pre-start: when we are all a normal shade of skin.
pre-start: when we are all a normal shade of skin.

This weekend I crossed off something from my thirtyfiveBy35 list – to run a race in Rio. About a dozen of us from my school ran a 5/10k in downtown Rio. Super fun. I used a port-a-potty 3 times before the race started. That was less fun. But character-building.

Rio Antiguo
Rio Antiguo

I only stopped once to walk, which was better than I expected. I mostly walk here as I have really stretched out sports bras and I read a terrifying fitness article detailing how your girls do figure-eights swinging all around when you run, and that visual was the straw on my camelback that made me a pretty solid walker.

I love walking. I walk 4-5 miles everyday after work around my complex now that it’s winter and too dark to run to the beach.

This can get a little awkward, though, because other people are also going around the complex, and they all seem to go at it in the opposite direction as I do. And it’s like “do I say hi again? smile again? greet your dog again? We’ve already done this….”

And yet, there are two cute guys that are out there…one has a dog and I’ve recently discovered has a girlfriend. So he’s no longer in the “I wipe off sweat and kind of suck in when I half-heartedly jog by you” category.

five me. im cool.
five me. im cool.

But the other guy….well, he’s taller than me and has facial hair, so I’ve been busy constructing cute “how we met” stories about us during my endless laps until my Fitbit goes off.

Here’s what I’m thinking: after months of running past each other, eventually we’ll just start randomly high-fiving each other on our laps. And then smiling knowingly at each other. And then one day I wait on my balcony until I make sure he’s running, too, before I lace up and go out there. And that’s when I realize that I don’t even know his name, cue giggle, and this happens to be the day he stops me and asks for my name. This leads to becoming casual conversation partners to improve each other’s language capabilities. He learns English, just in cases. Then we progress to coffee dates, maybe a movie. We start jogging in the same direction together, each with only one earbud in, happy to chat with each other with the soundtrack of our lives playing softly in our outside ears.

He walks me to my apartment door at the end of each run and we stretch and chat for an extra hour each night before the reluctant “goodness, is that the time? Okay…well…bye” thing that a couple-in-progress does when you’re not sure if you’re hugging or kissing or what yet.

sometimes i just like to plan ahead to stuff...
sometimes i just like to plan ahead to stuff…

Then one day I don’t show up for our run for like a week, I’m down with a weird illness, and that’s when he realizes he has feelings for me, and he waits outside the building for my roommates and asks to see me, and I let him in, even though I’m like sweaty and feverish and unshowered, but he’s like “let me hold this ineffectual cool cloth against your brow and stare at your face. You look thin.” And I’m like “I love you,” a la Anne and Gilbert of Green Gables.

Fast forward three years and our best friends are telling this story in tandem at our wedding. And it’s so cute and everyone’s laughing, and we have a slideshow of all the marathons we’ve run around the world, crossing the finish lines hand in hand.

Have I mentioned I have a penchant for drama? A flair for the fanciful? That I walk around living in a hypothetical world absolutely all the time?

it's been four days and I'm still thinking about that bloody mary and American-sized coffee mug...
it’s been four days and I’m still thinking about that bloody mary and American-sized coffee mug…

Anyway, during the 5k I also remembered I love running. It’s so much faster. And I love spending three hours constructing a seven hour playlist for a thirty minute Sunday morning 5k. Time well spent.

Then we went out to a delish American breakfast and it was just nice to spend some time with my friends.


I wore my participating winner medal to the beach, and then to the grocery store the next day, because that’s what excitable people do.

And then I went running the day after. So, whoa, I’m basically a runner.

before you guys start thinking I'm going healthy and joggy and stuff.
before you guys start thinking I’m going healthy and joggy and stuff.

Of course, tonight I put on workout clothes to walk to the grocery store to buy wine, so.

Balance. Yolo. Et cetera.