Monday, December 31, 2012

Bad Penny

Dear 2012,

You suck.

I had high expectations for you.

After a disastrous end for 2011, stress fracture in a boot and all, I so was looking forward to a better year with you. 

But, you disappointed me.  You failed me.  

Bite me, 2012. 

Just a few days into 2012 I got out of my boot and ran.  Doctors blessing.  I was scared.  But, I ran my Fuck the Boot 5k  .  On a gloriously freezing cold Chicago winter day.  I ran.  It was wonderful. 
I was happy.  And optimistic.

I was fooled.

Just a few weeks later, I strained my calf muscle.  If you have never done this, be thankful.  It's was 100 times more painful than my stress fracture.   A few steps into a run and I felt and HEARD a pop.  I honestly thought I broke my leg.  The pain? Whoa.  I literally hopped home. Called into work the next day.  I never called into work at all with my stress fracture. 

So, off the legs again.  Of course.  Rest up for a few weeks and try again. Start slowly.  Again.  Baby steps.  Again. 

In the middle of this I sign up for the Chicago Marathon.  Because, obviously, I'm an idiot. I can't even run, yet I think I can do something I have yet to be able to even start? Stoopid. 

I think I'm on my way, so sign up for a St. Patty's Day 5k.  Oooof.  Again, stoopid.  It was a bit hot a humid that day (my kryptonite)  and I got spanked.  I had to stop multiple times. Walk. Breath.  In a 5k.  I finished 10 minutes off my PR.  Huh?  I wasn't ready.  What was I doing?  I wasn't ready. 

I was pissed.  So, I came home and immediately ran the race over.  Stoopid.  (See a theme here?).  It was now high noon.  Hot as hell.  Humid as hell.  And, I walked right into it.  Ran right into it actually. This time up hills too.  And, didn't stop until I ran that entire 5k again.  Ran it about the exact same time as the race. But, this time I was happy.  Because it was even harder.  Yet I did it.  Oh, sure, I got some severe foot pain in my wonky leg half way through.  But, I sucked it up cupcake and ran anyway.

Ahhhh, but that foot.  The pain kept me from really running again.  I gave it a few months rest and tried to start up when Chicago Marathon training began.  Made it to my 7 mile long run.  And quit.  I just knew I wouldn't be able to make it to the super long runs.  Not in the pain I was in.  No way.  So, once again.  I failed.  I quit. Yeah me. 

Oh, wait, stop right there..... stop. Ok, I didn't run.  2012 was not the year of running for me.  We all got that.  YOU all so got that.  

So, what did I do

Let's see, I crewed my dear friend as she ran 76 miles Barefoot 24.   I jumped on a train for 10 hours and met the lovely Deb. I was a virgin at crewing and just jumped right in.  It was an unbelievable experience.  Exhausting.  Wonderful.  I'd do it in a heartbeat if I ever have the chance to do it again. 

Well, my girls and I  decided to do a team triathlon in June.  Our first time.  We were clueless.  We weren't well trained.  But, we were determined.  We had a little bit of inspiration on our team. So what if my swimming wasn't where it needed to be.  If someone can be in the midst of chemo and kick ass, I can surely give it my all. We had a blast.  We didn't do so badly, rookie mistakes and all.  I was third out of the water for the relay teams.  Only behind the leader (10 years my junior by the way) by 18 seconds. Errgh.  We finished 7 out of 58 teams.  Pretty proud of that.  Oh, but, we will be top three next year.  For sure. Perhaps we may even win. 

So, the rest of the summer I swam.  I loved it.  Outside.  Warm sun on my back. Clear waters.  It's where I am at my most peaceful.  It's where I don't break.  I swam longer.  And  faster.  I did a four mile swim.  I got a great tan. Mmm'kay? I was sad to see it end.

I cheered at Shamrock Shuffle.  I cheered at Chicago Rock n Roll.  I went to the Fox Valley Marathon (Half & 20 miler)  I got there before sunrise and chalked up the running path for my friends.  I #DoEpicShit cheered every single person that started this race.  I had a blast. I loved seeing my friends.  I loved running (painfully) with them for a few feet,  screaming in their ear.  I got mad love back from the race on their facebook site.  That was sweet.

