Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Running Like a Mother

I like the idea of running except when I’m actually doing it. When people say they love running, they’re lying. No one loves running. When you’re running you hate it. But then when you’re done with this particular kind of hell it’s such a relief you feel better. It’s true. That’s why I run, to feel better. Well, that, and it's cool to call yourself a runner.

I've called myself a runner for the last 14 years. Even though at times I'd only run a block and walked five. But since I had run, it technically kept me in the class of  runner. When I meet someone who is training for their next marathon, I casually say that I'm a runner too. I mention I've done a few races (I don't mention they were 14 years ago). And then I quickly change the subject. After a long hiatus of hardly running at all, I've picked it up again this last year. I don't run fast. I don't run far. But I subscribe to Runner's World. So, yeah, I'm a runner.

LaDonna got me running. LaDonna and I met 16 years ago when we were pregnant with our last babies. She was selling Watkins. I bought vanilla from her. LaDonna suggested that I sell Watkins too so that I could be a stay-at-home mom. I considered it for like three minutes. LaDonna kept after me for three months, calling me every day to remind me of the benefits of selling Watkins. I never did become a Watkins salesperson. But LaDonna and I became best friends.

We were both trying to get in shape and lose the baby fat we had picked up with each pregnancy. LaDonna had just started running and thought it would be a good thing for me to do too. I didn’t want to. Running reminded me of doing the 600-yard dash in phys ed. It made me nauseous just thinking about it. But LaDonna can be convincing. And persistent. She pointed out that running gave the best burn in the shortest amount of time. That was appealing. It's hard to get in any exercise when you have little kids.

We started running together several times a week, with LaDonna instructing me how not to clench my jaw and my fists. "Remember, hold your fingertips together like you're holding a potato chip."

When we had been running/shuffling for a full month, LaDonna said we should do a race. A month didn't seem like much training, but we had worked up to four miles. Actually only one time, but we were proud of ourselves. We were no longer just the frumpy moms with vans. We were athletes.

We were ready to compete. We thought. We found a race to do. And met our competition, an 87-year-old bungee jumper.

Next time: Nosing Out Ethel

LaDonna and me two years ago

LaDonna and I live over 2,000 miles apart now. But we're still best friends.
And we're running again. Pictures taken this year.


  1. I'm so proud of you! Now aren't you glad you listened to me?? ;) Love you!!

  2. Yes, I am, LaDonna. And thank you. It just took 16 years. Sorry, I'm not going to do the other things you've tried to talk me into. I'll be kind and won't mention them here. But we've had a lot of adventures. I'll have to start a new blog...