Sunday, October 5, 2014

Starting over, Again…Today

Hello, My name is Lazy Van Winkle and it has been 42 days since I last went for a run.

This picture is borrowed from google,  I am happy to give credit if you know the owner

I have no excuse (anymore) except I am scared. 42 days ago, while being unplugged from my very sexy chemotherapy fanny pack, they found blood clots. Up until then, I was a mean, cancer face punching, chemo patient. I bid my time attached to the fanny pack and when I awoke from the haze, I laced up my sneakers and ran my frustration and anger and tears and sadness right into the mud.

When they found the blood clots, I was told to stop running, for a week. I needed to let the medicine do its work and I needed my blood to remember that life is way better cruising down the highway with the top down than sitting dead stopped on the Schuylkill with no air conditioning.

That week passed and I started to feel better, but my sneakers still lay in the corner of the room where I had thrown them. Another chemo week came and went and though I had promised myself that as soon as I was feeling better, I would hit the trails…my sneakers remained untouched.

I simply could not get out of my head and though I kept promising myself that I would run tomorrow, tomorrow never came.

This morning, I knew it was time. I put it off for 4 cups of coffee and the entire Today show but finally, I begrudgingly laced up my sneakers. Then, I cleaned the bathroom, repacked the beach bag for vacation, and ironed shirts I had no plans of wearing this week.

Finally, I grabbed my earphones and stepped outside. It was AWFUL. My playlist did not do its job. My legs felt like they were 200 lbs, each. I was sucking wind before I was halfway down the block. At the end of the block, I looked over my shoulder and considered walking back. I mean this was my first time out, surely 2.5 minutes would count as a valiant first effort. It was tempting, VERY tempting but I turned the corner and kept going.

Normally, my first mile is the worst, whether I am running 2 miles or 10, mile 1 is AWFUL. I was determined to put mile 1 behind me to see how I really felt. I wish I could say that after mile 1 my inner Flo-Jo came bursting out, but instead I ran a block and then walked till I could breathe well enough that passerby’s did not feel urged to call a medic. Run, walk, run, walk, run walk.

As I neared my street, all the frustration and sadness and anger that I had been storing up for these runs came flooding out in heaving tears. I ran the last ¼ mile sobbing. I don’t know why or what I was crying about but I knew that I had missed these runs. I knew that no matter how awful it had been that this is what I had been missing. As I left my frustration run down my face in a delightful mix of sweaty snotty tears, I felt lighter. And when I collapsed on my front porch, I was proud, not of my 1.7 miles and certainly not of my speed but of my decision to finally choose today.

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