If you are lucky, you have one of those friends. The friend that you can go weeks, months, even years without seeing or even speaking to, but when you finally sit down face to face, it’s like you’ve never been apart. You laugh and tell stories and interact like no time has passed, it’s almost as if the universe created the two of you to be together.
That’s how I feel about running.
Since my last post, I finally dragged my sorry, sick butt into the doctor. Everyone knows that nine times out of ten if you head into the doctor for a head cold, they tell you to suck it up (in nicer doctor terms of course) and that there is really nothing you can do for a virus other than rest…and feed it chicken soup.
I really don’t like chicken soup.
So I avoided going in, thinking I was saving myself some money. But 12 days into the miserable coughing, sneeze fest, my throat started to swell up and the fever just wouldn’t quit. So I cried uncle, and headed in to learn my fate.
Bronchitis and tonsillitis.
I’m not sure if I was angry or relieved at the diagnosis. Angry because as of today, there are 25 days left until the Spartan ultra beast. And here I am, about 2.5 weeks and counting of missed training. In my mind, the most important weeks of training. And there was nothing I could do, my body said “NO”. Relieved, however, because now armed with a diagnosis, antibiotics, and prednisone, I could begin to heal. And focusing on that healing is just what I did (am doing.) Rest, rest, rest, rest. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
But last night, I couldn’t take it any longer. Geoff suggested a run…an easy, short, trail run. And I just couldn’t say no.
I showed up with no expectations and most importantly, no watch or GPS. I told the guys to run ahead, and when they couldn’t see me anymore, to stop and do burpees or something until I caught up. I was fully prepared to stop the second it began to feel wrong, like I was pushing too soon. Regardless, as we started running, I felt the dread. The impending doom of a destroyed immune system, busted lungs, and a cardiovascular system that had tanked over the last two weeks. I waited for my lungs to start screaming in protest and the uncontrollable coughing spasms to start.
But it never happened.
Instead, I felt my legs loosen up as my heart rate slowly increased.
I felt my tense and hesitant upper body give way as my entire self fell into rhythm with the trail. Every leap over every root, rock, and patch of mud came naturally, nothing felt forced.
And as I picked up speed, I felt the weight of the world start to melt off of my back. The stress of the last few weeks, the uncertainty of what’s to come next. Things I’ve been carrying around, terrified to talk about but too scared to just ignore. And there are those who love me, who support me, who have stood by my side, holding my hand, helping me get through this. And there are others who seem to “think” they understand, scoff, and can so easily point fingers and tell me what I’m doing wrong and what I should be doing. The truth is neither side knows, and that is OK. This is my battle to face. (And then there are those of you who are completely oblivious, reading this, thinking “what on earth is she rambling on about? And that’s OK too.)
I knew I needed to get back to training ASAP for the sake of the race, but I had no idea just how badly I needed to RUN. Every uncertain thought that has been taunting me didn’t seem as scary anymore. With that run, I began to heal. I know this probably sounds absolutely ridiculous to those who have never experienced the therapy of a good run, but those who have are probably reading this nodding their head in agreement. It was only 3 or 4 miles. It was not super fast, it was nothing ground breaking or out of the ordinary. But with that run, I felt alive. I felt comfort. I felt purpose.
With that run, I knew that everything is going to be OK.
I love you running.
|Rainbow as we headed home post run…|