I can’t be sure, but I’d guess I had a bit of depression. Regardless of what I said, I did continue to toy with the idea of not running again.
I lift three times a week, own and use a heavy bag, practice kickboxing, yoga and own a step (as well as many step dvd workouts), so I wasn’t concerned the absence of running might add some weight to my body. (Yeah, right . . . you can call bullshit on that statement, I’m a woman).
Regardless, none of that shit makes me happy like running does, or did.
After Timberline I wasn’t happy. The thought of running made me tense up and seriously doubt myself. It made my stomach hurt and it made me nauseous. I decided to take the 50 miler off my calendar this year and I wiped all the rest of the “races” I had planned for the year off as well. Including a half marathon scheduled for this Saturday. Off. I’m out.
Those actions made me feel better, but they didn’t make me get outside and run.
Last week was difficult for other reasons too. My youngest son had an icky case of walking pneumonia, keeping him out of school the whole week on the very last full week of school for the year. Of all the weeks to legitimately miss, the last one is not the one he would have chosen. Still, he was out for the count. Because the word “pneumonia” was part of what ailed him, I knew it was right to inform his father. If you’re a new reader of my blog, I’m sure this little thing doesn’t scream “stress” – but since his father doesn’t speak to me or acknowledge my existence (i.e., he doesn’t answer my phone calls, deletes my emails and texts without reading, and I’m nothing more than unseeable air if we’re in a room together) – but whatever. If the tables were turned and my son lived with his father I’d want to know about pneumonia and I’d be pissed if I found out after the fact. So I did my best to inform him. Gratefully, he did get the message, but the whole sick child, interaction-with-the-ex thing, coupled with the emotional shit from Timberline and work overload did not do much for my mental well-being – all that to say — I didn’t run.
I longed for the weekend and when it finally got here the boy was feeling better and was asking to spend the night at a friend’s house. A good sign. The oldest boy, who has come home from college every weekend for the last five weekends, informed me he was NOT coming home because it was the last weekend before school was out for summer. Another good sign.
It gets light outside at 4:30 a.m. these days. It’s kind of crazy. As someone who is used to running at 4:30 a.m., in the dark, it’s downright odd.
On Saturday morning I woke up to a quiet house, (just me and my dog), and a clear sky at 4:30 a.m. I rolled over and covered my head. “Don’t care, I’m not running” I mumbled to myself and fell back asleep.
When I woke up at 6 the sun was shining brightly, lighting up my room with a warm yellow. Trigger, my dog, sensed I was awake and came over to encourage me to get up and feed him. I asked him to wait, while I laid there for a while.
For the first time, in 7 days I was thinking about running. It caused anxiety, but the thought was still there. It was perplexing.
I fed Trigger and came back upstairs. On automatic pilot I put my running clothes on. I was standing on the sidewalk in front of my house shortly before 6:30 as if I was going to run, but I still wasn’t sure.
My mind chatter was constant:
“Don’t have to run far, girly, just have to run.”
“Not training for anything, no races on the calendar, no pressure.”
“One mile, two miles, half mile. Doesn’t matter. Just go.”
“It’s such a pretty day.”
So I ran.
I found myself running toward Brookman Road. A two mile stretch of rolling hills that can kick my ass if I’m not prepared for it. I was on auto-pilot and I ran the whole stretch. When I came out on the other end I considered heading home, but I didn’t. Instead I ran up another hill, down another and then wound around to come back up the same hill I ran down.
An amazing thing happened.
Midway up Murdock I found my happy. Possibly it had something to do with the realization I had started at the base of the 1.5 mile hill, was nearing the top and I hadn’t walked. Not sure, but when I reached Sunset you couldn’t have wiped the smile off my face if you had tried. I felt so great. So happy. So in love with running.
I’m still not running the 50 miler this year, I’ll put that on 2014’s calendar and will possibly try to do it outside of Oregon – Northern California would be nice. I could get my annual San Francisco fix and run my 50 in the Marin headlands. I have decided, however, to put another marathon on my schedule for this year. The Columbia Gorge Marathon on October 27th. It’s far enough away not to intimidate me too much right now, and it means I don’t have to start training until mid-July.
Thirty-two days from today I’ll be leaving for Cabo. Five days of fun in the sun, on the beach with Tequila and one of my favorite girlfriends! Training for the marathon will commence the week after I return.
For now I will simply run
Because I want to.
Because I like to.
Because I can.