Red, White, and Gloom

Do I really have any right to complain? It is so hard for me to play devil’s advocate. I have so much in life to be thankful for. But the fact that I can’t run? It is devastating to me right now. Maybe it is because I really need to run, but I just can’t. At least, I can’t run the way I want to run.

Yesterday was the hardest day yet. Why? Because I ran Thursday. And to be honest, coming off a likely stress fracture, I have to be glad that I mustered what I did. And that was a 4-miler, rather slow, but continuous. But, seeing post after post of 4th of July runs on Facebook, just turned me upside down and inside out. Gawd, I just want to run like NORMAL! And I wanted to strap on a race bib. And I wanted to be part of something.

Thursday, July 3

I didn’t sleep very well leading into this day. I went fishing the night before and broke out into my mysterious summer rash overnight. They are kind of like bug bites, but they are under my clothing. And they itch like all get out. And when I get a large breakout like this, it actually makes me physically ill. I take allergy pills, and they’ll work to take the edge off, but they don’t last more than a few hours.

So, Thursday’s run certainly ended up being very interesting. At this point, I wasn’t feeling badly, just tired. And I was more concerned about my leg more than anything. It started out rather uncomfortable, because it felt like I was running in cement shoes. Clomp, Clomp, Clomp. I’d have been mistaken for a horse if anyone were running next to me. And my leg did hurt a little. But not in the same area, rather 2-3 inches above where the suspected fracture was. And if I concentrated on bending my feet and ankles more as I propelled forward, it would subside. So is it the muscle of the calf reacting to the decreased mobility I have had the past 8 weeks? I gotta thing that is the case.

The route I chose was one that stays close to home and combines some pavement and side of the road gravel. It is also relatively hilly, and I could feel the difference between the uphills and the downhills. Of course, the downhills were much easier, and I could immediately feel my form improve on the downhills. Uphills slowed me down tremendously, and the discomfort would return.

Thursday's Run

Thursday’s Run

I planned to do run/walk intervals, but I think because I’m in such good shape cardiovascularly, slowing down to a walk  just wasn’t an option. My heart just wanted to keep pumping. It feels so darn good when it does. So I responded with slowing down a bit on the uphills and slightly increasing speed on the downhills. It is very apparent that this is going to be a long, steady process. And, as I approached my driveway afterwards, I decided that I need some help with recovery so I called my orthopedic and asked for some physical therapy sessions which he gladly approved. I’ll go Tuesday to see my Physical Therapist and get some ideas how I can re-strengthen that leg, calf, shin…what have you.

The best part was, afterwards, and hours afterwards, there was no discomfort to the leg. I could still walk on it. This wasn’t the case previously, as the pain would always return. This, I took as a good sign. I didn’t want to jinx anything so I waited to post this until after I was assured that I was on my way back.

My allergy, in the meantime, was making me crazy. I popped an Allegra mid day and was happy as heck that it allowed me to continue on through the afternoon. But by evening, I was a wreck and ended up taking Benedryl. For me, that means find me a bed cause I’m crashin’. And fast. And I did.

Friday, July 4

I woke Friday feeling like I had just run a marathon! No kidding! My quads were sore as all heck. I was flabbergasted! Who knew that after that amount of time, all of your muscles take on a completely different way of operating. It was a wonderful, awful feeling all at the same time.

I got up early to get a workout in because we were planning on watching my girls march in their first parade as high school students in the marching band. This would mean a 9:30am departure for us, and an 8:15am departure for them, and I wanted to be sure they had a decent breakfast. So I opted for the Zero Runner this morning as a workout. Yep, my quads felt it, as did the rest of my body from the waist down. I was still amazed at the level of DOMS. I managed 5 miles before I had to get moving to meet the schedule before me.

Marching in Delano, MN

Marching in Delano, MN

On any other day, that would have been more than enough, and I’m not sure what happened this day. Maybe it was the holiday, maybe it was from my lack of sleep the last few nights, but I ended up deep in the trenches; very low in the bowels of my mind. This menopause thing is gonna kill me if I don’t do it voluntarily beforehand, I tell ya. We headed off to the parade, which was an hour drive, and had a nice drive. We walked a little when we arrived and as the band passed, followed along with them for about a half mile until we decided to double back and head home so we could pick the girls up from the school. But, just as we were getting ready to leave, this crazy allergy I have started acting up and I had to pop an Allegra. And although they tell you it is non-drowsy, they always wipe me out.

