1. Push a jog stroller 6 miles with a 4 year-old, alternating who "gets" to push every mile.
2. Run a 6 mile tempo run at 7:45 when my training schedule suggests a 9 minute/mile pace.
3. Finish the last 3 miles of an 8 mile run cut short at mile 5 by a trip to the emergency room.
Let me explain.
Denise and I were running through Cleveland Park last fall on one of her training runs. Despite it being a perfectly lovely morning, I had just lamented that running 3 more miles up McDaniel and back to our cars was currently my worst nightmare.
Earlier on our run, Denise had told me a story about a trail run she and her husband had done last year where she had fallen, tripping over a root. Before inquiring about her limbs or ankles or abrasions, the first thing he did was reach down and turn off her watch, thus ensuring accurate distance and time on her Garmin at the end of their run. This made me laugh.
Moments after the aforementioned lament, three ladies were chatting and walking towards us, leashes in their hands and dogs, therefore, not on leashes. Denise and I moved to the right of the paved trail to make room for them, with me falling in behind her to pass single-file. At almost this exact moment, the two frisky wet labs ceased running beside the path and cut directly to their right in front of Denise, running into her shins and sending her flying into the air. Arms and legs levitated, she landed solidly on her right arm and right hip. I landed solidly on top of her, but thanks to my cat-like reflexes was able to land a little like Spider-man, bracing myself on my toes and hands so as not to crush her.
For a split-second I thought to myself I must stop her watch! But then I got tickled, thinking these ladies would wonder why this move was so imperative and why I was laughing when my friend was clearly in distress. I settled for stopping my own watch.
Long story longer, the ladies were mortified and leashed their dogs immediately, Denise had a goose-egg on her elbow that demanded attention, and Joy rode in on her white horse to save the day and drive us to Denise's husband's office where she had an ex-ray. After shuffling cars back and forth and getting Denise's car to the office, I walked in and was relieved to find that her arm, in fact, was not broken. I was then allowed to be happy that our run, thankfully, was cut short.
I was happy that is until Denise said, and I quote, "My arm's not broken! Want to finish that last three miles?"
At first I laughed. And she laughed. And then she said "Really. Do you want to?"
I wanted to say no, I don't want to. I want to go get coffee, I want to go take a shower. But how do you say no to your dear friend and running partner who looks like the walking wounded, with her arm, hip, and leg bandaged and who still wants to finish 3 miles? You suck it up and say yes. That's what you do. And you think that any sort of notion that you have about yourself being hardcore and dedicated may have just gone out the window.