We arrived at the rec centre last night pretty excited to get started. The first clue was seeing the long, tall, stick thin girls standing nearby. All wearing reflective running tights, matching running jackets, trendy caps on their perfectly coiffed pony tails and laughing.
The itsy bitsy instructor arrives and welcomes us into the space. Its too late to run out screaming. I keeping saying to the little bloom “where are the people that have sat on their couch too long?” but she shushed me and we began the class.
20 minutes in and we’ve stretched every muscle imaginable, I am breathless but ok. Then Itsy Bitsy announces, “ok everyone, lets head out for a run”. Huh? What? All the runners assemble at the front and off they go like a shot, “we’ll do a 2-1 tonight, run for 2 minutes, walk for 1”. Everyone slips on their headlights and run off like a pack of gazelles. The headlamp I grabbed had a defect I discovered, so only one side of the straps connected. While fumbling out the door I stepped on one of the elite runners, apologizing profusely to her she simply gave me a sympathetic nod. So I grabbed the elastic cord and tied it in a big knot and slammed it on my head, looking in the reflection before I headed out and I realized I looked just like Gary Busey.
Undaunted I got out the door, with my deranged headlamp and can only see the rest of the team from a distance. A second instructor emerges and says “I am the designate end of the pack runner, I’ll be with you”. She flips out her phone, hits the button and says ‘now run for TWO MINUTES”. Still in shock that it is pitch black outside and the demented headlight barely casts a light I start running to catch up to the elite runners. As I am running the sweet instructor beside me says “is this your first time running?” “CAN YOU TELL?” I breathlessly snort out.
She laughs and Little Bloom barely misses smashing into a gigantic black boulder jutting out of nowhere. Its been raining so there are big puddles, the leaves are almost off the trees and they make sweet little skating rinks if you happen to step on one. I cannot see the puddles and end up plopping right into the middle of them. Sweet instructor beside me keeps up a running dialog, I can’t even answer her. I try and see what street we’re running on because if anyone I know lives there, I want to slip into their garage and wait out this run from hell.
Ten minutes one direction, Little Bloom is slightly ahead of me and the elite pack are so far ahead I can only see their reflective stripes. Then we turn around and run back, my body is in shock and I can only process the command run or walk. Miraculously we get back to the rec centre, I am looking for a stretcher and oxygen, all the other runners have been back for so long they’re had drinks of water and are checking their phone for messages. We straggle in and finish up with 20 minutes of squats and planks. To be continued.