Did I tell y'all that I was sick? No? Well...I was sick.
I got a nasty cold last Thursday, which, by Saturday night, had turned into a rattling cough, deep in my chest. As per usual, I chose to ignore this. Well, that's not entirely true, I tried to rest as much as possible, and indulged myself in a bottle of my beloved NyQuil. But it didn't stop me from going to see Elizabeth's play on Saturday night (though I spent most of the evening attempting to unwrap cough drops without making any rustling. Elizabeth was excellent, btw!), or going to stinking DISNEYLAND all day yesterday. I chose to ignore it and honestly, I was WAY better. Only woke up coughing once on Monday night.
So Tuesday morning, when I went with Jude to his first cross country team practice at stinking 7:00 am, I went prepared to run with the kids. I've been running regularly, and always run between 2 to 3 miles, so I thought "one mile with a bunch of 9-year olds? Easy!" Jude was so proud of me, he actually bragged "My mom's running with us. She can run THREE miles!"
After stretching, we set out on our short run around the neighborhood. Here's where things took an ugly turn. My friend, and fellow mom, Maureen, was chosen to lead the pack. "Maureen, you're the rabbit," the coach said. Well, Maureen is a damned strong runner, and was one hell of a rabbit. She took off with these kids so fast that they ended up running the mile in 9 minutes.
I, however, after about 3 blocks, started to gasp and wheeze like an asthmatic. My cough came back full force. It was sad. I thought I might just die. I eventually had to stop running and walk the rest of the way, FAR behind the pack of kids and my sweet son.
When I finally got back to school, about 6 or 7 minutes later, coughing and wheezing in defeat, I was just so embarrassed. Here I was, all pumped up and proud of my running, acting like I was some kind of athlete or something, and this other mom and a crowd of kids had laid waste to me.
I know this is stupid. Because I was not 100%. Everyone kept saying, "You look awful!" (not something any 50ish woman wants to hear at 7:00 am while wearing a warmup outfit that makes her look like a fat, middle-aged Emma Peel). And I truly didn't even think about how dumb it was to go running full-out right after being sick for a week. But I really didn't expect the pace to be so fast, I figured it was a first practice...a bunch of kids...I thought I'd just slowly jog with them and be fine. In fact, I kind of thought it would be a great way to start back after a week of not being able to run. It was just a mile, no biggie.
Oh, who am I kidding. I could probably never have kept up with Maureen if I HAD been 100% well. I am too slow. Well, actually, I probably would have kept up with her just out of stubbornness, but then been completely crippled afterwards. But the bottom line is that I failed. And I failed in front of Jude and all of his running pals. When I got there, people said he'd been a little worried about me, asking everyone where his mom was. When I got to him, I told him what had happened, and he seemed fine, that he understood. But when I told him that I had been afraid he'd be a little embarrassed by me, he admitted "Yeah, I guess I was a little." Sigh...
I'm supposed to run with them again on Thursday morning. I HAVE to do it. I can't fail him again, no matter how crummy I feel. Maybe I can manage to let them make me the rabbit - a considerably SLOOOOOWER rabbit. I'm going to have to run today, just to try to build a little endurance. I just can't let the kid down again. And to be truthful, I don't want to look like the oldest woman in the world.
In the immortal words of the Rolling Stones, "What a drag it is getting old."