Monday, March 25, 2013

Sunday Best

I never know if I should call Sunday the first or last day of the week. It's kind of like aces - are they high or low? And do you have to determine before the day starts? Because it seems like that could be a game changer. Last day of the week implies a certain finality and adds pressure. "Oh, I'd better clean out the fridge because it's the last day of the week and the lettuce will sense it that I didn't use it three days ago like I planned and wilt if I don't make a salad right away." While treating it as the first day creates a fresh start, but a different kind of pressure. One that involves preparation like meal plans and making sure you have enough wine and clean underwear to get your family through the week.

Our Sundays always start off the same. Fighting to get Shooter into anything besides jeans or pajamas and heading off to church as a family. However unlike traditional observation of the day, ours is hardly one of rest.

Mr. T and I are currently both training for half-marathons, two weeks apart. This isn't an unusual occurrence - it's our third time trying to coordinate schedules, which typically isn't an issue except for our long Sunday runs when we can each be gone for a couple hours. During my first half-marathon cycle, I was the only one training and I had a regular running partner that I met at 7:30 on Saturday mornings. That was also my first winter running, when I was still all "Oh man, running is the best! I don't care that it's still dark and -17. This is incredible!" Also known as the period when my brain was too fuzzy from lack of sleep to accurately process how ridiculous it was. But I know better now. These days, I am not entirely sure the promise of cheap pinot grigio would lure me out of bed before the first light streaks across the sky . Therefore during the winter months, we do our long runs on Sunday after church.

In the past couple months, I've been running with a new partner. It's possible I'm a bit of a running hussy. Or as Mr. T so delicately put it: "You'll give it up to anyone who shows you any kind of running affection. Two gels and you'll fartlek with anyone." Touche.

Our challenge of late has been attending church, getting home in time for me to eat and drive the 20 minutes to my route to meet my partner and then get home in time for Mr. T to head out for his run, while still leaving enough time in the evening for important things like grocery shopping, end-of-the-week crantinis and the newest episode of Revenge. Oh, and feeding and bathing the children. Of course.

 Yesterday seemed to highlight the gong show delicate balancing act perfectly.

12:15: Still at church. Mr. T gives me a warning look to stop talking and get in the car.
12:35: Finally make it to the car and am greeted by the shrieks of an overenthusiastic three-year and nap-deprived (almost) one-year-old.
12:45:Nurse Duder with one arm and check the weather on my phone with the other hand to determine how many layers are needed.
1 p.m.: Feeding session completed. Commence frantic search for crops, tank top and two matching running socks in the clean laundry. Which doesn't sound so complicated if you ever bother to fold your clean laundry and don't have four baskets of it to go through. I wish I was exaggerating.

1:05: Abandon the hope of matching socks and grab any two that are not made of cotton and will wick away melting snow that seeps into my shoes.
1:10: Toss my hair in a messy ponytail, use my daughter's flowered clips to pin back my bangs and throw a packet of instant oatmeal into the microwave while trying to get dressed and gather the various accessories required, including Road ID, sunglasses and iPod in the two minutes in takes for the oatmeal to heat.
1:25: Climb into vehicle after kissing both kids and a husband goodbye
1:28: Put on Garmin Forerunner and shove bites of banana into my mouth at first red light while keeping one hand on the wheel and trying not to forget to keep one foot on the brake.
1:34: Stuck at another red light waiting for a train. Take the opportunity to inhale container of oatmeal and craisins I brought along.
1:37: Still waiting for the train. Earwarmer, chapstick, hand lotion and a quick swig of water from my fuel belt to wash down the oatmeal caught in my throat. Say a silent prayer of thanks I had the foresight to apply Body Glide for inner thigh chafing before I left the house.
1:41: Curse the train and text running partner to let her know I'm running late.
1:49: Made it! Begin 16k run and bemoan sore hip flexors five minutes into it.

I have considered the various scenarios that would make this entire process less of a hassle. But those would require a modicum of effective time management which I no longer include under the "Organizational Skills" section of my resume for this exact reason. One day I will learn to prepare ahead of time. One day Mr. T and I will be able to run at the same time and have the kids bike along next to us, or be able to leave them at home without contemplating if the dog can be considered reasonable adult supervision. One day I'll look like Jessica Alba after two ki...Ha! I couldn't keep a straight face long enough to get that out.

Until then, something will just have to give. Like post-sermon socializing. Or bathing the kids.

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