Everything hurts and I’m dying (I’m so extra) …

This morning I ran an easy 3-miler. It will be the last time I run until race day. You would think this “easy” run would, in fact, be EASY. But it’s not. These last few miles I have come to call the “hypochondria miles”. The last of my tapering drama insanity nutso-ness is summed up in what are truly the final steps of my marathon training. I worry about every feeling I … um … feel.

Why does my Achilles feel that way? OH MY GOD IT MUST BE A TEAR!

Why am I breathing like that? MY LUNG MUST HAVE COLLAPSED.

Does my heart usually do that? YES, YES IT BEATS.

Is this harder than it should be? MY GOD ITS ONLY 3 MILES! HOW CAN I POSSIBLY MAKE IT ANOTHER 23.2?!?!

Good Lordy, I literally have to tell myself to SHUT UP and just RUN.

Well, I hope you all have a day where everything doesn’t hurt and you don’t think you’re dying!!!

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Happily never knowing …

We are a busy family. We always have been. I think it’s because there are so many of us, HA! In my 20 years plus of parenting I have never felt like we have done TOO MUCH. I felt like I have maintained a balance between school, fun, work, rest and health … but not this school year! It’s been crazy and it only got worse as the year marched on.

At the beginning of Spring I sat down and looked at everything on our calendar. To say I was completely overwhelmed, is an understatement. There was just too much going on. Some of it was our norm, but a lot of new things were on our agenda and they came with a lot of learning. Then there were other “one time” events that demanded priority. Throw in holidays, a vacation, college open houses and marathon training and you have the past 8 weeks of our lives. YIKES. At the time I took a deep breath and prayed for health and time in each day to get it all done. And I’m relieved to say that as of this past weekend we got through it! Except for my marathon this coming Sunday. HA, again! Some people might think that would be the worst if it. But not me. I’m looking forward to. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. It absolutely won’t be. I’m saying it’s going to be freeing. I love to run and to be able to go into this week feeling at ease after weeks of stress and wondering how I was going to fit in my training miles … I finally just get to run.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you happily have no idea how you did it!!!

Happy tears …

Today is one of those days where I’m overwhelmed with emotions. Libs is currently taking her AP European History test. This class has been ROUGH. And with the finishing of this test a close is brought to A LOT of our school year misery. Thank you JESUS! On top of that, I finished my last hilly long run today. Nothing but light “jogs” and walking until race day. YIPPIE! And if those two things aren’t enough goodness I have one more. George is coming home from college today! It has been a crazy freshman year for him that started with (but certainly not limited to) an evacuation because of the California wildfires. Yep, his school year was a DOOZY for him. Needless to say, with all this resolution today, I am feeling pretty darn thankful and very much relieved.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you cry happy tears!!!

Squirrels and ice skates …

I’m on Day 2 of my taper. For those if you who don’t know what that is, it’s when marathon training miles significantly decline. Miles decrease so that your muscles have time to mend before race day. There is a whole science behind it that I don’t necessarily understand, but I trust it. Anyway, taper time is usually hard for me. Many runners that I know also find it to be an uncomfortable time. It’s a waiting game until race day. For me I usually get super worried I’ll get sick or end up injured. I’d love to just sit in a protective bubble the next few weeks. But that obviously can’t happen, so I walk around like a nut for a few weeks. My family loves it … NOT. Anyway, I’m having a particularly rough time this go around. I’m only two days in and it’s been ROUGH. Last night my taper even invaded my dreams! I dreamt that I adopted a wild squirrel. Rather he adopted me. He refused to leave our house so I kept him. He was super fluffy and mischievous. I gave him a bath and took him to the vet. I even let him sleep on the pillow next to me. He was so cute! If that wasn’t strange enough, after I got my new pet settled I went ice skating to get over my fear of falling. CLEARLY I have been running with the early morning squirrels for far too long. And as for my fear of falling, it’s real. I slipped last November when we were up in the mountains. I came down hard and I hurt my back and tailbone. It stirred up all sorts of memories for me. One being a freak accident that I was in when I was 15 years old that left me with a broken vertebrae. It pretty much squelched all my running dreams at the time. My up-coming race is downhill. You tend to pick up a lot of speed coming down those hills. And it’s been in the back of my head that I could fall again. I guess somehow my early morning encounters with squirrels and my fear of falling leaked into my subconscious thoughts last night. And combined. Good Lordy. Race day can’t come soon enough.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t mix everything together!!!