So, upon arrival home, I was tired, cranky and hungry, and set out to eat every leftover in the refrigerator. This is SO not me. I usually have some pretty decent self control, and I’m not quite sure what happened. But as I was eating, I was perusing Facebook and reading all about my awesome friends and their awesome runs and I was slipping down, down, down, and eating more and more and more. I was out of control. Everyone else left the house to do chores and run errands and I stared at the empty plate in front of me and just started bawling. What is wrong with me? Maybe I need a nap.

I escaped to the bedroom and laid down, but after just 2 minutes, I could tell this wasn’t happening. And that the only logical thing to do was to exercise.

Crazy? Probably. But it was the only thing I could think of that would release me from this hideous, obnoxious feeling of doom and gloom. After all, if I couldn’t run with my friends and join in on the holiday races, I may as well go an burn off some calories the only way I could. And still being so sore from yesterday’s workouts, I opted for the stationary bike. I set up Hulu Plus on my Mac Air to watch Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and the bike up one level higher than I typically do, and I went at it…hard…for an hour.

It hurt. And I sweated enough that a second shower would be necessary that day, but I felt an immediate release of built up stress and emotion. It just had to come out, and this was the only way to do it. It was the only way I’d feel vindicated after the terrible start I had to this day.

After a shower, and dropping the kids off at their friends, my husband and I decided to go out. It is rare we have a childless evening, and we had nothing else planned. I tried to dress up a bit just to make myself feel a little better, and shake off the cobwebs of the day.

Red, White, and Hopeful

Red, White, and Hopeful

Unfortunately nothing was open. Except for Buffalo Wild Wings (remind me never to go back there again) and a restaurant in town that we love…and should have just went to first. But, whatever…it was nice to have a night out. I even had a drink! Which immediately wiped me out. Gawd, it is tough to grow old.

Wrapping It Up

So, yeah.  Red, White and Gloom. What a day. My mind is just buzzing with where I hoped I’d be today. And I’m not even close. I know that this will be a process, and I have to have the patience and fortitude to come back slow and steady and expect hazards along the way. I’m no stranger to any of it. Maybe my time seems that much more precious to me the older I get, or maybe I’m just not as patient as I used to be. Maybe it is just as simple as missing my run. Yeah, I think that is it. Missing my run. Running has shaped me into this amazing, self-loving, proud, gratified, content, human being. And I miss those feelings. I can workout until I’m blue in the face doing other things, but running…running…that is my passion. Coming out of this coma will be a true test of who I am and what I’m made of.

Let’s do this. I have nothing to lose…and everything, ANYTHING, to gain.

How was your holiday? Are you still celebrating? Did you get to run a holiday race? Share it with me here!

7 Responses to Red, White, and Gloom

  1. petitepacer says:

    ” amazing, self-loving, proud, gratified, content, human being. And I miss those feelings.”
    But you should be able to still have all that WITHOUT running, no?

    • A Running Chick says:

      Yes. And I do…normally…but the hormones, the waves of emotions…shit here at home…running is special. It’s a release, a vacation, a mind clearer.

  2. I’m right there with you! My issue isn’t so much lack of energy, its the mood ups and downs. Running keeps me pretty even keel. When I was out with the foot injury/broken foot, I did a lot of cycling to keep my endorphins high. Getting back to running was tough and there weren’t a lot of endorphins initially. A couple of weeks later, I’m feeling much better about things. Hang in there! I’m glad to know it isn’t just me…

  3. Telling a runner they CAN’T run is just so darn hard. Please know we are all here for you!

  4. Ashleigh B says:

    I just want to thank you for sharing your journey–the ups and downs! I know you’ll eventually get back to your run. In the mean time, I’m sending you e-hugs & lots of love!

  5. Jenna says:

    Sometimes the best way to get out of a dark mood is to pull yourself through a tough workout. Way to stick to it!

    I nominated you for a “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”! Thanks for being so awesome!

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