mixed emotions

14 Aug

Who knew things like kick ass training runs, running marathon + distance “just because,” and getting a new watch could bring mixed emotions.

Because on the one hand, I can be excited and proud.  I can be beyond excited that my body is handling 40-50 mile weeks like a champ. I’ve never been  here before…it’s an interesting place to be.  I think I might stay a while.  At least for the next 2-3 weeks before taper.

I can be excited about hill repeats and getting to a place where I look at Ski Hill or Coyote’s Den and at the top, I think that maybe somehow those “mountains” have been cut down somehow…they are not as big as I remember them being.  Sure they’re still a great workout, but they are no longer insurmountable.  They are just part of what I do.

I can be excited that I have run 2 marathon + training runs on super tough trail on tired legs and then finished my day out strong.  Because there was a time when an 18 miler on the roads would have left me sleeping on the couch under blankets covered in ice packs for the remainder of the day.  And ain’t nobody got time for that now.

I can be excited that I needed a new watch–my Garmin Forerunner has treated me well, but I have used it so much the band fell off the other day.  It’s ok.  Eric got to superglue it back on, and any day that he gets to use superglue is a good day.  But poor Garmin just couldn’t handle these long runs–I needed something with way more battery life.  My plan had been to just switch watches with Eric every 4-5 hours or so, which was working really well for me during the marathon + efforts, but Eric loves having his watch on his wrist and is a little OCD.  Not having it while I was using it was driving him nuts (although he did it, because he rocks). So Eric surprised me yesterday with a new watch–with a 30 hour battery life!!! We are still trying to figure it out, but I am pumped to be able to use ONE watch and have one less thing to think about during these long efforts–now I can focus solely on things like “what kind of food do I want to shove in my face?” and “do you think maybe you should use a real toilet or are you good for another few miles?”  Ya know…the major questions of life…

So on the one hand, I can be excited…

But on the other, I can be crushed.  Devastated. Something so far beyond “sad” that I don’t know if there is a word for it.

Crushed that I can put in marathon + efforts.  Because I have the time. Because I am “not doing anything else”…like growing or raising a human or anything.  People will point that out to me, and my heart will ache–I would give up the running like this if I had a reason to.  If you’ve had to give it up, it’s because you had a CHOICE.  I don’t get that luxury.  Be thankful that someday you can go back to running long…and then come home to a baby/child to love and nurture.  I don’t have that.

Crushed that I need a watch that lasts longer than 5 hours.  Because as much as I’ve always said I want to keep running during my pregnancy, I would never run past 5 hours, much less 30 hours.  This new watch is clearly an “unpregnant” watch.

Crushed that I didn’t (or couldn’t?) cry after our last shitty doctor appointment on Thursday.  Some tears here or there may have squeaked out, but nothing major.  It was like I was numb.  Until I was running long on Wednesday, almost a week later, when I sobbed for a good 45 minutes while I stumbled along the trails, alternately embracing the release and trying to stop it (mostly because I worried if someone else was in the woods I would terrify them).  But crying in the woods during harder workouts has become my MO these days.

So I can be excited about Virgil.  And I am.  I am excited, proud, a little nervous, but mostly pumped to really put myself to the test again and see what I am made of.  But in the back of my mind, there is also a sadness and a pain that goes with it.  But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that a long run in the woods can help put things into better perspective, and if nothing else it’ll exhaust you to the point that when you go to bed at night, you just fall asleep, rather than laying there thinking of all the things you know you shouldn’t think about.  It’ll remind you that your body can’t do it all, but damn can it do a lot, and that is something to be unbelievably grateful for.


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