Off my game …

I have not been myself today. Yesterday I ran my 20-miler and early this morning I was jolted out of bed by an earthquake. Long runs make make me tired and earthquakes make me a crazy anxious person. Not a good combo. After I checked on Libs and Reese I found myself consumed with race day anxiety and some intense animalistic hunger. Then came a dull headache. It was also a day filled with uncompleted tasks. I started them, but I certainly didn’t finish them. I’m not sure if I could characterize my day as BAD. But I can say that playing a normally functioning human today has been ROUGH.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t off your game!!!

Celebrating 18 awful miles and I yelled at a squirrel …

Long runs are hard. Some are easier than others but even when they are easy they are still hard. This morning I dragged my body to the curb for one of my last long runs before race day. I wasn’t feeling IT to say the least. My body is tired. Accumulative fatigue is REAL and I am riddled with it, HA! Anyway, because I wasn’t feeling IT I did everything I could think of to make sure I set up a good fueling station for myself. On my long runs I often loop back by my house where I can easily grab the fuel I need so I don’t have to carry it all with me. My supplies usually include water, Gu, granola bars, half sandwiches, fruit, whatever I feel I may need or want. It’s so helpful … usually. Today I don’t know how much worse my run could have been without it. Seriously, I was dragging. On top of that just as I was leaving my house I reached into my purse to grab my pepper spray and got one of the worst paper cuts of my life. This thing goes across the whole tip of my index finger. And despite being covered with a bandage it burned from my salty sweat. UGH.

So between my feet feeling like they were covered in concrete blocks and the pain in my finger I was pretty miserable out there. All of this misery didn’t make me immune to the other issues that come up during long runs either. Like the nuttiness. That was alive and well. Simple math was out the window. And I yelled at a squirrel. Yup, you read that right. I yelled at it. I came across a particularly spry little squirrel this morning. Not unusual, but this one just seemed a little sassier than the rest. This is the long run talking here. He was so fast and flitting all across the street. Then he stopped and looked at me. Like I wasn’t running fast enough to scare him. Good grief! It was at this point I lost my grip on reality and told him out loud that he was being a little show off. Yes, I scolded a squirrel. Not my prettiest (or sanest) moment that’s for sure.

I finished my run over 30 minutes later than I predicted I would. It was THAT bad! But despite all of the yuck and the fact that I yelled at a wild animal, I couldn’t be happier with myself. It’s taken a lot for me to get back to running this kind of distance. It’s been a tough and emotional road. But I’m doing it. Again. And I couldn’t be more grateful. Running, even on my worst of days, is still a gift that I will never take for granted. Not ever.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you look past all the bad and see only the good!!!

Hell hath no fury like a runner disappointed in themselves …

I did my long run yesterday … and it was horrific. I was looking forward to it and had no reservations about getting it done, but it got ugly. REAL UGLY.

The first six miles were fine. Completely uneventful. But by mile 8 I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. The miles that followed were even worse. The word NASTY describes it about as good as “ice cube” describes an iceberg. Yep, it was THAT BAD. It was honestly one of the toughest training runs I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong I have experienced these awful miles before. Some runs just SUCK. And this one SUCKED HUGE.

But as much as I loathe these trying runs, I have also grown to appreciate them. Not at the time, of course! At the time I’m too wrapped up in the misery to see anything good. I wonder why I continue to subject myself to the disappointment. I wonder if my body was ever meant for distance. I berate myself with all sorts of negatives! The appreciation I have for tough runs comes later when I realize that I can suffer greatly and still somehow manage to survive. There is something in this realization that gives me strength. Knowing that I can push myself mind, body and soul is empowering. It’s hell, but it’s empowering!

Thankfully by the next day, the memory of my terrible run fades and I begin to think about my next long run. One that I envision will be better. WAY BETTER. The best part of this is that my mind believes it’s possible. Somehow my feelings of defeat morph into determination. FIERCE determination! And it gets me back out there, HAPPILY, week after grueling training week. To try to explain this roller coaster of emotions and self-inflicted physical torment sounds insane even to me. But I guess that’s why they say runners are crazy, HA!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you can’t wait to do it all over again!!!