June 9, 2010

Why is running the best activity ever? (and a few reflections on life)

(I actually wrote this Wednesday night, but was feeling a little not normal, so didn't post it. Haha.)

Unless you are injured or sick, running is always there.
You don't need a friend to run, but it's fun with friends, too.
Running helps dissolve anger.
Running soothes sadness.
Running helps you connect to your inner thoughts.
Running helps you escape your inner thoughts.
Running makes a good mood better.
Running makes a bad mood better.
You can run and cry.
You can run and pray.
You can run and daydream.
You can run and zone out, or zone in.
You can run slow, fast, or in between.
Running can help a low self-esteem.
Running won't judge you.
Running won't yell at you, push you down, or call you names.
Running will make you feel like you DID something.
You can run at night, in the morning, or in between.
You can run nearly anywhere.

Back to today.
It's interesting how life works out or doesn't work out sometimes. (That's profound, I know. Haha) A year and a half ago, I was faced with a big life decision of leaving my small town, or staying. I chose to stay, mostly b/c of stubbornness. I refused to believe that things wouldn't work out, and I refused to "bow out", in my own terms. To me, leaving was the chicken, and easy way out. I also refused to believe that my own life was a failure. So, I pressed on...

Funny now, a year and a half later, I'm still here and life is not better. I was not able to work it out, but still I refused to "bow out." I had invested in marriage, my job, my town, my house, life in general. I did not just want to walk away from it. Yeah, there's fear. Not really fear of not being able to survive, b/c I always knew I could, but fear of the unknown. Sometimes a bad situation is still better than the unknown. Plus, there's always the age-old saying, "Can't live with him; can't live without him."

I'm pretty much kicking myself now. I'm in Louisville, with a year of obligations in Lower Alabama ahead. All the while, my dad will be rehabing, and my mom running herself thin. Stubbornness is probably one of the worst personality traits a person can have. See, if I hadn't been stubborn, I would've counted my chips, and "bowed out" of Lower Alabama for good. Then, I would've been right here with my family during this time, with no worries of a summer job, a classroom, and a track team fundraiser. "So, why don't you move?" you are wondering. Well, it's not THAT easy. See, the good interviewing window is over, and even if I were able to get a job before August, there would be no time to set up a new classroom while trying to help care for my dad.

Running is good, but life is not. I AM SO FRUSTRATED. Mom and I had a slight argument in front of my dad yesterday. This was weird b/c in the past 10 years, I really can't even think of a single argument I've had with my mom, other than her saying she wanted Botox (and the woman is the most gorgeous 63 year old alive). Usually, when my parents say something I don't agree with, I just say "okay" and leave it alone. I think we are both feeling frustrated. I got lost downtown for the millionth time, and she didn't answer her phone when I got lost in some random doctor's only parking lot. I was late getting to the hospital, and mom's friends were waiting to take her to lunch. I finally ran up there and she snapped at me for being late, followed by, "Do you have your make-up?" I snapped back, saying I was only late b/c she wouldn't answer her phone and I was lost. Of course, then she ridiculed me b/c I had been downtown one thousand times, and why could I not remember how to get there. Then she followed up with, "Put on some make-up. There might be visitors." Of course, then I teared up, saying that excuse me, I wasn't naturally pretty like she was, and that I didn't feel like wearing make up, not that some man was going to walk into the room and start hitting on me anytime soon. Of course, my dad, who was in a total stupor until this point, pipes up and says, "I don't want this even to cause disharmony in our family." We were totally caught off guard. Mom apologized, and we both admitted that life sucked, and everything was fine from that point.

So... tension gets high, and everyone needs a break. It's weird b/c I have been NAILING workouts recently, making me feel confident of a PR race ahead. For example, I did 6 x 1000 at 6:03 pace Tuesday and if felt downright EASY. Then yesterday, I did a 4 mile warmp up, followed by 5 @ 6:31, and could've done WAY more, but had to get back to my dad. It felt really, really good, too. The problem is that i just don't FEEL like racing a marathon. I feel like I am not mentally prepared for it. I am too distracted and fragile feeling. Plus, I worry about the LR thing discussed in my last post.

Anyhow, these recent improvements in fitness have made me super excited for running and racing, in general. I'm really hoping to do more group running, down here in FL AND maybe in KY next month. We'll see...

I'm also excited about my destination races. It's all about the friends when racing-

RnR Seattle marathon
Tupelo 14.2 (maybe)
RnR Philly Half
Wineglass Marathon

I'm really hoping to get back to the small town for a couple of week, hang out with friends, and start feeling like myself again.


  1. Sounds like you're having a rough time. Glad running is helping. Keep your head up! :)

  2. Anonymous6/12/2010

    ((hugs)) hope life starts looking up for you and cutting you a big break! sending positive thoughts your way :)

    and running has been EVERYTHING you named at the top of this post :)

  3. Anonymous6/13/2010

    I have had that exact same "put on some make-up/why, am I ugly" argument with my mom 1000 times. She knows it pushes my buttons, and she still can't or won't help but say it. I imagine it's even harder when you're both sort of on edge about your dad and hospital stuff. Not sure what to say other than I've been there (and now I just give her the evil eye and go put on some lip gloss, but the chain ends here. If I ever have a daughter, she won't be hearing that from me.)

  4. I'm sorry you are under so much stress. Honestly your situation is my worst nightmare. I live a long way from my parents, and I just don't know what I'd do if something happened to one of them and they needed me. As for the argument with your mom- even good people who love each other very much say and do things they don't mean when they are under a ton of stress. The two of you are still a team and you'll continue to work together to help your dad rehab. You are in my continued prayers. (((((Hugs))))).

  5. Anonymous6/13/2010

    I'm sorry the stress keeps mounting. You have a strong and close knit family so you guys are really doing great managing it, it gets to everyone sometimes. I'm glad your workouts are going well. I know you don't feel like racing, but once you get out there you may have a really great race. The stress may fall off some during the race and because you are emotionally exhausted you may not have any mental stress during the race and end up producing a ridiculous time. Just my guess since you are kicking butt on your training that being emotionally exhausted may be causing your body to just execute. ((hugs))

  6. Hang in there. Life will come around and you have your running to keep you sane