The First Two Miles

One needs to know me for about five minutes before they know without a doubt that I am not a morning person.

the elusive morning run

the rare and coveted morning run

Just a couple of days ago, Matt tried to wake me up in, let’s say, a very unsatisfactory and much too creative way. It didn’t go well. I did end up fully awake by the end of the encounter, which extended beyond thirty minutes, but I also maybe told him any of the following: “I JUST DON’T WANT TO SEE YOUR FACE RIGHT NOW!!! ARGH! I DON’T WANT TO BE IN THE SAME ROOM AS YOU. I WANT TO BE ON A DIFFERENT PLANET! YOU FUCKING SUCK SO SO SO MUCH!” I picked up my head to sneer and then flopped it dramatically on my pillow. I tried to punch him in the penis, which was not where it, ahem, should have been in the first place. I pulled the covers over my head and rolled around until I was wrapped up like the tightest little burrito in the freezer bag. I was, we could venture to say, not ready to wake up yet.

I’ve learned plenty about myself over the last few years. I like to think that I was pretty self-aware before I met Matt, but the truth is that you don’t know a lot about yourself until you are living with another person. Matt, most days, wakes up and begins his day immediately. I, on the other hand, need Time. The alarm clock blares thirty minutes before I need to get out of bed. I don’t talk (or think or eat or do anything) until I’ve finished my first cup of coffee, and sometimes even the second. If it’s a weekend, I read in bed for a bit. On a work day I tend to review my schedule and skim a few news sites for interesting info to incorporate into lessons.

I’m slow to warm up.

035

this is what you see at 6:30 a.m. in July

this is what you see at 6:30 a.m. in July

For me, this goes beyond mornings. It means knowing what is coming far in advance. It means accepting homesickness a full year after a move. It means the first two miles of any run will always be the hardest.

We’ve adapted at home to try to negotiate this. I keep a color-coded Google calendar and I’ve only totally messed it up once in three years. Matt does an admirable job keeping me updated (why, God, won’t he just use the Google calendar?!) on any changes in his plans. We meet during Sunday night dinner and The Simpsons to talk about the upcoming week and review our meal plan. Colby accepts gracefully when he asks a question that I answer with “I’ll get back to you on that, okay?”.

It also means that I need to learn some new skills, as in, How to Deal When Something Comes Up and You Want to Totally Lose Your Shit.

Because life happens whether I’ve put it in the schedule or not. Games get canceled, plans change, kids come home sick and boy, there is nothing like a last-minute assembly and/or fire drill and/or lock down at work.

When I begin my runs, I start slow. I walk for a bit, jog for a bit, and hit my pace when I’m ready. If I’m training I reign those times in, but the setup stays the same. By the time my first two miles are over I feel like going another two. This is why the 13.1 is my favorite distance.

Two things have come from this realization:

1. I’ve been consistently running two milers. I figured if those were the hardest miles, those were the miles I needed to work on.

2. I’ve translated some warm-up activities into my life that help me deal with the unexpected.

  • I plan out my whole school year before it begins. I mark all scheduled holidays, teacher in-service days and the estimated weeks/months where testing shows up. I still won’t know a lot (field trips, sports games, flu season, pep rallies), but I’ve accounted for everything I can. I know what units come when with ?# assignments per unit. Two miles.
  • If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I begin and complete one short task: clear dishwasher, sweep, fold laundry, etc. Voila! I’ve accomplished something. Two miles.
it was hot - but LOOK at THAT sky - I would trade in 5 full January's for a morning like that

it was hot – but LOOK at THAT sky – I would trade in 5 full Januarys for a morning like that

I’m working on those two miles, friends. I enjoy the warm-up, whether it is the first two miles of a run or the first two hours of a Tuesday, but it would be so nice to enter fully into everything just a little bit sooner.

xoxo

 

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