I think the running group has made a final decision on this weekends run; there are two options available. There's going to be a Saturday morning running of the blue line and a mixed terrain option for Sunday. We have volleyed no less than 40 e-mails back and forth before the final decision was made. I didn't see anything from Debi in the volley, so I could imagine she was dodging traffic, waiting for the plan to take shape. I think I'm going to join them for the blue line special. This may be just the ticket to wean me off my bad habit of running this masochistic race.
Thank Goodness my mid-week runs aren't this complicated; I run my five mile loop around the neighborhood or the treadmill, but today I had a blind date planned. This is one of the fringe benefits to being membership chairman of a running club. Before you start wondering what kind of trouble I'm getting into setting up blind running dates, let me tell you my ground rules: I don't do blind running dates with men...ever. I've found, anyway, that women are more apt to e-mail me with questions about the club. About a month ago I started getting e-mails from a woman named Selene. She's a newly married recent transplant from Las Vegas. She just discovered running again after a few year hiatus. She blamed Ohio's comfort food and the institution of marriage for adding a few pounds to her frame. The way she talked about her body, I envisioned a large-framed runner struggling to work up some distance. I loved her e-mails, though, they reminded me of the way Tony writes--very much the same kind of positive, always genuine, good natured blogger voice. In fact, they were so similar to post comments that Tony has written, I had a split moments notion that Tony was writing under the female moniker of Selene--just to freak me out!!
I've gotten several inquiries like this from women trying to find motivation to run or they are looking to hook up with other runners. I always encourage them to join my little group of supportive average paced running partners, but then they usually disappear or they cancel on me the last minute. Oh well. I try my best. I think most people just get busy or distracted by hectic lives to carry through on their fitness goals. It's easy to let other things take precedence, so I was surprised to see that Selene stayed true to her word and e-mailed upon her return to Ohio.
She's dying to meet other people to run with, so I invited her to run with me on my day off at Sand Run, even though this particular corridor is my hated nemesis--the 4 mile upward stretch of the Akron Road Runner Marathon, where I can only think of four letter cuss words to express myself, yet, it was familiar to her. Now...get this...Selene is a missionary. Did one of you e-mail her my e-mail address? Now the closest I've been to a missionary is in it's reference as the preferred sexual position for post 20 mile runs. I normally don't do well with the Bible thumpers due to a complicated religious upbringing; I told Selene I am not a religious person, but consider myself spiritual nonetheless and I tried to express to her what running means to me. Again, like Tony, she was accepting and positive.
I thought she might cancel for sure, since it was raining in the morning, so I shot her a quick e-mail, to remind her that I'm a hard-core running crazy that will run through most weather, including blizzards and rainstorms, and that I would see her at 9AM. I told her to look for the flaming red hair, redder than usual, since I indulged in some artificial enhancement for entertainment last night.
I stood by the Metro-Parks sign, in the odd position of looking for an unfamiliar person, looking for me. I saw Lu Ann from the running club; she was getting ready to belt out a five mile run on her day off. I've sat on the running club for two years and shared innumerable post club meeting drinks with Lu Ann and the President, but I have never run with LuAnn. I told her I was waiting for a potential club recruit. Soon enough a Land Rover pulled in. I half expected Tony, in drag, to crawl out, but a thin, pretty, smiling woman came rushing over and gave me a hug! She acted like she had known me a lifetime. I adore effusive woman, so I couldn't help but like her instantly. She was astounded that I would come out and meet her like this, yet I was astounded she followed through. She's a really neat person. She talked non-stop, which I love. She was not at all "heavy" like she intimated in her earlier e-mails, she looked like an in-shape runner. Women are so funny when they talk about their own bodies. So, the three of us ran my nemesis stretch, but it was a pleasure today. We covered topics ranging from the antioxidant properties of Acai berries to Zoloft. She's very interesting and glowingly positive and enthusiastic about running.
Our five mile run was over in a flash, it seemed; Selene went to her car where she actually had a bottle of Mona Vie Acai Blend juice stowed. She walked across the parking lot, this smiling happy missionary, carrying what looked like a bottle of fine Cabernet Sauvignon. She decanted what had the color of a nice red wine, but was frothy and oily and reminded me of purple ileostomy drainage. LuAnne and I drank down the fruited swill in little paper cups. It was actually pretty tasty. Selene used to be a wholesale distributor of the stuff, but has since stopped doing so since she didn't feel right about making money off this product, even though she wholeheartedly believes in the health benefits of it. I told her as a nurse and recovering over-the-top child of health food maniac, I prefer a simple approach to my health--that I try to get a simple balanced diet, take a good quality multi-vitamin, and take a high quality fish oil cap and most importantly; I run for goodness of body and peace of mind. This stuff is really expensive too, it would cost me at a minimum $100 a month to reap the antioxidant benefits of acai berries. I appreciated her knowledge of the product and might just buy one bottle of her magic elixir. I have heard and wondered about it.
On the drive home I thought how darned cool it was that running puts me into a position of meeting such different interesting people. Stuck in a go to work/home routine, you don't have the opportunity of meeting new people. Even if you do meet people, too often, our barriers are up and we don't reveal much about ourselves. There is nothing quite like the endorphin stimulation of a run to break down those barriers, enabling people to connect. Running is a grand connector.
She sent me an appreciative e-mail saying how she thinks I'm a good "encourager" of the running sport and that she appreciated my honesty which she labeled "transparency". She said this in a nice way, so I wasn't offended. I know too well that it's true. I blame my mother for that wretched quality. It makes me a dreadful bad liar, but you usually know where you stand with me. I tried racking my brain for the rude thing I must have said. Sheesh! She said she's going to come to our club meeting tonight and hear Jim and Kurt speak about their 100 mile race. I have a feeling she'll be there. She's one of those rare people that do what they say they're going to do and you've gotta love that!
And are you wondering if I gave this woman my blog address on the first date....no...I did not. What do you take me for? I'll wait at least until the second date for that. ;-)