36 Hours Earlier…
Palak Paneer can safely be added to the list of food I should not eat the night before a run. More on that later. (But not too much more). Also – eating a healthy amount of movie popcorn – while supremely satisfying – just prior to running is also not a good idea.
I know – rookie.
I should know better. I’ve been running long enough to know that you don’t run alone without ID and money. (Cash money). Long enough to know not to trust anything your body says in the first mile of a run. Long enough to know that yeah – I can get home from the movie at 1:40, run 13.1 miles and make it home in time to eat, shower, and pack a dinner to make it to a 5 pm call time.
So the question is why? Why did I do these things? The answer is simple. I picked this goal because, while challenging all together, it is meant to focus my week to week planning and consistency – not take over my life. So when it’s time to order out Indian because the spirit moves you – that’s what you do. When you’ve ben craving Movie popcorn all week and the time you make to see the movie is just prior to your run – eh. It’s a whole grain…
Now sometimes the run helps to serve as something to temper my decisions, but I think it’s just as valuable to let these other things win from time to time. That’s what balance is all about.
I did have an opportunity to run with friends earlier but it would have meant me getting up at 5, running for 7 miles on my own in the dark in order to make it to family breakfast (oh – another food event…) and I just was not feeling the joy in that so I “slept in” until it was time to head over to the Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers Market for breakfast. If you’re in the Annapolis area you should definitely check it out.
So now that you have a sense of the 36 hours preceding the run…
I took full advantage of the break in rain and beautiful temps. Coming straight from watching “Into the Spider-verse I downloaded the soundtrack while I changed and then head out the door. Shorts, lightweight long sleeve shirt, cap and sunglasses, and my new rightly sized shoes(!!). A few steps into the run it hit me like a wall.
That’s a thing I have not run in in a long time. I started thinking about that. How is it possible that I haven’t run in the wind in so long? It was weird but oddly refreshing.
The plan was simple. Run 6.55 miles out, turn around and retrace my steps back to home. And that’s kinda how it went but about 5 miles in my stomach started talking to me. By the time I hit 6 miles my stomach had escalated to full on berating me for my poor decisions. I needed to find a building with an unlocked door and plumbing. Fast.
I thought about it and as much as I didn’t want to, I made a bee line for the swim center taking me to 6.8 miles. Dangit – I don’t want to figure out the math on this one. Thankfully they were open and let me in. While I had some time to think I realized it wasn’t that big a deal. I would just run back to the point where I bailed and then retrace my steps from there, omitting a short side street I ran on the way out.
Of course after a pit stop like that the rest of the run was glorious. Maybe it was the sunlight. Maybe it was because I wasn’t paying for my food choices anymore. Who am I to say? But it was nice. Sunny, pleasant. Did I mention it was sunny? Man I missed that Sun. Even that low lying, aggressive winter sun. I usually Hate the winter sun – but today we were friends.
I’ve continued running a couple times during the week and eating better so while I’m not blazing fast I felt strong and I pushed a bit in the last mile and a half. I felt good. I want to celebrate that and keep that feeling ready to share.
On the way back I was thinking about what I should write about outside of the specifics of the run and I couldn’t decide wether or not to tell the “bad food decisions” story or not. I mean – it’s kinda personal but hopefully not an overshare if done properly. If you have run enough miles this has likely happened to you (even if you did make good food decisions the night before) and if it hasn’t – now you know.
I kept hearing “don’t air your dirty laundry” in my head. I don’t know where I heard it growing up but clearly I heard it enough times from various places that it seemed like a good rule. At any rate – I started thinking on that and about how I’ve been sharing my ups and downs with depression and thinking about how runs have ups and downs – just like life and also how sharing my experiences with depression might be airing my dirty laundry and how those two things relate to one another.
Here’s my thing – I feel so strongly that talking about depression and grief and suffering in general need to be normal. Human beings need to feel connected and when we don’t feel like we can share when things aren’t “good” we wind up cutting ourselves off from others just at the time when we need each other the most.
This is crazy – and leads to deeper depression and more suffering. Not like I wanna walk around in a world where everyone is Debbie Downer spilling their guts to anyone who will listen. Not any more than I want to walk around in a world where “Everything is Awesome!” (Unless it is). I want the truth I guess. I believe there’s enough of each that everything would be in balance.
So I will continue to share the bad with the good because it helped me SO MUCH to do so but I will also continue to not share the details in this forum. It’s like saying “Hey! I have Laundry!!” Without saying “Hey!! Look at this stinky sock!!” There are a number of people in my life who I can share the particulars of my laundry with, people who have either through time or example have told me (by listening) “it’s okay to share your stinky sock with me. You can trust me and I won’t judge you or try to fix you. I’m just here for you.”
But sometimes I need to say – to the world – “HEY! I HAVE LAUNDRY!” Just to get to a place where I can seek out my inner circle, where I can be safe, and heal.
Next Week: Over the River and Through the …uh Park. Running to Gram’s House.