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Whenever I schedule a daytime babysitter, it’s like a bliss/panic swirlie cone as I try to knock weeks’ worth of items off my to-do list, rapid fire.  Today, I put something unusual at the top of the list.

I went running!  First time in two years, since before the bambina was a blueberry.

I’ve never been a diehard runner, but it’s always been part of my life.  As a kid, I did it to hang out with my Dad who was a real deal marathoner, no pressure or anything.

In high school, I ran one season of track because although I wasn’t very athletic, I wanted to be on a team and I also wanted to meet boys.

The coach assigned me to the 800, a half mile event for runners who aren’t fast enough to be sprinters and who don’t have the endurance for long distance.  My most successful track meet was the time I came in second to last.  It was awesome.

(There are no pictures of those tragic days with my braces and perm.  You wish.)

As an adult, I incorporated small amounts of jogging into my workouts and was always glad when I did.  But for the past two years it just wasn’t possible, between a high risk pregnancy and the full time babymama job.   Then last week I saw my doctor for my annual physical and she said something along the lines of, “Could you maybe exercise?  That would be good.”

Running’s free, and I don’t have to drive anywhere, and it doesn’t take very long (the way I do it) so I figured, why not?

Once I got over the initial body shock – the elephant sitting on my chest feeling (good morning, lungs), the ragged breathing, the creaky joints, the shin splints and the super hot red devil face – it actually started to feel good.

The coolest part was, I was ALONE.   I wasn’t running after a little person, and there was no little person running after me.   This took a while to realize.  The first dog I passed, I automatically waved and said “Woof woof, nice doggie.”  That probably seemed weird.

What’s more, for the first time in forever, I got to listen to MY music – not all those Music Together class CD’s that my daughter is obsessed with or the Rockabye Baby channel on Pandora.  Just my favorite obnoxious adult music pumping privately into my Ipod.

Not only is my running playlist cheesy and loud, but the lyrics are wildly offensive and incredibly inappropriate for children. That just made me enjoy my alone time EVEN MORE!

(I know you’re curious now, so here it is.  Go ahead and judge.)

  1. Candy Shop – 50 Cent Feat. Olivia (warm up song)
  2. What I’ve Done – Linkin Park
  3. Flagpole Sitta – Harvey Danger
  4. Bring Me To Life – Evanescence
  5. Black Betty  – Ram Jam
  6. Bad Reputation – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
  7. American Boy  – Estelle (feat. Kanye West)
  8. Run – Gnarls Barkley
  9. B.O.B. – Outkast
  10. The Perfect Drug – Nine Inch Nails
  11. You Could Me Be Mine – Guns N’ Roses
  12. Infatuation – Rod Stewart

Running was quite a revelation.   It brought me back to a time I’d forgotten–and the person I was before I baby-talked to dogs.  For 20 minutes, I got to look straight ahead instead of down.  I didn’t have to seek out the ramp at every street corner for the stroller–I could just leap willy nilly over the curbs, even CROSSING AGAINST THE LIGHT if I felt like it.

I got a taste of the old, pre-baby me and I liked it.  And then of course I felt horribly guilty.

I love my kid so much, and I made a choice to be with her all the time, and I am grateful every day that I can make that choice.  But being alone with my thoughts and my cool jams felt really good.

Finally, I have motivation to keep on running.  My track coach would be so proud.

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