Couch Potato to Runner–Running on Empty

Last week I managed to keep up my running routine even though I had an impossible travel schedule. Fortunately I was able to run twice before my trip and only had to plan one run during my trip, but I was on a grueling schedule and even that one run was difficult to fit in.

Now that I’m back and running closer to sea-level, I thought I’d do really well. After all, I’d “trained” at high elevation and my low-elevation home-town should be a piece of cake! Well, I’m no Olympian and I didn’t exactly train for weeks in the mountains, so I was duly disappointed. I lost most of the 3-minute improvement that I saw last week.

My new, post-C25k, routine is to run five kilometers on Saturday and fit in two shorter runs during the week where I add 2 to 3 minutes per week over the previous week. Eventually, the long and short runs will converge since one is based on distance and the other on time.

Sunday, despite a travel moratorium for the rest of the quarter at my husband’s company, he was asked at the last minute to get to the far-away headquarters for Monday and Tuesday meetings. Having been gone all the last week myself, I had been so looking forward to being home for the rest of his travel-free weeks. If I’d only known…Well, he wasn’t feeling well and I joked that maybe he had West Nile Virus…then after he left, a Facebook buddy posted that his dad’s friend had just died of it.

I would manage a lot better, as would he, if my husband had a regular schedule of travel. Instead, it’s all these last minute meetings and leaving unexpectedly and not coming home as expected. On Sunday my normal, always-present, low-level of anxiety, ratcheted-up several notches. When these things happen, I become somewhat paralyzed and have to force myself to do some of the things on my to-do list or else lose myself in logic puzzles to keep my mind off of things.

I awoke Monday morning to the soothing sound of rain gently falling…then realized it was a running day. I contemplated running on my treadmill or going out in the rain. Fortunately, the rain stopped and off I went, albeit reluctantly. I was on a 38-minute run and 23 minutes into it, within sight of the end, the rain came back with a vengeance. By then, I was close to home and could easily have cut my run short, but I was too far along to give in.

When Wednesday dawned, I was not up to my run, but I went anyway. I recalled my husband, a marathoner, telling me that it was okay if I didn’t always have great running times, I was building muscle memory and that was important too. So, my muscles and brain did their thing, communicating on a level so subliminal that I was unaware of it.

Inside, however, I was empty. I was running on empty and thank goodness for my muscles and neurons figuring out the muscle-memory thing on their own. My mind was racing and I was trying to get my focus back on my music, but my legs and lungs just kept on pumping, thank goodness.

I finished my Wednesday run, but my husband woke and then fell back asleep due to his illness and missed his flight. He rebooked, but then started vomiting and went to a nearby clinic. You have to know my husband to know the magnitude of that decision…he hasn’t had a regular doctor since he was a kid and in the 30 years we’ve been together he’s seen a doctor exactly 4 times. Ok, make that 2 more as of today.

Find the Joy in the Journey, but remember what it is all about and don’t let go of your dreams or your health…and hey, a few prayers for my husband would be greatly appreciated.


One thought on “Couch Potato to Runner–Running on Empty

  1. Pingback: Running on Empty–Redux | Laura's 50 by 50

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