The Loveliest Lap

Week 6: I did it! A whole lap around my neighborhood without stopping! Never mind that it’s only 2 of the 6 miles I’m supposed to run in 2 weeks; I conquered my subdivision! The weather was warm and conducive to speed, and though my back pockets were overflowing with snot laden tissues, I did not stop until I had completed my loop. My eyes stayed clear and my bottom stayed dry, either through dehydration, luck, learned mastery of fluid regulation, or divine pity on my soppy soul. In any case, I had fewer hardships to contend with and was successful in enduring through a full 2 miles. The worst obstacle I had to overcome was near the end of the first mile when I was dive bombed by some sort of flying insect. I wholly expected to swallow the little beast, an incident I figure is now overdue given the number of days I’ve been running outside. The instant journey down the gullet would have been more palatable than the critter’s chosen path onto my sunscreen plastered lower lip. He either was enamored with the flavor or became so embedded in the protective barrier that he was unable to free himself. I was not deterred and with a backside swipe of the hand (no time for tissues when bugs attack) he was gone and I never had to slow for a moment. His legacy was harder to erase and for the next quarter mile I continued to scrub the remainder of my sunscreen from my mouth and pronounced a few vulgarities in his honor, but managed to trudge onward without hesitation.

     After success in my lovely first lap, I paused and took a victory photo to commemorate the occasion. I was also in dire need of air, so I partook in my first walking break which I felt was duly earned. During the previous mile, I became acutely aware of the constricting forces of my new sports bra, which was competing with my lungs for control of my chest. It was the same size and brand that I usually buy, but it was made of a different material comprised mainly of nylon. The top portion was comfortable enough, but for unknown reasons the manufacturers replaced the standard elastic band at the base of the garment with an inflexible strip of concrete. This portion of the bra became increasingly restrictive as my breathing rate picked up, preventing my lungs from expanding sufficiently to breathe at a running pace. I found myself intermittently trying to relieve the pressure by physically lifting the bottom band upward and away from my chest so that I could manage a few sweet, unrestrained gulps of air. I survived my lap and did not let the belligerent article of clothing impede my stride, though once I finished the loop I gave in to a break to provide my lungs with some respite. While it is a pretty sports bra, it will no longer be accompanying me on my runs.
     Sunday was supposed to be my long run, so I ambled on for a second loop. I turned off my time tracking app, already content with the day’s achievements. I walked the entire third mile and part of the 4th, but jogged the last downhill portion and all the way back to my street. I was never fully able to regain the pace or effort of my first lap, largely because my lungs kept complaining about the overpowering, oppressive vice grip of my bra. Unlike my fluid control issues and my limited endurance which both take time and dedication to improve, my sports bra can be easily changed with the reasonable expectation of immediate results on the next run. Despite not really lasting for anything close to a “long” run, I am happy to see some definitive progress in my endurance and tolerance of the sport.
     Monday morning I headed out to do some more shopping, but not for anything to do with running. I was wearing last year’s size 12 pants and a large shirt, which I’d been continuing to wear despite the obvious abundant roominess present throughout. I wish I could take all the credit for my weight loss, but I received a significant jump start after my hysterectomy when I became seriously ill with C. Diff. Consider yourself fortunate if you never have to familiarize yourself with this nasty bacteria. For me, it took an infectious disease doc, IV fluids, and 2 months of treatment with 2 different antibiotics to treat, and I was one of the lucky ones who responded to treatment. Suffice it to say that the one remaining orifice that has not been problematic during my training runs so far provided me with ample running time throughout that ordeal.  Regardless, I have been diligent in my exercise routine and race day training, and have continued to improve my muscle to fat ratio while keeping the weight off. I have never enjoyed clothes shopping much before, because whatever would fit on top would infallibly be snug in all the wrong places below. Monday was different. I optimistically pulled some size 8 pants and medium skirts to try on, but the attendant laughed at me and further reduced my selected sizes to 6 and smalls. For the first time ever I fit into size 6 pants, and I didn’t have to wrestle them on and I could still breathe! I have NEVER been a size 6. I skipped sizes 6 and 8 in high school and went straight into the double digits. The size small dresses and skirts that the wonderful store staff member brought were still roomy and one skirt was traded in for an XS. I may go back tomorrow and the day after that, too. Just to try on things in small sizes and savor the downsizing of my posterior. My butt may hate running, but by running I have less of a butt to hate, which is even better!  I came home and tried to take my picture, but I couldn’t hold still.

Happiness in my new pants


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