An emotional mark

Distance: 6.66

Miles to go: 1500

Running is ups and downs.  Emotion and adrenaline.  Injury and recovery.  Doubt and confidence.  Pain and pleasure.  The fickle fates that rule running can (and do) throw any and all of these highs and lows at you.  Sometimes all at once.

Examples include running a horrible race at a new distance but still being proud of yourself at the finish line for achieving the goal.  Or how about getting a PR at a distance but being angry about it because {insert meaningless event here} happened along the way and you think you could have done better.  Or, as happened in Chicago last year and Arkansas last week, you bust your ass to get ready for a race and some natural disaster (Heat in Chicago and Ike in Arkansas) causes either a cancellation or worse yet, causes the race to be stopped AFTER it starts.  It all toys with your emotions.

I get embarrassed sometimes at how emotional I get at races.  In 1997 I watched the Ironman on TV as I lay on the couch recovering from a horrid back surgery that left me disabled (without the placard) for years and BAWLED like a baby as I watched two of the women competitors CRAWL toward the finish line because they were just physically spent.  I had big tears in my eyes 10 years later as the gun went off for the marathon I ran.  And even more when I finished.  I sniffled when I read a running friend’s account of his 100 mile death march a couple of weeks ago when he said he had to stop and gather himself a bit when he saw the finish line because he broke down (dude… a hundred miles? …that’s just sick.  Cry all you want.) when he saw it.

So we come to today.

After the huge ups I had last year with all the PR’s, long distances and personal achievement, the year ended horrifically with me being hurt and unable to do much more than waddle.  This year started off just like last year ended.

No running, barely any walking, weight gain and depression.  It took until April before I could run a mile without hurting and, realistically, it took another 4 months to consider myself 90% recovered (I still hurt occasionally).  It seems as if any race I think about running seriously enough to pick up a flyer is sure to be cursed with bad weather.  I have to be careful not to look forward to a regular run too much or I doom it as well.  A couple of weeks ago I just finally decided to not even attempt a race this year.  I just need to run.  I need my mojo back.

Today I hit a milestone.  One that, last year, would have taken a mere 2 months two achieve.  But one that, in the winter of this year, I didn’t think would even be possible.  This morning I hit the 500 mile mark for the year.

I didn’t even realize it until I looked at my own blog today and then, again, I got a bit emotional.  So many lows this year.  Finally at least a small bit of good news.

I am done with bold predictions though.  Can I get 1000 miles this year in the remaining 4 months?  If I say yes, start building your ark…  So I will say…  “I don’t care”.   As long as I just keep running.  To hit 1000 miles I would need to run just short of 36 miles a week for the rest of the year.  With weather, holidays, work and so on, I just don’t think it’s possible.  I’m actually kind of excited to be thinking about it though!  Next year will be better.  This year I need to finish on a high which, for me, simply means I need to go for a run on the last day of the year, pain free.  And then wake up the next morning and do it again.

I will not curse any more races this year by attempting to run them.  Maybe I will hit one or two with a day of the event sign up, but only after making sure the weather is going to be nice so I don’t ruin it for everyone else 😉  So, am I writing this year off?  For races, times, weight, distances, etc… yes.  My only goal is mileage and pleasure running.  Enjoying the ups.


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