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. It’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 – it’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 – 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. 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 – I’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 – the head of a person was awaiting me. (Oh get a grip, you can’t call spoiler alert at a movie that’s almost 20 years old.)
“You get a lot of diapers, Ms. Stream,” the UPS Man winked at me conspiratorially. “See you tomorrow with the dog food.”
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.
I’m not sure which exercise burned more energy – my run or my paranoia.