Thursday, December 1, 2011

Crazy Runner

I crack one sleepy eye open and glance blearily at my bedside clock. 6:10. Too early to be awake yet. I snuggle further under the blankets. Mm, it’s nice in here.

In the bottom bunk, Charlotte humps around, sounding like there’s a baby whale tangled in the blankets. The mattress squeaks and groans as she sits up, then her feet hit the floor.

My eye snaps shut. I know what comes next. Maybe, just maybe she’ll forget about me if I’m asleep. I know she’s watching me. Is she fooled?

“Imogen? Do you want to go for a run?”

Apparently she’s not fooled. My eye inches open again. If I grumble and moan, maybe she’ll let me off. This bed’s too nice to leave now. I need another half an hour at least to really appreciate it.

“Can I take the bed with me?” I ask. Hey, that wasn’t what I meant to say. I don’t really want to get up and exercise. I want to stay here.

My feet thump to the floor. In my head I’m still in my nice warm bed, even though the rest of me is getting into my running gear. Is it possible to tie shoelaces with your eyes shut?

The moment I step outside the door, I snap out of bed and back into reality.

“It’s freezing out here!” I’m shivering already and we haven’t even left the doorstep yet. By the time we reach the soccer field I can’t wait to get running. I should have brought my bed, or even a quilt. Anything to keep me warm. Can you run in a quilt? I’m sure I could find a way.

“Hey, you’re running faster than normal,” Charlotte complains. She huffs and puffs like a little steam train.

“That’s because I’m cold.” I don’t slow down. She can keep up or get left behind. It’s her fault I’m out here in the cold.

Halfway through the second lap Charlotte slows to a walk. Bother, I was just getting used to running. Couldn’t she keep going for just a little longer?

“Go on,” she tells me. “Keep running.”

That’s all I need. I’m off again. My feet hit the ground, thud, thud, thud, pounding out a steady rhythm. My lungs heave in huge breaths of fresh, cold air. Hey, this isn’t as bad as I thought it was. Was that really another lap? I don’t want to walk yet.

A black and white collie attempts to tackle me as I run past, dragging its owner through the grass. In the middle of the field a boxing lesson starts. More crazy people like me.

It’s still cold out here, but I’m nice and warm. I’m not tired at all. I could run for hours and hours…

Maybe not. Suddenly exhaustion catches up with me and claims a piggy back. All I want now is a drink and a rest. Mmm, breakfast sounds good too.

I reach the end of the lap. Charlotte hands me my water bottle and we start back to the house. We grin at each other. A whole day ahead of us and the run is done. See that wasn’t so bad. I might even like this idea. Until tomorrow that is…


  1. Ahh, that sounds so almost make me want to go running myself. :) But I don't have fields to run through, and it's dark and freezing cold at six-thirty here. :p I shall stay in my nice warm bed till eight, I guess. :) 'Tis a good alternative.

  2. Ooh, how cold was it? I'd hate to run first thing in the morning. Slow mornings are more my thing. ;)

  3. It says you posted that at 1:25 PM. I don't know what time zone it's calculating on, but presuming it's calculating on yours, your 1:18 PM is more like my, say, 9:30ish PM!

  4. Victoria, we're so lucky to have a soccer field so close. It's right next to the National Park, and there are gum trees all the way round.

    Here it's quite light at 6:30. As it is now summer (the first day and it's still cold), it's just warm enough to go running.

    I envy you being able to stay in bed til 8. I'm always up at 6:45. When I'm not running that is.

  5. Magdalen, I think Blogger calculates off my time for my posts, because I'm pretty sure I posted this post at 1:30ish. I've always wondered how my timezone relates to other bloggers like you.

    It was cold enough this morning that I was shivering in my t-shirt. I doubt I would have gone without a jacket had I known just how cold it was. At about 8:30 it was apparently 6 degrees so that might give you some idea.

    I don't actually like early morning runs until I get there. It's the whole getting out of bed and getting going thing I don't like.

  6. I hate getting out of my bed too!!!
    It's always sooooo warm and snug :)
    I don't like going on exercise, but I like it after I'm done, because I feel that I've accomplished something good :)

  7. That was awesome! Who said you can't start a story waking up? Everything flowed so well. Nothing like a good piece of flash fiction to start the day. :)

  8. Wow! Blogger fail! That wasn't fiction. It sure read like a story. Sorry. Early morning. Didn't pick up on the true story part.

  9. Vellvin, my thoughts exactly! I always feel so good after exercise that I wonder what the fuss was about. I'm sure I should like it more, but somehow I don't. At least today I behaved myself and got up without a fuss.

  10. David, I'm so glad you thought that it was a piece of flash fiction. I was trying hard for a story-like feel to it. I've never really written flash fiction or short stories because I'm not really very confident about it. Your comment has made my day!

  11. I thought it was flash fiction too! You captured the feeling really well :)

  12. J.A. Bennet, thanks! I'm actually quite pleased with this piece of writing. I tend to add too much to a story, so writing something so focused was very different from what I'm used to.

  13. You totally made me want to be a runner!

  14. I'm so glad I did. I've been working so hard on my writing. Everyone's been so nice about this piece of writing.

    I love the running part of being a runner. It's just the cold and the earliness that gets to me. No wait, it's that actual going down and getting started I hate.