Saturday, March 12, 2005

A ray of sunshine appears in the distance...

All week I’ve been battling with this crippling state of euphoria. I mentioned it in my last post, but I really barely scratched the surface. Honestly, it was disgusting. Every aspect of my life seemed to be going perfectly, and I couldn’t manage to wipe the grin from my face for more than a few minutes at a time.

My friends would tell you that I’m generally a pretty positive person, but there’s certainly a limit, and I had far exceeded that limit.

So, this morning, I woke up bright and early with my usual sickening mix of confidence, excitement, and joy, ready to face my second double digit run, at 12 miles. I got to the site, met up with the friends I’ve now made at the Team in Training group, and started to catch up on how their weeks had gone. And when the coach asked who was running 12 miles (as opposed to the 8 miles for novice runners and 5 for half-marathoners), I boldly raised my arm along with the rest of my regular running group.

It was awful.

So we started running, and barely 500 yards into the run, I started to get a stitch in my right side. It didn’t stop me, but it wasn’t pleasant either. And as I kept running, the stitch got progressively more painful, sometimes jumping to the other side, sometimes appearing in concert on both sides, and sometimes disappearing for a few minutes at a time. I started running slower, which helped, but didn’t solve the problem. I walked for a minute or two, but that only helped until I started running again.

All I can say is, thank God.

It felt so right to have something go wrong. And I couldn’t blame it on Jen or anyone else, because (and Coach Everyman confirmed it when I got back to the starting point), the sole culprit is the Indian food I ate last night, full of curry, lamb, and other heavy ingredients that weren’t fully digested by eight this morning. So I have the added bonus of knowing that the pain was completely my own fault for ignoring the nutrition advice they’ve been repeating all along.

Of course, as you can probably tell, this insidious case of contentment won’t be quite so easy to shake. Honesty forces me to concede that there were still several things about this run that will only add to my general state of well being. For one thing, even though I didn’t run 12 miles, I did make it just over 7, which not very long ago was unthinkable. And I ran the 3.5 miles back, almost without stopping, because the cramps had alleviated somewhat by them.

I’m also compelled to mention how fabulous my training buddy was. We started running together a few weeks back at the first 6 mile run, because our paces matched pretty well, and almost immediately we hit it off. She ran the Marine Corps marathon last year, so she offers me constant encouragement, and we have such great conversations as we run that we often don’t notice how far we’ve gone. (Today, for instance, we missed the turn around marker because we were gabbing too much.) So, in the midst of my curry-induced agony, she slowed when I did, walked alongside me, and reassured me that next week, I’d be right back on form, and that this wasn’t a setback at all.

And, at the slower pace we were running, I had no choice but to notice the gorgeous scenery on both sides of the trail, and to enjoy the bright sunlight and warmer temperature we were running in.

As you can see, I still have a lot of work to do before I reach my normal state of grumpy cheer. But I’m encouraged by today’s run. And I’m helping a friend move her couches today, and she has promised to try to drop one on my foot, if at all possible.

I’ll report back. But meanwhile, I hope you’ve all been having good weeks, whatever that means for you.


Blogger David said...

Gosh, it hurts to hear you having such a good time even when you're hurting ... not. You inspire us to keep a sunny disposition. I am swearing off curry too.

6:01 PM  

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