I went to the Chicago Marathon and cheered.  For the third year in a row, I cheered.  For the second year in a row I was registered and DNS due to injury.  So, yes, once again, there I was on the sidelines.  Cheering.  This year was different.  I was a bit more sad this time around.  Sigh.  I saw lots of my usual racing suspects, which was nice.  I also had the pleasure of cheering on some first time finishers.  The highlight for me was running with them for a bit at about mile 21.  Whispering a few words of encouragement in their ears as they struggled those last miles.  Then, I went home. 

Shortly after Chicago Marathon, I started my return to running.  Baby steps.  Literally.  Half mile runs.  They were tough.  Building slowly.  

Then life shit happened.  I hid a bit.  Because I needed to.  But, I continued to run. Progressing.  I was feeling good enough that on a whim (and fueled by wine) I signed up for a January half marathon. What?!?!? Am, I insane?  No, just stoopid.  I think we've established that already. So, I quietly did my own training.  It's probably not what I should be doing according to some well trained expert.  But, it's what works for me with my work schedule and my life.  I ran a 4 mile intensely hilly Turkey Trot.  I did not die.  It was close, but I did not die. I ran a cold and rainy December 5k trail race.  It was delightful.  I continued to run. I never got fast.  But, I get faster than when I started.  I went long.  Not super long.  But, long for me.  I ended the year with two 10 mile runs.  

Me.  The always broken girl.  Two 10 mile runs.  Even surprised me. Sure, that last one broke me again.  Still not able to walk right now.  I have a lovely shuffle/limp to keep me upright and moving forward, trying to keep the intense pain to a minimum.  Hoping the pain goes away all together.  Soon. 

So apropos to end 2012 on an injury again.  It just wouldn't be right if I didn't, right?

Ah, but I did end the year today with a quick mile swim.  A swim to always calm the chaos.

So goodbye 2012.  I'm done with you. You surely knocked me down.  A lot. But, stoopid me, I kept coming back.

Like a bad penny.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ramble On

So, yeah....... I've been quiet for a bit.

When I was injured I spent my time following everyone else's workouts, progress, races.  I enjoyed following everyone's journey.  I rambled on. Had fun.  Made new friends.  Got close to old friends.   I also lost a few.  Circumstances.  Life.  It made me realize I depend on people too much.  While many people in life depend way too much on me, I expect others to be there for me.  However, in the end, when it matters most, nobody is there.

Through the last year everyone has been unbelievably supportive to me. They listened to me bitch.  Tried to hold my hand when I cried with frustration at being injured yet once again.  Virtual hugs abound when, once again I could not try to run Chicago.

I went through some tough life shit recently.  Still am.  Had some days when all I wanted was for one of my many many friends to be there for me.  To notice I needed help.  Needed a shoulder.  An ear.  A hug.  But, nobody was there.  It made me realize that although I am lucky to consider so many people I know virtually to be close dear friends, in the end they cannot be there for me when I need them.  Are not there for me when I need them.  They have their lives.  Their shit.

So, when I was ready to start out  on my journey once again, instead of depending on the wonderful support of others, I walked away.  It was easier to be alone at the start than to have company and expect it to stay, only to be disappointed in the end.

When I was ready to start out again, I wanted nobody around me.  I'm not quite sure why.  Because if nobody knew what I was doing then when I would inevitably break once again (because I will) I won't have to not only disappoint me, but those who support me?  Maybe.

Or maybe because I wanted to do this on my own.  With out the rah, rah, rahs.  Without the "you're amazing"'s. (I'm not)  Oh, don't get me wrong, I like those.  I need those.  But, I ultimately need to do this for me.  By me. For me. Me.

So, I ran.  Some were good.  Some were downright awful.  But, I ran. I ran into double digits.

Now I sit here with ice on my foot.  Unable to walk due to the foot pain from today's 10.4 mile run.

I'm not sure if it's just some cramping.  Or something worse.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tap, tap, tap....

Is this thing on?

Is there anybody there?

Is there anybody REALLY there?

Sometimes I wonder.

Well, I'm here.  Doing it on my own.  Or trying to anyway.

8 miles today. Yes, me. 8 miles.

Turning the tide.

Carry on.