Monday, May 28, 2012

But I still have another mile left to run...

I hate running, I really do.  Normally I wouldn’t voluntarily subject myself to something so putrid, but in a moment of temporary insanity I went and signed myself up for the Dirty Dash at Soldier Hollow on June 2.   Now understand, I had just had two surgeries for cancer(melanoma), and after receiving a positive prognosis for the future I suddenly, and quite randomly,  felt the need to do something physical with my now “healthy” body.  Not only that, but in my insanity I actually convinced other people, namely the husband and his family, that it would be a good idea for them to run.  Why they agreed, I’ll never know.  Maybe they are crazy too???
It really seemed attainable at first.  I had about 3 ½ months to train and that was plenty of time, right?  Never mind that not only do I have a temperamental meniscus in my right knee and I’m at least 20 pounds overweight, but I also haven’t run anywhere in about 10 years.    But I was committed!  (no, not to the mental institution)  So after about a month of putting it off, I convinced the husband that we needed a treadmill.  We found a used treadmill on KSL and I was off!  That is until I tweaked my temperamental knee on my first time on the treadmill.  WALKING.  This was not going well.
Luckily, I was able to nurse my knee through that first week and eventually started making progress.  Painful, sweaty, miserable, stinking progress.  I hated every tortuous minute that I was running and couldn’t wait to stop.  However, I was able to glean at least a small bit of satisfaction from increasing my time and distance on the treadmill.  I got up to 36 minutes on the treadmill, which for a chubby girl like me is pretty dang impressive I thought.  Now I was ready for the road!  JR and I hit the trail the next day.  Everyone warned me that it would be harder to run outside than inside but I had fooled myself into thinking it wasn’t so.   I found myself making excuses like,  ‘ since I’m clumsy, I expend a lot of energy just not falling off the treadmill, so once I’m on the road it won’t be hard because I won’t have to worry about keeping my balance all the time.’  Yes, I realize this is obviously INSANE, but that really is the kind of thing I like to tell myself to avoid reality.
As you can imagine my first outside run was Hell.  It was extremely discouraging and took a few days to recover from, although it was mostly by ego that was injured.  If I hadn’t actually paid money to go run in a race and had other crazy people following me in my run to insanity I would have quit right then.  But I pressed on.  Once I convinced myself to run outside again I was able to make progress once more, although it was even slower and incredibly more painful than before. 
So I have been doing a lot of running.  And a lot of bitching.  Sometimes I take my old fat dog on my run and that reminds me how slow I am.  When we go out together he doesn’t actually run, he just walks fast, and not even that fast(although he IS using four legs which I kind of think is cheating).  Near the end of the run, I always break into a sprint to push myself for the last little bit.  Fat dog always does a double take when I start sprinting maybe because he can’t believe he actually gets to run during my “run”.
It was during that part of my run when I had an epiphany.  It was exactly two weeks until the Dirty Dash, and I was just opening up into the sprint when my temperamental meniscus reared its ugly head.  Something in my knee twisted and semi-locked up the joint.  It was at that moment when I felt something surprising.  Disappointment.  I was disappointed because how was I going to run with a twisted knee?  How was I going to run the Dirty Dash in two weeks??  And why the Hell am I upset about it?!?!?  Hadn’t I been looking for a valid excuse to not run anymore?  Here was my excuse and I found myself completely and utterly…disappointed.  Wow.  Could this mean I actually like running??  Can I actually refer to myself as a runner?  Or has my temporary insanity developed into full blown madness?
Regardless of my mental state, I am still running.  I will still be running the Dirty Dash at the end of this week, albeit slowly with plenty of swearing and general bitching.  Wish me and meniscus luck!  And if you are thinking about running, Just Don’t Do IT!