january 11th. 9 down, 541 to go

listen, i know some of you came to this blog today to see what sort of bold and lofty running goal i have for this year. some of you are wondering if i'm just crazy enough to be all "let's run 2,016 miles in 2016!". others of you simply clicked on my blog because you like to read the f-word in print. and still, some of you may want to hear the story of how i was sprinting after my kids' bus in -17 windchill. well, you'll be happy to know that this blog post should hopefully appease all of you.

since my focus for 2016 is to get back into my running habit and remember why i love running, i kind of want some sort of mileage goal for the year. but kara goucher's whole "run the year" thing works out to be approximately 38 miles of running per week. and since the last time i ran a half marathon i maxed out at running 25 miles per week? and that was 3 years ago?  and i fucked up my knee? to set myself up for that kind of goal would be setting myself up for automatic failure and/or crippling (literally) defeat.

but i do have some girlfriends who like to run, and they're kind of trying to get back into the habit too. so. between the four of us, we are going to collectively, as a team, run 2,016 miles this year. that means my portion of that is about 550 miles (i rounded up a bit).

listen. i majored in music. not math.
i don't really know how math "works".

we even have a hashtag (#team2016in2016). i don't really understand how hashtags work, but doggone it, we have one! i've done 9 miles so far, and they have been good miles.

now don't you really want to hear about that -17 windchill sprint for the school bus?

i really want to be one of "those moms" (there is at least one of "these moms" at our bus stop) who has her shit together, and, subsequently, her children have their shit together. you know of whom i speak - has full makeup on at target, always the first to the bus stop, always appropriately dressed for the weather, never has to run back to the house to get the lunch or mittens or homework that was forgotten on the kitchen/dining room table. i am completely and totally not this mom. we are usually running for the bus stop, just barely making it, only to realize that someone forget their lunch or mittens or homework. i know there is no excuse for this. all it takes is getting up on time (something i do not have a good history of accomplishing), and planning ahead. getting up on time and planning ahead are not my strengths.

last week was a rough first week back to school after the break. we were late every day and i had to drive the children to school twice. over the weekend, we discussed enacting a new routine - when you wake up in the morning, you get dressed and make your bed. you don't go and play with toys, or start getting into the wormhole that is minecraft, or make a present for everybody in your class, or teach the cat new tricks... you get up, you get dressed, you make your bed.

i also realized this weekend that my snooze-hitting was contributing to our prolonged and painful morning routine. i simply must get up, get myself ready, eat breakfast, pack my own lunch and workout clothes, and then tackle getting the kids ready. i can only do this if i get the fuck up on time. so this morning, i did that. what a difference! i even had time to style my hair before the children were even done making their beds! we headed to the kitchen for breakfast, and i saw that it was 7:30! we had a good 45 minutes before their bus. i exclaimed with delight "you guys, isn't this so much better? we have time to eat, brush teeth, and you guys can even help me pack your lunches! we have plenty of time! i'm so proud of you!". i said some variation of this sentence at least 3 times over the next 45 minutes.

big mistake. don't say these kind of things out loud. the universe will hear you and she will laugh.

we have plummeted into what minnesotan's affectionately call "the cold snap". it's usually sometime in january, and it means that the high temperature is going to be in the negatives with wind chills in the range of 15-35 below zero. you cannot leave your house without spending at least 20 minutes covering your body with every piece of clothing you own.

just some white tube socks. thanks!

so, knowing it was pretty cold, i bundled the kids up - snow suits, coats, boots, hats, mittens - and we headed down the block to the bus stop. at the bus stop, i realized that i and my children were the only people there with any piece of exposed skin... our entire fucking faces. i hadn't thought to wrap our necks/faces in scarves, because i never do. i like my skin raw, leather and chapped.

mmm, leathery...

as i looked around at the other moms and children, whose only body part i could see were eyes looking upon us in total horror, i felt immense and extreme shame that i had sent my children out into -17 windchill temps, basically naked by minnesota standards.

hey kids! the bus is here!

nash and zeke were actually fine, clomping around in the snow, making no big deal of the -17 windchill, until i brought it up: "you guys, we forgot our scarves", and then it started. as the minutes ticked down to the inevitable arrival of the bus, the children began their crescendo into endless begging for me to run back to the house and get their scarves. nearly in tears with cries of "it's so cold!", "i can't feel my face!", and "i wanna go home!", there was no choice to make - i had to go back and get their scarves.

i knew one of two things was going to happen: a) i was going to miss seeing them get on the bus, or b) they wouldn't get on the bus, but would just stand there waiting for me in the -17 windchill while the bus drove off with all the other well-cared for children. i told the kids that if the bus came, they were to get on it no matter what, with or without their faces. i sprinted to the house, grabbed two scarves (at this moment, i'm not sure which two i grabbed) and as i opened the front door i saw the bus at the corner and my DNA standing in the snow, saying something to the bus driver with their hands waving feverishly in the air. i came, nay, flew out of the house with their scarves, crossed the street without looking (do as i say, not as i do, little children), and ran to the corner. i draped whatever fabric i had grabbed on their tender little necks, and scooted their butts up onto the bus as the driver looked at me with his usual disdain. he sized me up a long time ago - i am the mom that has his face memorized, should i ever need to identify him in a police line-up, and he knows i'm just a little crazy, on the edge of insanity, and ready to pounce. i said "sorry" and "thank you" for holding the bus as he gave me his dismissive wave and off they went.

as the bus pulled away, the other mom's at the bus stop looked at me, then turned to walk home. if they said anything to me like "way to go!" or "you made it!", i couldn't tell. again, because i could only see the whites of their eyes and their piercing looks of judgment.

the rest of my day was fine. i ate real food, i ran, i worked.


ashley "this face ain't gonna freeze itself!" rebekah

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