a lesson in humility

The half marathon is 17 days away and the sum total of my efforts has been to think about running. I’ve been jaunting occasionally— 3-4 mile jogs, pacing at about a nine minute mile. Hardcore, I know.

A healthy level of hubris has allowed me to pretty solidly believe that I don’t need to train. Worst case scenario I jalk (jogging walking, made popular by exaggerated arm swingers in culdesacs around the world). I walked the Avon, I can pretend run a half marathon, right?


Because deep down I don’t want to fail, I decided that today was the day. I was going to get on the treadmill and I was going to run for at least 1.5 hours. No excuses. If I did it successfully, it would be a free pass to sit on my laurels until May 22nd. If I failed, I was going to have to dig out my training scheduling and try to cram it all into the next 17 days. I got on there, pushed the appropriate buttons and began reading the captions on the newscast above me. I actually felt pretty good. Thanks to an impromptu yoga private yesterday, the hips were feeling good. Since I’m a legit yogger I didn’t have headphones, so I was able to make I’m-a-regular conversation with trainers and other regulars. Easy breezy.

Approximately 16 minutes into my Im-a-badass jog I felt my stomach drop. Sans headphones I was able to hear the corresponding gurgling.

omg omg omg.

At 22 minutes I contemplated playing roulette. It could, after all, just be, well, err…gas.

Stupid plan. I checked the timer. I was nearly 28 minutes as I frantically hit the emergency stop button and jumped off the moving treadmill to waddle-scamper to the on-floor bathroom. (The one that everyone knows is for people in my situation.)

(Time passes.)

Back on the treadmill. Obviously didn’t get my bid-ness taken care of in less than 60 seconds, which is all the time you get before the treadmill resets, so it was start over time. It doesn’t matter, but it does mess with your mind, starting from zero again. So there I go again. Jog. Jog. Jog.


I had championed through an additional 16 minutes, hit the big red button and scampered–again– past the handful of THE SAME PEOPLE who were all stretching on the floor outside the bathroom.

(Time passes.)

Woo! Feeling better. I get back on the ‘mill, start again. After twenty or so minutes I started to relax. Obviously whatever it was had passed. Paralyzing grumbles: 2. Caroline: 1.

Oops. Too soon.

I glance quickly: 28 minutes. Button. Jumping. Waddling. Ahh.

Only this time there was a door malfunction and a trainer had the privilege of ogling my lady parts. Fortunately the three trips across the gym had broken me. I had half a mind to just invite him in for a closer look. But I didn’t.

Treadmill. Me. Last time. Keeping up with the math is making my head hurt and I’m starting to feel weak. The numbers are blurring together. Was it 12? 16? Two in the twenties? One? Huh? I don’t know. I decide I’m doing thirty more minutes without getting off. No matter what.

I made it to 27.