See, I knew the scale would be back up, even after I ran 4 miles last night and ate zucchini for my before-bed snack. The scale is a mystery wrapped in an enigma.
Sophie had soccer from 6 to 7 last night, and when I got home, my husband had the baby boy in bed already, so it was easy to get Sophie settled down with Dad and a movie. I had warned Mark at work that he'd have the kids that night because I was going out for a run. And so there were no excuses--it was a nice evening with temps in the mid 80s and a light wind.
And my Road ID bracelet came in yesterday, so I felt better about running outside. My husband gets the mail everyday and as he gave me the package with the ID bracelet inside he said "what's that?" I pulled out my black mesh wrist band and replied "Oh, it's a Road ID. You know, in case I get hit by a big truck on my run they'll know who to call." He just stood there with this look on his face, as I'm showing him the phone numbers engraved on the silver plate. Then he said, "I guess that makes sense. But be careful, okay?" It was really sweet and kind of cute.
Anyway, I tucked my cell phone in my sports bra, grabbed my water bottle and headed out at 7:30. I did the loop around the neighborhood first so I wouldn't have to make that "Left turn/Right turn" choice at the end of my run, and got a solid mile done in just over 10 minutes. I was flying! It felt great. The rest of the run wasn't as fast, which was fine. There are several inclines (not really hills, but there's some elevation) and they slowed me down. I cut 2 minutes off my 4 mile pace from the day before, finishing in 48:10. No sunshine, lower temps, a water bottle, and no side stitches helped a lot.
Running at night was a completely unique experience. I took my Shuffle and listened to the B side of my song selections. I noticed a lot of smells that I didn't on the daytime run--someone was smoking a pipe, the dryer sheet smell from a clothes dryer exhaust (I love that smell), a musky fallen-leaf smell on a tree-lined street. I noticed that the street I drive down every day is lined with street lights. I mean, I knew they were there, I guess, but they've never meant anything to me before since my car headlights outshine them. Last night they were beautiful--an amber glow that illuminated mile 2. There was a good stretch down the tree-lined boulevard that was nearly dark; it's a half-mile long with only 2 street lights. That was strange--running without seeing my legs or arms or more than a couple feet in front of me. It's flat asphalt so I wasn't worried about tripping on anything, which is perhaps a bit naive, and I'm sure once I fall on a tree limb I'll rethink this attitude. I ran through a spider web, which was creepy and I just prayed I didn't take the spider with me (I hate spiders). Car lights cast my shadow to make me look like a super model, all stretched out and lanky.
The last mile was tough. I can tell I'm still building endurance and that 4 miles is far from easy for me. But I didn't have a choice and had to keep running to get home. I felt like walking because I was tired but instead ran faster, wanting to beat my previous 4 mile time and frankly just to get it done.
When I got in the house, I was sweating and panting and so happy that I did it. I heard my son crying, though, because he hadn't gone to sleep while I was gone, and Dad was trying to rock him to sleep. Big mistake--DH doesn't know that once the boy's in bed he stays in bed and only gets pats on the back, his passy and a sippy cup of milk if he's fussy. So I took over and had the baby back in his bed and quiet in about 3 minutes. My daughter was still up and needed PJs, but DH took care of her while I changed out of my sweaty clothes.
After she was asleep, I thanked Mark for taking care of them that night. He said he was so proud of me, just in awe of what I am doing. That a year ago it was impossible to imagine me going out at night and running 4 miles. And it was impossible back then.
It surprises me still, that this is who I am now. It also excites me to imagine what next year holds.