In Maine a few weeks ago, I gained the confidence that yes, my foot is going to be a-ok. Having been back running for just over a month, I decided to be a bit of a jacknut and test it by running up a ginormo mountain. Then I did it again. Oh, and then I did it again two more times. And yay! No pain. I was so happy and confident that even when I saw a bear cross the street about a quarter mile in front of me one day, I kept running towards it instead of hiding behind a tree and peeing myself.
I like to credit my Hokas (I run in both the Arahi and Mach models), nitroglycerin patches, and Body Helix compression for keeping my foot tame. So, yeah, thanks, peeps...
But this is kind of where the goodness ends for right now. Not gonna lie, running kinda just feels...hard? Don't get me wrong, I'm still happier than a pig in shit to be out there, but yeah, I'm sucking some murky pond water. My paces are not coming down as I anticipated them to at this point. I have a few theories why...
* Yeah, so, it's hot. I think when you start back in base miles when it's already 614 degrees and 237% humidity every day, it's going to take a little more time. I've also decided that running in the heat makes me a little, shall we say, hongry? ... which would be like hangry, but instead of hungry + angry, it's hot + angry. I discovered this ugly trait of mine on a run one day when a runner coming in the opposite direction said to me, "It's a beautiful day for a run!", and I responded, "It's bleeping hot as balls!" ...except I didn't say bleeping.
* I don't sleep. And I can't even blame my kids. Well, except for the occasional kiddo wakeup at 4am to cover itchy bug bites with bandaids or give back massages, because why would you not request a back massage at 4am?? ...but no, I go into a massive deep sleep 2.7 seconds after my head hits the pillow, only to dream crazy things and wake myself up. ...over and over and over again. Like last week, try and figure this dream out... I was running through Winston-Salem, got lost, ended up at the Wake Forest track, which actually was the New York Yankee stadium, where Derek Jeter asked me to pitch for the team, except when I got up to pitch, I turned into the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but I still pitched a perfect no-hitter game and ended up in the Yankee Hall of Fame. What?
* I've gained five pounds. Okay, yeah, no, this is definitely not why, but the thing that gets me is that I'm like, "whatever". I really love wine and pulled pork nachos right now, and every day I say, "this is the day I'm going to be healthier", and then every day I fail. And then comes the whatever. I will care at some point, but I'm going on the theory that the extra el bees are totally, ya know, stored energy right now. Okay, so yeah, seriously, someone smack me before I do turn into the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man...
* I mean, I was on a buttload of medicine, including two antibiotics, for TEN WEEKS. So basically, I had this resistant staph thing on my face that can actually develop from taking too many not-needed antibiotics over time, but the treatment was uh, antibiotics ...that turns out were uh, not needed. Oh okay. So yeah, ima 'bout ready to go back to school to get my medical degree because my trust in docs has gone down the crapper. I'm also aware that I would survive about a half day in medical school before calling my mom crying and pleading to come pick me up. So, yeah. But really, I think my body is trying to bounce back from this influx of meds and is therefore giving me the middle finger when I head out to run, esp. when it's 614 degrees.
Yeah, so who knows. But really, even though running feels hard and slow right now, I'm the happiest I've been in a looooong time. Running gives me so much clarity; I find that anything I can't figure out or decide in life will always be realized when I go for a run. I'm also able to cut myself more slack. For so long, I'd drown myself in guilt; when I was working, I felt like I needed to be with the kids more, and when I was with the kids, I felt like I wasn't doing my best at work. Now, it's okay if I stay at work a little later, it's okay if I take an extra night out of the week to meet some girlfriends for a glass (or two) of wine, and it's okay to opt for an extra hour of sleep in the morning if I actually have the chance to take it (even if it's with whacked-out dreams).
So for right now, I'm enjoying running for what it is (beautiful!), and at some point, I know I'll pick up speed again. I'll probably start adding actual speed work back in within the next few weeks to see how I respond. I haven't selected my next marathon yet because I won't race one until I feel ready to go for my goal. I've run eight marathons, so I don't feel the need to just go race another for shits and giggles... I want to race when I'm really ready to go for it.
Honestly, it just feels good to be me again. As I type, Logan and I are currently playing a mean game of "Who Can Stay Quiet the Longest?" Yes, this game was my idea, and yes, it is genius, and yesssss, he really likes this game. Yesssssss. Life is good. :)
Oh, and I didn't know what to title this blog post, so that's why I decided to just call it, "I Don't Know."