Awwww …


My mom found this little guy in her yard today. Isn’t he cute? He’s one of two baby mockingbirds hanging out on her lawn. She says the mama bird is sticking around and keeping a watchful eye on them.

I didn’t wander out to my yard today. Too hot, so I’ve been trying to spend as much time in the a/c as possible.

I won’t get away with that much longer, what with my marathon training under way, but Sunday is an off day, so I’m enjoying it while I can. The Fleet Feet crew is supposed to run three or four miles tomorrow evening — probably the loop around LaFortune Park — but I’m on a church committee that’s meeting right after work, so I’ll miss the run. Guess I’ll get up early and hit the treadmill at the gym before work to make up the miles.

Tuesday night is speedwork at TU. That was my least favorite part of last year’s marathon training, and I skipped it as often as possible. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate running laps in the heat. I know it’s good training, and I probably should have pushed myself a little harder last year, but it’s so hard to convince myself that speedwork is worth the effort when I never run for the clock in a race. I enter races for two reasons:

1. Free T-shirt.
2. Racing bibs make cool wallpaper border for my office.

I hate the border in here. It’s pretty, but it’s way too dark for a room this small and way too Wal-Mart-trying-to-pass-for-Laura-Ashley for my tastes.
Granted, in the time it takes me to finish a marathon, I could probably repaint this tiny office and replace the wallpaper border with something cool, such as this, but it really cracks me up to look up at my bibs and think that I — the poster girl for lame excuses during P.E. class — grew up to cross umpteen finish lines.

My P.E. teachers would be floored if they could see me now.

Or maybe they wouldn’t.

After all, the only time I didn’t limp into the gym or plead cramps to get out of participating in class was when we were running. I wasn’t coordinated enough to hit a softball, make a basket, or serve a volleyball, and I saw no reason to subject myself to the ridicule that inevitably followed every attempt I made at those sorts of activities. But running? That I could handle.

The boys still made fun of me, even when we ran (I was a skinny kid, and there is nothing flattering about P.E. shorts, so of course they called me “chicken legs” and all sorts of other epithets), but it was easier to ignore them when I was a full lap ahead of my nearest detractor on those mile tests.

So, y’know, maybe my distance-running habit wouldn’t surprise my teachers after all. But it still surprises me. It surprises me that I finally had the gumption to stop pouting over something some obnoxious teenage boy said 15 years ago, pull on a pair of running shorts, and run for the sheer joy of it, without whining, limping, or faking cramps.

Let those rotten boys laugh. I know what a cold jug of Gatorade tastes like after 26.2 miles. Do they?