Monday, October 31, 2011

Running {myself into the ground}

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday. I had a bee in my bonnet. A bone to pick. Anxiety. Anger. Frustration. Not at any one or any thing in particular. I just had them. And as those things usually do, they found their way out of my mouth in the form of accusations and blame directed at my sweet husband for no good reason.

So, after I vented my frustrations and abused my husband's Sunday morning, I bundled up and fled the house for a a run. Not just any run. A 10-miler. The last long run before next Saturday's Monumental Half Marathon. Before I got out of the car, I texted Blake that I was sorry and that I would "be in a better mood in 10 miles." Well, 10 miles later, I was certainly in a different mood. And against all odds, it was better.

As I set off on the Monon, I felt horrible. I felt guilty about being mean to Blake. I felt bad for leaving him home to clean the house and care for Audrey and Toby while I got to exercise. I felt anxious about whatever it was I was feeling anxious about. I felt the stiff new strap of my $$$ new sports bra digging into my shoulders. I felt the seam of my sock rubbing my little toe. I felt cold. I felt defeated and I had barely even started. I wasn't sure I'd finish and I wasn't sure how I'd explain that to my long-distance training partner and race buddy, Lauren.

I told myself that after a mile or so, I'd feel better. That I'd settle in. Well, I didn't. The nagging bra strap didn't improve until I took it off and totally rearranged the settings (in a stinky port-o-let, mind you). The sock didn't stop rubbing until I took it off and turned it inside out. I couldn't warm up because I had to keep stopping. Uggh. Finally, at the 2.5 mile marker, I started to feel better. Some good tunes were coming up on my iPod, my hands warmed up enough to take off my gloves. The bra was feeling worth all the $$$ I spent on it.  The sun was coming out. I thought to myself over and over again: "Okay, you can do this. You will do this. Just one foot it front of the other."

And then, just as I was starting to convince myself that the mantra was true. Wham. No, it was more like a: scuffle, "%$&%*", ouch, waaah. I tripped, most likely over my own two feet, and hit the ground knee and then hands first.

As I rolled over and lay on my back - sprawled out on the Monon, checking to make sure nothing was broken - I looked up at the blue sky through the leaves and branches. "Why, God?" There was of course no audible answer. Tears streamed down my cold cheeks as I picked myself up and looked around. There was no one in sight. Just me, my bleeding, gravel-packed palms and throbbing knee. I debated what to do. Turn around and shamefully head back to my car? Or plug on and do the whole damn 10 I had set out to do?

I hobbled a few steps to see how things felt. Not good. But not terrible. So I set off north, determined to at least make it to the 86th Street Taco Bell to wash my hands out. Once I got that far, I figured I could make it two more miles north and then another 5 back to the car. Long story short, I did the whole 10 miles. My hands and wrists hurt so bad that I could barely turn the steering wheel on the way home. And the shower did not help the road rash on the various other parts of my body.  Today, I am stiff all over, and not just from running. But, I felt good. I do feel good.

Yesterday, I woke up ungrateful and behaved in an unloving way towards the person I love the most. And I got what I deserved - a little smacking around and a painful reminder that I can't take anyone or anything for granted. Not even the ability to put one foot in front of the other.


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