Last week I read an article on RunnersWorld.com all about how the author as a new runner used his imagination to overcome the pain and difficulty inherent in his new running habit. He imagined himself in all sorts of interesting movie-like scenarios and it helped him to keep his mind from those dreaded, this-is-crazy-like thoughts. When I read the article all I could think was that I had to give that a try on my next long run.
This past weekend was a step back weekend in my training plan so it called for a 5 mile run. To me, that seemed like a perfect distance to put my new plan to work. I started my run with the usual 1 mile warm up then I went about conjuring up fantasies in my mind.
First, I tried to pretend I was Paula Radcliffe, the amazing British marathoner and mother of two. I imagined that I was running like a gazelle with intense focus down the sunny streets, but it wasn’t working for me. I am no Paula Radcliffe, but she is just close enough to me in reality that I couldn’t let go of my disbelief.
Next I imagined myself as Indiana Jones, grabbing the golden idol from the temple and running like hell away from all the booby traps set to kill any would be thieves.
Now with this fantasy I could easily suspend my disbelief. I mean, come on, when do I ever encounter golden idols, poison-tipped darts or super large boulders bearing down on me to squash me like a bug? My brain stayed connected to this little daydream for 5 minutes or so, but then where do you go from there? It was too close to the movie.
Then I had a great, dare I say brilliant, idea. I decided to become a secret agent for the rest of my run and no simple secret agent for me. I was to become Jane Bond, 006 (which just happens to be a slight improvement over 007). As a highly trained operative for MI-6, I immediately took stock of my weapons at hand: a magnetic microchip-sized bomb hidden in my interval timer that can be detonated remotely by pressing a button, razor sharp retractable knives that jut out of my running sneakers when activated, hidden poison darts that shoot out of the bottom of my pink, Cinderella water bottle, and my special sports bra (well, actually there was nothing special about that as this is a Bond movie, not Austin Powers).
I was now on high alert looking for the enemy and soon I saw her coming towards me disguised as a regular runner, but I knew different. As she approached I raised my water bottle as if to drink, but instead unleashed my poison darts dropping her to the ground in 2 seconds flat. Soon a cyclist was approaching and I slashed his tires with my Q-enhanced sneakers leaving him no way to catch this lightning fast runner. And that truck that passed containing the nuclear codes to every single nuclear warhead in the world, well I quickly threw my tiny magnetic bomb at the back and quietly blew the whole thing up about a quarter mile later. Ka-Boom! (Well, maybe it wasn’t so quiet.)
I took out the next few runners with my amazing martial arts skills and then realized I had another tactic in my arsenal that had not been used- the cheesy, sexual innuendo pick up lines that every evil female seems to fall for when 007 uses them. I began picturing Angelina Jolie in Salt and couldn’t wait to pass a male runner.
Luckily it took less than a mile to see a man running towards me. As he approached, I smiled and began my cheesy line in my head, but something funny happened. He looked at me in the most quizzical way and then broke out into a funny grin. He said, “Good morning” as did I and then kept moving along.
It was then that I realized that I had the biggest, probably goofiest, grin on my face. I was having so much fun with my little fantasy that I hadn’t realized just how happy or silly I must look in the middle of this hot, sweaty run. I laughed out loud and kept on going. I had about a ½ mile left until home and I couldn’t wait to take on my two little girls who undoubtedly had gone over to the dark side by now and would need to be tickled into submission.
So this is Bond, Jane Bond, signing off. If you see me on my next long run, I’m sure I’ll have more Q inspired ways to take you down!