(This post is a bit rambly and a bit of a mind dump. I apologize in advance. It is late, I haven’t posted in a few days, and I’m pretty sure the post-run languids are making me lazy)
This past week, the plague visited our family. All of us were sick. The kids were snot machines. I was most definitely not having any umami rainbow-farting unicorn moments. My husband hit the official “Man-cold” stage today and the grumpy level was epic.
I was also in pain most of the week, to add to the circus. Worrisome, awful “I can’t run during the best time of year to run” hobbling pain.
My shins were really sore after Thursday’s run, and I was quite sure I had injured myself. I iced, I rested, and I begged and pleaded with the running Gods to keep me sound for my run with my family on Saturday. I worried, and my poor fingernails bore the brunt. My hands are a mess now.
Saturday ended up being the suckiest, hurtiest, most defeating run I have been on since the Mickey Mouse Hands episode. I finished, but wanted to collapse in a heap and have a messy sad cry. I’m not sure my husband understood, as he and his father went gazelling off into the sand ahead of me, leaving me to keep up, and failing miserably, feeling like a third wheel or “the slow one” that everybody waits for. I so would have been eaten first.
I think I also had a low blood sugar. Not fun when you are running, folks. And no, this was the day I forgot my Dex tabs, cell phone…
But, that is over. I shook it off. I managed to eat properly over Thanksgiving, I managed not to feel the after-turkey bloat. I was awesome. Except for teh hurty legs bit. That, not so much.
Fast forward to tonight’s run club. I had not worked out since Saturday, dealing with increasing shin pain, deciding not to push it because it was what I have feared since I started running this spring. Shin splint pain.*duh-dun-duuuuuuuun* My old, familiar nemesis reared its ugly, little head and I was icing and elevating my legs, taking NSAIDS, walking around in my compression socks. Pair this with the whole house being sick, and it was happy funtimes for everyone! Of course, every chance the kids got, they jumped on Mommy’s legs right where it hurt.
Oh yeah… It is like they know the exact spot… “Mommy, can we have a chocolate snack?” – “YES! For the LOVE OF GOD, you can have chocolate-covered ponies if you just get off my legs!”
I think I said fast-forward, right? OK. So tonight, I decided after a few days of not running and working out in any fashion (squats while waiting for toast do not count, right?) I would run the 8k run scheduled as a 10:1. I had new compression CW-X pants to wear, new rainbow rocket socks to impress everyone with my (tacky) stylin’, and I was anxious to test my $7 pink Wal-Mart run jacket’s waterproof capabilities (read: Some…). I even had a partner agree to stick with me, which was great! It was rainy, I was thinking up every excuse in the book not to go, worrying about how far it was, the cold, the wind, the rain… If I was going to hurt, if I should even be doing it… What flavour of Nuun to take with me…
You know, all the head stuff normal runners deal with, right?
I think sometimes runners are a little nutty. Who else do you know would voluntarily exercise in rain and wind storms, or with injuries that would sideline most folks? “Its only hail! Come on!”, “The gale winds will be awesome once we turn around and we have a tail wind!”, Three feet of snow? Psssht… We can wade through that.”, “Broken collarbone? I can still run, its not my legs” , “What, its only a hairline fracture on the toe… I can tape it, right?”, “Its just a flesh wound!” (Wait… that last one is Monty Python… Heh…)
Right. Crazy. I know.
So, tonight. It was an awesome run. We even did a sprint that I thought would nearly do me in, and was ok. The rest had helped my body a little bit, from the intensity of last week. My legs felt stronger, the compression tights were stabilizing me, my breathing was just a little evener. The run just… Went! NO struggling, no second-guessing, no worrying. The end was a little harder to keep on pace, I said no to one last sprint, realizing if I did, that might be the proverbial straw to break this happy place I was in. The camel was running well, to carry the metaphor. Don’t mess with the camel when she’s running well.
*Muuuraaaah* <– Approximated camel sound
The best part of the run tonight was at the end, all the women that are part of this run club were standing on either side of the sidewalk where we finished the run, cheering, jumping, hooting, clapping. I ran through them, the elation of being able to finish the distance almost overwhelming me, more so than the Army Run race did. Seriously gals, I was almost busting out the tears.
Yeah… I did control myself. I really didn’t want to look like a doofus.
I may not know these women very well, but I do know that we have discovered a really, really wonderful support mechanism in one another, and I am greedy. I want more. It is because of them that I am able to say I have run 8k, 7k continuous. It is because of them I now have a desire to do more, go further, test my limits.
The invitation and inclusion with this club, as soppy and emotional as this seems to be for me to admit, has been an incredible gift. The reward tonight of that togetherness with women like me, who wanted me there, was absolutely, 100% awesome.
Let’s do it again next week, k?