency.
Then I got home. Within five minutes, the baby was up. Fifteen minutes after that, it was time to pick up the kids from school. Then I had to make lunch. Take X outside to play in the sandbox. Nurse him. Put him back down for a nap. Play
There was my answer.
Five hours after I'd finished my run, I finally - finally! - got to take a shower.
Maybe tomorrow I'll even get to wash my hair.