This week has taken its toll on me. I’m tired. Recovery from the half-marathon last Sunday was a lot harder than I expected. That race took everything out of me. Adding to my exhaustion were/are:
- School started. Hello 3rd grade! How did we get here?
- I’m still adjusting to Christian’s new job and having to juggle a few hours each evening solo.
- Surf. Thanks to Hurricane Leslie hanging out in the Atlantic, there has been surf all week…….which means I have seen my husband even less. When there is surf in Virginia Beach, you surf (and I try not to grumble although I’m not always good at it).
- Chet is teething…..and really really teething. The top left tooth has popped through and his right one is so close. Two more are working there way to the surface too.
- Chet is also fighting bedtime and sleeping in general. Our nights have been filled with refusing to go to bed, cluster feedings and 2, 3, 0r 4 wake ups. My nights have been filled with 1 hour segments of sleep. Although Chet has never been a “good” sleeper, this week has been extra hard on me. My body is craving sleep to recover from the heat during the race.
Thanks to all of the above, I didn’t find my running shoes (or my yoga mat or any form of physical activity) until Thursday. I do not recommend this form of recovery to anyone. Thursday morning I woke up and felt like I was run over by a bus. I called in sick to work, because I just couldn’t do it. Instead of staying on the couch all day in my pajamas, I went running. I put Chet in his stroller, I harnessed up the dog, and we set out to run a few miles. I just wanted to get all the funk out of my body, and I knew the only way to accomplish this was running.
Mission Accomplished. I felt human. For the moment.
While the easy three miles behind the stroller rid my body of the funk it was holding on to, I was still craving more. I wanted to run. I wanted to disappear from the world for a while. Physically my body is tired, but emotionally I’m tired too. Our family is dealing with some things that are weighing heavily on us right now (cancer sucks in case you didn’t know). So many emotions have been floating around our house while we have all hid from them. Not quite ready to grab hold of the emotions, they have spilled out and bubbled up into every aspect of our life.
This morning, I claimed it as my own (surf or no surf!). I set my garmin to only calculate mileage. I headed for the trails and I ran 9 feel good, carefree, make me smile miles. I ran an extension of a trail I have never ran, but I have always wanted to explore. This trail was beyond beautiful. The miles were beyond needed. It felt good to run hills. It felt amazing to splash through mud puddles. The quiet on the trail was therapeutic. There were several miles, I quietly ran without thought or concern. The other miles, I focused on textures – the texture of my breath, the feeling of each inhale, focusing on breathing with the all of my lungs and not just a portion. The texture of the earth beneath my feet, the sand, the mud, the dirt, the roots, the rocks. The texture of the air – sweet-smelling, hints of fall yet still holding on to summer, another rainless run although it teased me with a downpour as I drove to the trails and a few sprinkles around mile 6. The texture of each of my muscles – my legs felt strong running over the new terrain, my muscles welcomed the change.
Life is simple when running yet so wonderfully complex.
There is nothing better than running shoes, trails, and enough miles under my feet to process life. I finished the run feeling light, feeling free, and feeling recovered (for the moment).
I’ll be back next weekend to conquer 12 more miles.