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RhinoJune 15, 2004

I started running, what, almost a month ago? I had images of being little and light and skimming around Lake Merritt, barely a ruffle of the sweet scented breeze following in my wake. People would smile, babies would laugh, and old men would recall the days of their gloriously misspent youth. The rowboats on the water would lift their oars, and I’d wave back generously, running lightly on.

Oh, hay-ell, no.

Today was the worst day yet. I thumped like a geriatric rhino and probably wheezed like one, too. I turned beet-root red and dripped sweat. I never thought I would make it the three miles around, and that was with four little walking breaks. It was hot as hades (anything over 75 degrees to me is too hot) and I was miserable.

I have, however, learned what NOT to do the day before you run. Do NOT drink two and a half beers and a glass of port at your friends’ home the night before. And perhaps more importantly, do NOT eat a McDonald’s Number Two (two cheeseburgers, fries, and a Coke) two hours before running.

Ach. Speaking of twos, it did feel like I was two people out there – one had to heave the other one around, and the one heaving did not like it at all.

It’s my Monday, back to work in about an hour. Had a lovely garden (MdDonald’s) picnic with my friend Monica and baby Winter (pics tomorrow, perhaps). Did laundry. Obsessively checked the marathon webpage where the total has not changed since Thursday. Did not write. Have you noticed that? Haven’t written in almost a week. I will do absolutely anything sometimes to get out of writing, up to and including sign up for a damn marathon.

Lord. I like myself, sure. But sometimes I just wear myself out.

(I did have a lovely, lovely moment last night – I was early to the dinner party, so I drove down to Ocean Beach and just sat on the sand, directly in a bonfire’s smoky path, and watched the waves and the sun goin’ down. Just was. You grab a minute today, too, okay?)


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Yeah. When I started running I found out it wasn't all lightly dancing on my toes, loping along like a gazelle. I find my ease (because it has yet to be enjoyable) is directly related to the amount of water I have consumed. If I have been drinking, I hit the treadmill because it is so much easier than running outside (makes me think I am getting an equivalent workout)!

Regardless, keep it up! You are doing great!

ps. The McD's #2 is my favorite too! If you want to keep enjoying it guilt-free, skip the new movie "Super Size Me".

pps. I am the Allison L. who sponsored you. I have been away from a computer for a week so I wasn't able to send an e-mail. Good Luck!

Remember, some days are just harder than others. As long as you still go out there and do it, you're doing great! I ran today too! And it is damn hot! Oh yeah, one more thing, as you run more and get healthier, sometimes junk food will actually make you feel sick after you eat it! Going down, it's all good. But afterwards? Your body may just reject that hamburger!

Ooh, I could have warned you about the McD's. Greasy food of any sort makes exercise really difficult for me.

Sometimes the other side of that lake just seems so FAR, doesn't it? But I'm impressed that you just keep going anyway. I shall endeavor to be More Like Rachael. And not just when it comes to running--even though I'll likely be at work quite late tonight, I'm vowing right now to take a little time when I get home to go sit up on the roof and just Be.

Go Rachael, I really admire you for what you are doing. Some days will be harder than others, but you can do it. Just think of how great you will feel on that day in Hawaii when it is all over.
Thanks writing about the minute that you grabbed at the beach. I too live on the Pacific Ocean (Vancouver Island). I rarely go sit and enjoy the beach, more typically I am driving rushing off somewhere. This summer, I must remember to regularly go and relax, breath in the salt air.

Oh chica, I am *with you*! I did 2 miles this morning... was "aiming for" 3, but the phone rang! and I was so desperate that I picked it up, huffin' and puffin' in a most embarrasing manner. luckily it was my honey and thus, face was saved. :) I also attempted outdoor running a couple of days ago (I've been doing the treadmill). It is 95 degrees out, 95% humidity... I lasted approximately 6.5 minutes before trotting back home with my tail between my legs! Am thinking, I must confess, about the half-marathon... must see how things go over the next couple of months. I do have a running buddy now though, so yay! (And no less than 3 friends who laughed, which sucks, and I'm not thinking about that. No, not at all.) Anyways-- you are not alone, and you can do it, and you rock for it! (And you may have been puffing, but you *made it* that 3 miles, and that is a major step!)

OK...I just did a marathon through the blog entries that I missed. And I'm sweating! But I think that's more to do with the fact that it's already 80 degrees at 8 am and I have no AC. So good to catch up on your life. The table? Awesome. $1600? To be expected, because so many people love and support you. It will go up, I think they're more swamped than you think. I didn't get my receipt until a week later.

Oh my god. A geriatric rhino? I am HOWLING -- not AT you, dear, but because I'd be exactly the same. I'm one of those people who turns beet red at even the suggestion of exercise -- but my face gets really white around my mouth and eyes, so I look like the negative image of a clown. Boy, it was a good thing kids weren't cruel in gym class my whole life! No, wait...

Rhinos are powerful beasts. They look like they are just lumbering around out there, but challenge them, and Watch OUT! You have the Beautiful Beast in you...just don't feed it mickey dees for awhile. k?
No writing? What must I do? Come out there and remind you of our oath? I would except, well, I'm not writing either. Not sure why. I'm throwing down the gauntlet. Let me know when you pick it up. *hee.

Rachael, thank you yet again for making me laugh so hard that tea comes out my nose!

Excuse me while I go find a napkin to wipe off this poor monitor.

(Can monitors rust?)


Next time you're out there, just imagine all of us behind you, our hands at your back, supporting you and urging you gently on. You'll see. Soon 3 miles will seem like nothing.

I hear ya about turning 'beet-root red'!! I have really pale skin so any bit of activity turns my face red. Too much activity adds horrid white streaks across the red. In grade school my gym teachers would always ask me if I needed to go to the nurse!
Kudos on your running and marathon goal - it takes nads to start up jogging and join a marathon. Rach - you're my inspiration ;)

Count me in with the "beet-red" crowd! It's definitely embarrassing! Even when I'm at my peak physical condition, I look that way during exercise.

You are an inspiration, my dear!
At the behest of my children I've taken up bike riding again after a VERY long hiatus (a decade at least)
I've thought of you several times, saying to myself, "If Rachael can commit to run a whole marathon, I can do this..." It makes the huffing and puffing along on my bike just a bit easier!
Thanks for inspiring so many of us!

Oh, and about that dinner party, just think of it as "Having a few people over". It's much less intimidating than thinking of it as a "DINNER PARTY"

Oh dear! That's just brought back some BAD memories from my previous running days. Not the McDonalds - for me it was a seemingly innocent piece of lemon meringue pie! Who knew?! Well, I did after that mistake! Rock on, and RUN on, Rachael!

I get the same when running - red in the face. What's worse, my legs itch a nasty, hurty itch. That's why I don't run - it's *so* not attractive. The stitch in the side, too. Too much pain for me. All that makes your cause (& perseverance) even more admirable. Bless!

you are a better woman than me.

Oh yeah, and I get really red too. On one of the hotter days of one of the breast cancer walks, people kept asking me if I was ok because I was so flushed. And that was just walking!

I'm glad I came back to read this post again, b/c I realized that by the time I got home last night I had entirely forgotten about Just Being. Tonigh, I vow it will happen. In fact, I'm going to call my answering machine right now so I'm reminded when I get home. I wonder if being that organized about it make it counter-productive...

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