Monday, June 9, 2008

Passive Regressive

Some time around 9:30 Saturday morning, I leaned against the public bathroom wall at Mission Bay and cried. I was so angry I ignored my disgusting environment. I was making a scene, which made me even angrier.

I had prepared to join a higher running group that morning. I was a little sleepy, but excited. Mission Bay was the least hilly run we had had yet, and if I could run the 4 mile UCSD perimeter, I could run the 5 mile path. Or so I thought. What I had envisioned as a steady paced jog, turned into an exercise in futility. My body would.not.move. I could barely run, much less keep up with the B Group that had gracefully run past me. Nor could I keep up with the A Group to which I belonged. After the first 2 1/2 miles, I could barely walk. It did not help to see a partially paralyzed, elderly man speed walk past me. Three times.

I thought after a month I would be making progress and adding miles. I thought I'd be able to run at least a couple of miles at a time and embracing the idea of a thirteen mile run. I was not ready to walk two and a half miles to join a cheerful team as they laughed and celebrated their progress. I was frustrated with my regression and inability to move; ashamed of the fact that I couldn't keep a promise I had made; and afraid I would fail. While I really don't want to be the last person to cross the finish line, I don't want to collapse and not cross the finish line altogether.

I know this is not about me, but that is why I cannot sit back and joke about being left in the dust of an octogenarian. THREE TIMES. I am running with men and women who have beaten death and laugh at pain. And I have no excuse to walk behind; even less excuse to cry about it. But I do.

I was insufferable all weekend. Poor M tried to cheer and encourage me, mostly to no avail. He bought me a Stick (which helped the soreness in my calves), made me breakfast and offered to go running with my on Sunday. I did not want to run--especially with someone who can run 8 miles through canyon trails. I wanted to hide from every single person who knew I was training. I spent Sunday sorting through papers and hanging out with my friend.

Monday morning, I woke up a little past 5:30. I made coffee, read the news, answered emails and didn't get ready to run. M woke up a little after 7 and asked if I was going to go running.

"No. I don't want to run ever again. I don't want to talk about running."

"That's ok. Maybe you need to take a few days off..."

Before he could finish, I was getting dressed to go. I ran 3 miles in about 35 minutes, stopping for three walking intervals.

I haven't given up yet.


Pea said...

Some days are just harder than others. It might help to know that there are many of us out here in the blogosphere who are proud of what you're doing, particularly because it's difficult. If it was easy, it wouldn't be a challenge or a sacrifice!

Anonymous said...

Buddy, you know how proud I am of you and how awesome I think you are. It's cool to get frustrated, especially when you feel like you're body is rebelling. There are some people who are born natural runners; the rest of us have to deal with legs who don't want to move the way we want them to.

I send you all my extra strength through the highways and biways of the interwebs. I miss hitting the open road so bad.

3 miles in 35 minutes is nothing to sniff at. You're going to kick ass in the fall. And there is no shame in using an old person as inspiration to keep up the pace. I always find the oldest person near me at the end of the race and force myself to overtake them before the finish line. Then I pee in my pants.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about you, but my body does not react well to the same exercize often--

When I was training, I would take every couple of days to do heavy weights at the gym with my legs. It was the perfect balance for me. I know it isn't recommended in the typical training course, but fuck that noise! Everyone's body is different.

Don't compare yourself to other people--think back to what you have truly accomplished already!!

I went running this morning for the first time in about 2 months. Er, maybe 3 (ouch). And I ran about 1/2 a mile. So, yeah, that should make you feel better. heh. Just think of me cursing with every. fucking. step. Even the evil dogs down the street didn't bark at me this morning. :)

Girl With Curious Hair said...

Pea: Thank you so much for the kind words and support.

Manda: My intention is to occasionally say something supportive and brilliant to you. Obviously, you're much better at it than I am--and I am grateful.

Boo: You're running? That's wonderful--since you're my long distance coach. I have spent time cross training this week, and will try to add some resistance training, too. BTW--I joke that I get a runner's high by the time I run .25 miles.