Can't you see me channeling my inner runner all the way down there?
And don't laugh ... but it helped. Maybe not the pyramid, per se,but the weekend that surrounded it. It was the Great 40th Celebration of 2010 with the girls back home - an epic event a year in the making. Somehow we got the whole group (minus my running pal Erin) to Capitola - a little beach town down the road from Santa Cruz - for a weekend of fun. I was on week 3 of my tendonitis recovery - which meant I was doing very little running but a large amount of whining.
But it all stopped quickly that weekend. Here's why. You see, everyone in my group of friends has a role. Perhaps it's an unspoken role, but we all kinda know what they are. A few examples:
Lynette's role is to always know where the nearest camera is:
Val is our comic relief. And she cooks a mean carne asada:
Red is everyone's biggest cheerleader, no matter what we're taking on:
Ah, don't be fooled by Kerry's love of poles. Kerry is the Chairperson of the Board. The Big Kahuna. Ms. I Will Kick Your Ass If You Lack Common Sense.
I'll back up. When I so humbly and quietly let my injury be known via Facebook, Twitter and my blog, I heard from plenty of my friends, running and non. But of them? Kerry has known me the longest and she and I share many personality traits. So it should have come as no surprise that as I laced my Vomeros on a very tender and pained left foot to force a long run one Saturday, Kerry - much like a superhero who suddenly senses evildoing elsewhere in the universe - called my cell as my hand was on the front door of my apartment.
"I hope you're not running on that foot," she said sternly. "At this point, you need to just worry about getting to the starting line in one piece and Gal, you won't get there at ALL if you don't rest."
"I know, I know," I huffed, secretly plotting that as soon as our call ended I would tiptoe out of the house and to the park. Like she'd know. She was 2500 miles away.
But the more Kerry talked, the more I listened. After all, this was no couch potato dispensing advice. Kerry is a triathlete, a boot-camper and has a mean set of abs on her flat stomach. If nothing else, I needed to respect the Washboard.
She laid down the rules. When I got to Capitola the next weekend, maybe - maybe - she would allow me to do a slow, short run. But I needed to be honest to myself over the coming days. If I was, I'd see improvement.
So I did. Despite the fact that I wanted to cry every time a jogger passed me on the sidewalk, I didn't run. Despite the fact that I felt pounds creeping onto my hips and ass every morning, I didn't run. Despite the fact that I became a cranky bitch and took it out on Mike, I didn't run. (Sorry, Mike - it was all in the name of recovery)
So on Saturday morning, I quietly climbed down from the bunk beds:
Don't laugh, they were AWESOME.
I slipped on the Vomeros, and went out to this:
I ran along the coast, each mile getting faster than the previous. As I rounded back to the house, I was flying, passing early risers taking their dogs for a stroll and surfers on their way to the beach, all who nodded "good morning." I was happy, I was fast and I was ... pain-free.
That afternoon, a few of us hit the beach and after a few bottles of wine, it was somehow a good idea to build a pyramid on the sand. Aileen and Lynette were cheerleaders in high school and slipped right back into their roles as they organized who would be where. Aileen scampered up on top and gave a victory stance as if we had just held a pep rally in the cafeteria yesterday.
And down there on the bottom, Kerry's knee in my back, acutely aware that other people on the beach around us were taking video that would be uploaded to YouTube to be seen around the world, I realized that if I just stopped thinking about the stuff that caused me pain, eventually it might get frustrated by not getting my attention ... and just leave.
I laughed so hard that weekend that I had no time to obsess about missing a long run or if I was eating the right carbs. It simply didn't matter.
And that night, I even put on my 4-inch heels so the girls and I could whoop it up at a nearby club.
The following Saturday, I laced up my Vomeros and hit the park with Babs for 9 miles. 9 beautiful, pain-free miles.