The Connection Runners + [why run?]

Return of the Mack

I'm going to take you back to 1997 for a minute, a fabulous year when it was okay to have lipliner two shades darker than your lipstick, a year when relaxed fit jeans were still cool, a year when it was perfectly acceptable to be 14, white, and in love with R&B songs about mackin' and other presumably inappropriate activities.

I bring you "Return of the Mack", a smooth jive song by Mark Morrison (who?) that was all the rage in the summer of '97.

Why dig up some potentially irrelevant tune to kick off my first post in a week? Well, my friends, I feel like I'm finally back.

But first, let's sum up the last week in a nutshell: hot, humid, rainy weather, child with odd sleeping habits, angry teenagers, empty pantry/fridge. It was a trying week, to say the least.

So what do I do in such a situation? Give the side-eye to about 99% of my life, snuggle on the couch for the 20 minutes that my kid naps, indulge in multiple bowls of Peanut Butter Cheerios, and die a little inside.

Translation: Zero running.

Even with all of that fluffy talk in last week's post, I couldn't bribe my body to run even a single mile. And consequently, I booked a virtual ticket and took a vacation from my computer for a while, too. No blogging, no Twitter, minimal Facebooking, quick skims of the Google Reader.

I needed a break. I'd wound myself so tightly since returning to work (kind of like Cameron in Ferris Bueller - you could've shoved a lump of coal up my ass last week and today had a diamond) that I just felt so burned out allofasudden.

By Thursday, when I came to terms with the week being mostly a bust (about the same time I realized that trying to force Charlotte to sleep completely through the night was driving us all crazy), I felt much better. On Friday, I didn't think about running once and instead headed with baby and husband in tow to a co-worker's birthday party where I promptly ordered a Bell's Oberon, said cheers to her 40th, and shoved primavera and red velvet cake down my gullet.

Then, on Saturday, my mackness (yes, mackness) returned with a bang. Megan and I had planned last week to meet up for a long run; she was planning on 22 since she's training for the Bayshore Marathon, and my scheduled dictated a 10-miler.

Even sleepy-eyed at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, while feeding C, I finally looked forward to running again. As soon as she was done, I hopped out of bed, ate granola, had tea with Mr. Earl Grey, and put my runner-self on.

With a full Garmin and some music on deck, I met Megan and her family in the park. We were a Saturday morning group of legs and tech socks and water bottles, miles in our futures.

(thanks for letting me steal your pics from FB, Megan)

I feel a little cliched just writing this, but it all made me a little giddy: the beeps of our Garmins, the timid "hellos" to other morning runners, the smell of a running shirt that's kind of clean, but not really.

Most of all, I got to reunite with Megan via some miles. Since November, our friendship has pretty revolved around ice cream, sushi, and old movies, but yesterday we finally got to rekindle our running romance.

We celebrated by tackling 5.15 glorious miles together before I turned to head home while she continued in her double digit quest. It's amazing how quickly the miles fly by when you're logging them with a pal who doesn't mind you wheezing between words.

I covered 8.71 miles in 1:27, 10:05 pace.

When I came home, a smiling sausage of a baby was waiting for me. We sang the alphabet song, and then it was time to shower and head to a ball game for my sister's birthday. My mom watched C while Kevin and I hung out with real live adults in downtown Detroit, and I rediscovered what a good $9 ballpark beer tastes like.

And the magical mackness continued today. We did a boatload of yard work, ate mounds of hummus and pita from a local restaurant, and finally, finally went grocery shopping. I even Tweeted (about wanting to cut the woman in front of me at the grocery store who decided to write a check at the last minute... really?), checked Facebook, and now I'm updating this blog.

Maybe it was the red velvet cake, the extra naps, the mountains of Cheerios, the alphabet songs, the beer, or the miles.

Somewhere in there, the mack returned, and I feel human again.