I went out this morning and bought a new pair of shoes. The most expensive shoes I have EVER purchased, this pair is a new set of running shoes with which I intend to run a 5k next month.

I am not a runner. In fact, running has always caused me problems. I recall once in junior high running around the track behind the school, trying to run 1 mile in less than 15 minutes so I could waive my physical education class and instead take some other elective (probably a music or language class, or possibly seminary). I recall very distinctly feeling like puking the whole way around the track, all 4 times. I vividly recall the stitch in my side, the pain of my shin splints, and the way I fell to the ground at the completion of my mile, sure I was about to vomit, or at least pass out. I did manage to do that mile in 15 minutes (which got me a C and allowed me to waive the PE class and take whatever elective I was trying to make room for) but I knew that day that running was NOT my thing.

Fast forward 15 or so years, and a friend managed to make running sound like a good idea. Convinced me that the program, Couch to 5k, run on my iPhone, would make running a 5k doable. (She convinced me of this during a session of yoga, where I was unnaturally relaxed and therefore more gullible than usual.) So I forked over $2 and downloaded the app to my phone. That was 2 weeks ago.

Today, I went and dropped $106 on shoes, and then another $35 on shorts and a running top. I’m in the market for a good running water bottle solution. I bought a $20 armband for my iPhone. I’ve registered for the Boise Race for the Cure 5k next month (May 12th) and forked over $25 for registration, as well as another $15 for a shirt to match my team (Team Buffy). I’m into this now about $200, so it’s too late to back out.

I’ve run/walked 6 times now, going between 2.1 and 2.4 miles each time. Sometimes I go by myself, but usually I go with a friend or two. Sometimes I bring the dog (this is the only real exercise she’s ever gotten in her almost 1.5 year life) and sometimes I take the kids to a park to play while I run circles around them. Generally, I’m just getting out there and doing it.

And now I have these fancy new shoes. Shoes that were chosen because of the way they fit, not because of the color or the price. I didn’t even know how much I would be spending until I stood at the checkout counter and handed over the cash. Thank goodness it wasn’t as much as I had anticipated!

Right now, I’m supposed to be running. I was supposed to meet a friend at the park, with the kids, to run this afternoon. The weather is iffy, and it looks like it might rain, but it didn’t. But I’m not there. And that, of course, is thanks to the kids.

Sometimes I think that I can take them places. Sometimes I think I can do things with them, and we can go places and have fun, and it will be like we are a normal happy-ish family. Like we generally like each other, and get along. But usually I’m not that stupid. Yesterday was a wonderful example of why I just don’t take my children places. I took the kids with me to go running. We went to an elementary school – nice playground, good running track, and friends (for them and for me). The ride there was unpleasant (lots of complaining about how LONG it was taking (really kids??? Your ride to/from school is 3 times this long and you whine about THIS???) to get there) but bearable. The kids had a great time playing, and I had a great run with a few friends. But the ride home, well, that was another story entirely.

Erica picked a bad place to sit in the car. I knew that, as soon as I got in the car and saw where she was, sitting between Isaac and Cambria in the middle seat when she could have had the back to herself. Why? Who knows. I suggested she change seats. Not interested. But already teary, because “everyone is mad at me for no reason” – apparently, she had stepped on Isaac on her way in to the car, and then sat on Cambria’s seat buckle. Again, I asked if she wanted to move to the back. Still not interested.

Okay – fine – off we go. Heading home. And then the fighting starts. She’s touching me, he’s looking at my book, nobody is being nice to me, I hate you, I hate this, why did we go, and suddenly they’re out of control and there are tears and lashing out and I lost it. Snapped at them all, told them to be quiet, that this was exactly why I didn’t ever take them to do fun things, and that I wasn’t taking kids who act like this to do fun things. To which 2 of the 3 began cheering about how they didn’t actually want to do anything fun anyway. Yay! We hate doing things like this anyway! My response was “no talking until we’re home.”

Quiet, the rest of the way, except for the shuffling of hitting and glaring coming from the back seat.

By the time we got home (10 minutes, 12 tops), Erica was in no state to be around the rest of the family. She was snappy and mean and rude, and storming around the house yelling at anyone and everyone, slamming doors, cupboards, whatever. And again, I lost it. Sent her off to bed an hour and a half early. Told her I was done with the attitude and if she couldn’t be kind or at least civil then I would see her in the morning.

It was a lovely night.

So today, my friends and I decided to try running at the park by my house. I was done being mad at the kids. Even thought maybe we could try again and it would be ok. Not like it’s a 10 minute drive, so there’s no time for fighting and whining and being horrid, right? We just get our shoes on, walk over there, they play, then we come home. Easy.


The fighting and horrid attitudes started even before we made it out the door. And by the time the kids were in the car (because, well, walking wasn’t going to work for some people…) and I was about to get in, 2 of the 3 were fighting and in tears (the third had already been told she was no longer invited due to her nasty attitude). So I scrapped it. It just isn’t worth it to me to try and make this work. Another night like last night? Not interested. Another night of me being mad at the kids again just isn’t what I’m interested in. So we didn’t go. And I called my friend to cancel.

So my running shoes are sitting on the floor next to me, sad and forlorn. Waiting to be used. My iPhone is on the bed in my running band. I’m sitting here in my workout clothes. And it’s just not meant to be. Maybe later. Maybe when my husband gets home, I will go. If it hasn’t started raining yet. Leave the grouches here, and go by myself.

It shouldn’t be this hard to go running. When I was a teenager, I thought shin splints and side cramps and nausea were the worst that could happen. I just wanted to do something hard. Something that I never thought I could do. To prove to myself that I can do hard things, because I stick with it. Because I work at it. And because I can learn to like something if I find the right way to do it. But mostly because I wanted to do something with my friends. Because, well, I have friends now, and that’s really a big deal to me.

Maybe another time will be better. And maybe now I’ll really believe myself when I think I shouldn’t try to take the kids with me when I go running (or anywhere, really). It’s not worth it.

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One Response to Running

  1. Heather says:

    Yay for you for breaking out and doing something different and hard. I ran in jr high and high school but I don’t run any more. Too hard on me now. I used to love it though and can say with running its worth the extra cash for good shoes. Without them you will hurt way more. One thought though, if you run the 5k and find you still hate running don’t feel bad if you quit. Not everyone is made to run and you shouldn’t feel you have to keep it up if you find it doesn’t work for you. Hopefully it will because its great exercise and can be fun with others. Let us know how the 5k goes! I’m sure you’ll do great!

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