I made the decision a while back to stretch this holiday weekend a day longer than usual. And looking back, it was a freaking fantastic decision. I bring you PART 1 of my weekend.
Friday started with a trip to Indy to run with my girls. Oh wait, I guess I should preface this part of my recap with an injury update! So, on my last post I told you how I had been struggling with an IT band injury. Well, I was smart. I was kind. I was important (reference: The Help). I was diligent with foam rolling twice a day, taking Aleve and icing regularly. I was patient when I wanted nothing else but to run hard. I resumed some light cross-training early in the week and everything seemed to be right on track to recovery. Well, on Wednesday, after a pain-free hour on the elliptical, I decided – hey, it’s nice out. Why not give the legs a test run? Though the legs felt extremely noodley, I made it an entire mile loop on the outdoor track without any problems. I was ecstatic.
So back to Friday, once I heard that a handful of the Perfect Strangers had the day off and were planning on a long run, you didn’t have to ask me twice! Weather pending, I was in for a return to the Monon (though I negated even the possibility of running the indoor track again). Not gonna lie, I was pretty terrified to attempt any sort of mileage since I hadn’t run more than a mile in 13 days. I had decided on anywhere between 5-7 miles, depending how the legs felt.
The girls were (not surprisingly) fabulous. Constantly checking in on me. Asking how my legs/knees felt. Asking if we needed to slow down at all. For this reason and many more (as you’ll read below), I love them. The entire run, I felt great. No pain. No awkwardness. Just speed and great conversation per usual. I ran half of my distance back with Kelly and even kicked things up to a tempo for the last half mile. I finished 7.4 miles in 1:12 and couldn’t have been happier. I’m baaaack. 😀
Meggie proposed that after our run, we celebrate our day off and partake in some day drinking. Um, again. Don’t have to ask me twice. I had a hair appointment in Carmel at 11a, so I figured I would meet up with the girls after they finished their 20 miler. Little did I know they planned on making a pit stop in the salon just as I was about to get foiled.
After I was dolled up and made a pit stop at the car wash, I met the Perfect Stranger brigade at a lil restaurant called Detour. Though there was plenty of March Madness happening inside, the real party was outside. It’s not very typical for the weather to be nearly 80 and sunny in the middle of March, so we took advantage of the Vitamin D with a patio seat.
Kelly and I were first to arrive, followed by Meggie, Jaime, then a bit later Christi. Upon sitting, Meggie immediately asked for “for sure water,” to which our awesome waiter Ben comically obliged. We followed up our for sure waters with some for sure beers. We came to love this man. Especially after he insisted on taking all of our pictures for the rest of the afternoon.
We mowed down our lunch. We lusted over nearby Vespas. We talked about our weekend St Patty’s Day plans. We formed large yellow cup stacks. And each and every one of us got sunburned.
Though a lot of the afternoon was spent laughing, nearly just as much was spent in tears. We got schmoopy, as Meggie would say. Topics tended to flail all over the place. We talked about body image issues (bases vs flyers). We talked about obstacles endured growing up and how they have shaped us today. We talked about dating woes. We discussed husbands, kids, and family. We just couldn’t stop talking.
Now it’s my turn for some schmoopy stuff. In life, there are very few people you meet with whom you are immediately able to open up and let your guard down. To the point of complete exposure and vulnerability. With these girls, I am an open book. Though continually baffling, we are all certain on one thing. Each and every one of us are 100% perfect for each other. We balance one another out. We compensate for each others deficiencies. And most importantly, we trust each other with some of the most private aspects of our lives. We are the definition of the perfect strangers.
Think of it like running. Your number one goal is performance. There you are, using pure strength and mental focus to do your best, leaving nothing but raw emotion on the surface. This is how our long runs can turn to a sob fest in a matter of moments. We have spent countless hours in this bare-bones type of state. And it has allowed each of us to form just the type of relationships we have been searching for. I love these girls to death. And this sunshiney day couldn’t have validated that any more perfectly.
*Part 2 to come.