Friday, May 25, 2007

i'm okay (really)

i'm sorry, i realize that i've left a lot of you hanging, possibly worried about me and my shins.

after the walk of shame incident on the west side highway, i was pretty beat down, primarily confidence wise. i had been dealing with the fact that i pretty much wasn't running at all during the weeks, to save myself for saturdays...and when i couldn't run that saturday i felt, frankly, like crap.

that week i stretched and moped and stretched and moped. i saw the best concert i'd seen in years (arcade fire way up in sk8's neighborhood), and we had the fall season kick off. work was gearing up for a huge deadline on the 24th and i was more or less feeling more and more overwhelmed and nervous. you'd think at some point i'd get used to being so busy, but every now and again the stress induces things like...crazy dreams of escape and conflict that leave me sitting up in bed at 3 am with my heart racing.

as i type this, i'm conscious that i sound like a big baby, but i've always been honest with you all about whats going on so i've gotta continue right?

anyway, when saturday rolled around it was time to try to run again. this was may 12th if anyone is counting. we were in the park, and i was going to try to do 18 - 20. i was petrified and not feeling optimistic but i tried to "think positive". bah. we got to practice a little bit late, so i was one of the last to head out into the park.

it was a gorgeous day, the one of the first truly warm ones, i started off with a few girls, but decided to hold back and let them go on ahead so that i wasn't pushing too hard. i was pleasantly surprised that the shins didn't hurt too bad off the bat, and that improved my mood considerably. the one thing that was strange was i was feeling particularly winded. i wasn't sure if it was because i hadn't been running as much or maybe the humidity, but breathing was, for the first time in months, a bit laborious. i ignored it and pressed on.

the first loop was not bad, not great, but not bad. i felt a big sluggish but was happy i wasn't in pain. i stopped to stretch every time i got water, and that was doing nothing for my time, but i tried not to think about any time pressures. the second loop, as usual, was much better as my legs got more loose and i fell into a rhythm to arcade fire's funeral. 12 miles...done. one more loop.

we had started at 90th street this week so i headed north, past 102nd transverse, and around the backside of the park. this is where it started unraveling. somewhere in the middle of harlem hill, i think i hit a mini-wall. now, lucky as i am, i don't think that i ever "hit the wall" in my first marathon. there was no point where my body was screaming at me to stop. i mean, it would have been happy to, but i blessedly got a 2nd wind around mile 18 that took me through to 22/23 and from there on i was on an elated auto-pilot. there was no *way* i would have stopped.

so it was much to my surprise when, in the middle of this hill that i've run a million times, i totally ran out of energy and had to walk. it was as if someone unplugged me and even my very stubborn brain couldn't make my legs motor up that hill. i swore at myself in an effort to get myself going, but for once my body was stronger than my mind and i resigned myself to walking the last bit of the hill. i so didn't feel like a superhero that day.

i started running again after the hill, but it was hard legs started tightening up, and my shins started wincing a bit and i felt atrocious. when i saw the west side of the 102nd street transverse, i grudgingly decided to listen to the yelling of my body and cut the run 1t about 15 miles.

it was a good decision. i had to stop and walk again about 5 minutes later for no apparent reason and i was feeling appropriately embarrassed and cranky about it. i saw two gals from the season who asked if i was okay, i muttered "yeah, shin-splints." and kept walking. grrrr. after a few minutes i started running again and made it back to bag watch finally. i was moderately relieved to find that i was by no means the only person that was having a terrible run that day. someone mentioned that the pollen count was ridiculously high and it was more humid than any otehr runs we've had, and given the problems breathing i had been having, i was content to let those be factors that had impeded my run.

the next day i woke up extra sore and tender - my back hurt, my shins, despite icing, were very unhappy with me, and i felt sniffly, likely because of all the pollen. given the appearance of the mini-wall, i was also not feeling great about running a marathon in three

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