August is drawing to a close. Summer is fading into the sunset as the dark arrives earlier with every coming night. So with the last vestiges of hot summer nights, I decided to go for a run.
About six months ago, I was momentarily overcome by insanity and decided to sign up for the Disney Half Marathon. Itâ€™s Sunday.
So in the days, weeks and months leading up to the event, running was involved. My typical MO is a couple miles on the treadmill â€“ itâ€™s the perfect excuse to watch trashy TV. However, when you throw in the distance event, I figured some actual outdoor jogs were in order.
The muppets were secured, conversing in their cribs while Jon stood watch, so I headed out for an evening exploration of my neighborhood. Distance was debatable because, yes, I have been known to get lost within the confines of my very own stomping grounds.
The 85-degree California day had calmed its intensity. I stretched briefly. I secured my iPhone ear buds and hit play. At a blistering 15-minute mile pace â€“ I was off!
For the first mile I was alone with my thoughts. Guns N Roses, Carrie Underwood and Garth Brooks soundtracked the run. I ran to the beat. There was a cool breeze blowing against me as my breathing got harder. (Breathe. Always remember to breathe.)
I was lost in my own mind. Perhaps my music was pumping just a tad too loud.
It started with simply a sinister feeling of company. The sensation of solitude evaporated as I felt a truck rumbling up behind me.
I pushed myself a little harder. I ran a little faster.
The truck slowed.
I picked up my pace. I panicked amid wheezing breaths.Â Must. Get. Home. Find. Gun. But, as I’m preparing for a marathon – not a sprint – I exhausted myself a couple houses away from my own.
There was only one conclusion to which I could logically jump: Oh my god â€“ Iâ€™m going to die!
Preparing myself to mentally image any identifying markings on the truck or obvious killer within. On the off chance I were to survive this run, I geared up to be an excellent eyewitness of the crime.
A large brown truck was idling needlessly in the middle of the street. The letters UPS marked it as the perfect non-descript getaway vehicle.
The driver descended from his doorless passenger side. The UPS Man handed me a box.
Oh god. It was to be a stealth offing. Suspicious package! It had to be a bomb!
No! Strike that!
I eyed the cardboard container at arms length. Admit it â€“ the head of a person was awaiting me. (Oh get a grip, you canâ€™t call spoiler alert at a movie thatâ€™s almost 20 years old.)
â€œYou get a lot of diapers, Ms. Stream,â€ the UPS Man winked at me conspiratorially. â€œSee you tomorrow with the dog food.â€
I was still shaken by being stalked. So I turned to burn what I had left in the tank and sprint home. Plus I was afraid he might try and sell me Amway again. Five strides later I was at my front door.
Iâ€™m not sure which exercise burned more energy â€“ my run or my paranoia.