Pre-Turkey Interval Run?

Last night I joined a group for a 5 mile interval workout entitled, “Pre-Turkey Day Run.”  Not knowing where exactly the group meet, I arrived late.  While trying to follow the GPS, I saw a bunch of runners (with blinking lights on their waistlines) on the sidewalk.   I sort of knew it was the group I would run with.  Like a bat from hell, I pulled over off a busy road into a shopping center.  I got out of my car and got soaked by two converging sprinklers while gazing into the dark trying to spot those blinking lights.

While heading towards the direction I thought the runners were headed, I got blocked by a red light off Biscayne Blvd, and saw eternity pass in one light.  Once it changed, I ran as fast as I could, “Lord, I have to catch up with this group.  I’ve come too far and through too much traffic to miss these folks.”  Did I mentioned it was my first time to meet with this group? I was worried it was a bad impression I would be making (CPT?), but I did call one of the gentlemen to alert them I was stuck in traffic.  I had a feeling they waited as long as they could for me.

To make a short story–that played as a long story in my mind–short, I ran as fast as I could until I saw a dim flickering light, and I gave that run all I could until I arrived at the corner where many lights blinked on about 7 standing stretching bodies.  While approaching the group I catch my breath in one good gulp of air (to appear cool), and quickly introduced myself.  I was welcomed, and next thing I knew, I was on the ground doing 10 pushups!

Okay, did I say I was joining a group for a 5 mile run?  Seems this group was a bit confused.  Or was I the one confused?  I did fine with the pushups and we headed to “the loop” in Aventura, Florida.  The instructor was a quick and nimble woman, a coach of a local school, and one who encourages and helps teachers stay fit.  I wondered if they are as open to the idea of self-care as most nurses are… ?

Getting back to the run.  Well, I tried to keep up with the lead instructor’s pace and was doing a decent job (maybe) at the beginning, but the 30/20/10 seconds run slow/moderate/fast pace intervals burned me out to a char!  I soon fell behind the group with my tongue dragging on the pavement.  Luckily there are some water fountains out on “the loop,” but by the time the group stopped and I finally reach the back of the line, it was time to run again.  So I’d take a quick sip on parched lips and try keep my sweat-drenched eyes on the last blinking light.

Hoping to get some encouragement, I called a friend to tell him “these folks were trying to kill me.”  Well, I think I was really calling him so he’d know where to send a darn ambulance.  This so called friend of mine laughed at me.   I hung up on him and kept my eyes on the last blinking light.

I cant tell you the exact location of “the loop,” because for a good 2 miles or so, my journey and destination was keeping up with a blinking (caution) light on one of the runner’s waistline. But I did not give up.  And I got a second wind (of a lesser kind) the last half mile or so,  and was able to keep up with the hind portion of the group.

 OYE!   I completed my run and in the end appreciated the fellowship of running with a group.  Group runs is of great benefit.  Among some of these benefits, you get to meet people of similar health/fitness interest; you get encouragement along the way, which is great when your tank is low; you might even hear someone say (even a stranger at first), “You can do it!  I wont leave you.”  Thanks you Dania!!!   In the end I felt good to have gotten out there, even at night–and against all odds of meeting with the group–to burn a few pre-Thanksgiving meal calories during interval runs.  I can hear my waistline singing, “Halleluiah!”