Challenged by the fact that my mother-in-law works out on the treadmill for at least an hour and a half several times a week, I decided that I should get back into shape. I just completed my second week of five days of running. I don't care how much I run each time, but I have to get my running clothes on and get out the door. Once I'm moving, I end up going at least a couple miles and having mild enjoyment of the activity. I decided that if I have too many days off during the week it is easy to get out of the habit.
Today, like usual, Molly and I headed out around 3 pm. She was strapped in to the jogger and had several pretzels on the tray in front of her. After turning onto the road my feet found a comfortable rhythm. I pointed out a squirrel as we approached and saw Molly's head turn, but I'm not sure if she saw it. Things were pleasant and steady for a minute or two until we took a turn that aimed us straight into the Texas wind. Straining and bearing down to push through it, I looked down and noticed that canopy that I pull down in front of Molly's face to block the wind is acting just like a sail. We are being pushed backward with a strong force. Thankfully, the wind dies down quickly, and I trot along. After a few paces, I hear Molly's version of "Pretzel!" I pull over and retrieve a couple pieces that have fallen into her cup holder. I'm hoping that these remnants will satisfy her. Nope. A couple minutes later I hear, "Pretzel!" Hmmm... I glance in the basket of gear in the bottom of the jogger. I see a not-so-fresh half-eaten box of raisins. I'm sad to admit that I know that Molly isn't too bothered by the taste of stale food (because I occasionally give her some!) The raisins amuse her for awhile.
Nearing our turn around area, I hear her babbling, "Baa, baa, baa." Seeking to educate at every turn, I decide to sing "Baa Baa Black Sheep". With my ragged breathing, it is neither educational nor entertaining. Halfway throught "Three Blind Mice" my voice trails off.
At the turn-around I'm feeling very good. I pick up the pace slightly as we head back. After a couple minutes we are running past the park where we sometimes stop. I notice that Molly is lifting up on the tray, and I know this means that she wants to get out. I'm a little discouraged because the run was feeling so good, but I want this to be fun for her, too. I walk a safe distance across the grass to a sidewalk parallel to the road. I set Molly down. I take her hand to walk with her. She hangs from my hand, wanting me to lift her up. When my in-laws were here she learned that when mommy and pa pere held her hands we would occasionally swing her up into the air. She thinks that I am able to do this all by myself. I finally convince her just to walk along the sidewalk.
She loves sidewalks. They are like running tracks to her. Whenever she is on one, she really wants to run! I start jogging a step ahead of her. For some reason, this is hilarious, and she laughs and runs. We have a great time, jogging together. After a couple minutes, Molly is satisfied and returns to the jogger.
After I load her up, I offer her a choice of toys from the stash: a toy phone receiver, a tiny book, a toy cell phone and a My Little Pony. She wants them all. I comply and warn her not to drop any of them on the ground.
Shortly after we resume our run, I see a little hand dangling the receiever over the concrete. I warn her not to drop it, and reach over to take it from her hand. She then proceeds to do the same the book, cell phone, and pony. And we continue our forward motion.
She then amuses herself with the raisins and sippy cup. I occasionally adjust the canopy to protect her from wind and sun. A short while later, she hands me the raisin box. I jog with it in my hand. After a car passes, I muse that it might look like I'm holding a pack of smokes. Pondering this, I smile and run. The sippy cup soon follows. I smoothly bend slightly as I continue to jog and toss the raisins beneath the jogger. The curved handle on the cup affixes nicely to the handle I'm pushing.
As we are just less than a mile from home we pass beneath a pair of overpasses. The design of these make them just like a wind tunnel in the right conditions. Of course, as I'm barely moving forward fighting the wind, several cars pass and see me straining.
I press on and am relieved at the calm breeze for the next portion of the run. Molly then decides that she wants out NOW! She twists her body and shrieks as she wrestles the restraints. Desperate, I notice a dog being walked quite a distance ahead of us. "Look, Molly! A doggy!" I double my speed as I realize that catching up to the dog is my only hope of pacifying her. Panting I get closer and closer.
Yes, I no longer try to catch others on the running trail for sake of competition or challenging myself to go faster. I strain and strive to catch a doggy so Molly will sit still. It works and the rest of the run is smooth. Ironically, we walk in the door as we arrive home and Molly is content to stay seated and is in no hurry to get out!