This spring has worked out a little differently than I planned. I was training for the Eugene Marathon (4/29), until some point in March. I had something funky going on with my calf/ankle and I physically wasn’t able to make my long runs. Then I could physically run, but I lost the heart to tackle those really long training runs and would end up crying at about 14 miles and throw in the towel.
Then a month ago, Misha broke his leg and my life jumped tracks to full time caregiver. He is much more mobile now, but it has been a challenge for both of us for him to be so dependent on me. My days are filled with watching a friend’s almost-8 month old daughter,
waiting on my husband hand and foot, experiencing what has so far been the biggest challenge we’ve faced in our relationship (which really hasn’t been that big of a deal to me except when he asks for something in another room after I’ve finally been able to sit down for the first time in 3 hours- then I cry a little, but mostly on the inside) and then parenting my own child when he’s not off being socialized by the greatest kindergarten teacher of all time (bless her ever-loving heart for being able to do it so well for 25 years).
I know that one of the biggest hurdles in caregiving is self-care. So I’ve tried to stay conscious of what I need in all of this, too. Running would be a great way for me to take care of myself, but it just isn’t happening right now. Instead, I’ve actually been making an effort to spend time with friends and it’s been lovely. I tend toward hermit status especially in the winter but now that the bright thing is back in the sky I can leave the house more frequently (as in, every day). By “tend toward” I mean I am a card carrying member of Hermits Anonymous.
Not to say that I haven’t been running at all. When I finally decided that Eugene couldn’t be on my schedule this year, I decided to add in a few half marathons and qualify to join the Half Fanatics.
Which I did. So that’s cool.
In mid April, I was offered free entry to a local half by the amazing Hilary from Outdoors NW Magazine. I was really looking forward to that race because it has some beautiful scenery and runners were encouraged to raise money for St. Jude’s. I have a soft spot for fundraising and I don’t think the need for scenery during a run requires explanation. Instead, I spent that weekend in bed with my first migraine in years. Not exactly my ideal weekend.
But last Sunday (5/6) I ran the Tacoma City Half for my 3rd half marathon in 58 days. I debated holding out to apply to the Half Fanatics until I hit the 6 in 6 months or 12-18 in 12 months because I’m not fantastic at setting long term goals and I recognize that. But then I decided that 58 days is plenty long term enough and I needed something in the short term to ease the loss of Eugene.
I didn’t run a single step between Squak Mountain and Tacoma. That’s 3 weeks for those of you keeping score at home. Tacoma was not my best race, but not my worst. Neither of my IT bands were all that thrilled and my calf was temporarily possessed (it wasn’t a cramp because it didn’t hurt but it was contracting in a way that I can only define as ‘not the right way’ so I automatically assumed my Achilles tendon was going to snap in half because I saw that happen to a man when I was 8 or 9 and now I live in perpetual fear of experiencing it myself, but apparently my quick and desperate prayers to the Godling of Not Experiencing Extremely Gross and Horribly Painful Things worked because my Achilles is still in one piece).
I ran the last 3-4 miles with Sarah, who was running her first half and whose family thought she was insane when she asked for the race registration as a birthday present. She totally is, but it’s the
good best kind of insane! With less than a mile to go we added Mike to our group, who did have calf cramps as opposed to a demonically possessed calf, and we finished strong together.
I walked around for what felt like forever because I really didn’t want to cramp up in the car on the drive home. Saturday was packet pickup day and Google Maps says the drive should have been about 50 minutes each way. And on the way to Tacoma it was about that. On the way home it took me more like 95 minutes. Hello boating season/I-5 northbound through downtown Seattle is wrong. (If you are unfamiliar with that particular stretch, it involves the freeway narrowing from 4 lanes down to 2. In the heart of downtown. And I’m not even sure that it qualifies as the stupidest road in the city.)
Sunday was a breeze though- it only took 45 minutes to get home. Because I took the smart route and I might or might not view a posted speed limit as more of a generalized suggestion than anything else.
I’m reading a lot. I’m getting creative in painting my nails. I’m experimenting with eye shadow. I’m cooking all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. And I can tell that very soon I will be inspired to start actually training for a race, which I’m looking forward to immensely.