This morning I ran, came home, and changed into yoga pants and a hoodie sweatshirt. I stretched for about a millisecond, scarfed down some tea and a crumpet (yes, I eat crumpets: with jam), made breakfast, dressed my two daughters, got one of them ready for her preschool field trip to a local pumpkin patch, took them to school, came home, started grading papers and finishing my lecture for this afternoon’s class.
Half-way through my grading I realized we don’t have the chicken needed for tonights’ soup. So I ditch the grading, grab phone and wallet and jet to the nearby Whole Foods. (Kicking myself, thinking: If I’m going to buy non-Costco organic chicken, it had better at least be the most expensive chicken around!)
At checkout, I plunk my chicken, breakfast burrito, and apples down on the counter. The checkout woman says, “Gee, you look like a Professional Runner!”
Startled I look around for a professional runner, excited to meet him or her.
Clerk looks at me, smiling.
“Thanks!” I stammer, “Um, I kind of, well, I AM a professional runner! Yeah! I love running!” What was it that gave me away as an avid runner? The hair? The salt crusted on my temples? The raw chicken I was clutching? My formal attire? The way I was almost drooling while holding the burrito?
“I thought so!” Happy clerk realizes she’s not talking to a total space cadette/zombie, and continues, “I started running again about a month ago, but I’m having pain in my knee here, do you know why that might be happening? I think it’s….”
We then discuss some start-to-run from scratch ideas, and walk out of Whole Paycheck clutching my chicken, shoving burrito in my mouth, thinking, “Holy cow! I’ve made it! My wild, salty hair, running hoodie and random food items have convinced the population I’m a “real” Professional Runner! Score!”
While this was a hilarious highlight to my morning, it’s kind of true: I’m finding consistency once again, my running has transitioned to training, meaning it’s become more ritual and regular, my mileage has been steadily increasing, and I’ve actually put some races on my “For Real” race calendar this winter and next spring. I’m tired, sore, and couldn’t be happier about this process!
More on training from your local (and recognizable!) Professional Runner coming soon! (Just as soon as I can stop myself from giggling long enough to finish my burrito.)