I did not have a good run today.
I did not finish with a smile.
I did not find it exhilarating, thrilling, refreshing or tranquil.
I found it disappointing and I think what disappointed most…
Just last month I had one of my best open field mile runs ever. I finished my first mile in under 10 minutes, which for me, at that time weighing 204 pounds; with all the twists and turns, mulch divots and mole tunnels that slow me down, I was elated with that time. I rejoiced in sweat dripping from behind my ears as I finished up with a three mile trek that took me along fresh fallen leaves, dirt paths and back around to the asphalt road with the sound of Queen and AC/DC blaring in my headphones. It made me feel like I was tripping along the yellow brick road. I was weightless, free and no longer earth bound. I was a gazelle, a BIG one, but I was at ease with my breathing and the in and out of fresh air was easy. It was a joy to run.
I was at peace.
Today’s run. Did not add up to anything close to “peace”.
With the extra pressure I had applied to myself this past month to finish up 4 paintings and wrap up last minute details of an upcoming gallery event, I had plopped my hindside down and become way too comfy in that adjustible office chair. Spinning to pick up brushes of yellows and greens, hooked up to my headphones and texting my brains out to make plans come to fruition by the end of the month- had me believing I was working out…but I was only working my brain. My arse was still in full on stasis.
Then toss in a girls weekend getaway that was great for my soul but bad for my waistline that may or may not have included 2,000 calories in beer alone plus the extra sticky gooey carbohydrates that make up most any vacay you take- in four weeks I had amassed six pounds of “fun fest” across my middle. Up and down the scales rose and fell over that four weeks until they landed today officially on 211 pounds.
And STUCK there.
I had gone OVER 210 pounds. I had danced near it and retreated down to 206 on numerous occasions, but today it rose above the 210 and it stuck. No teetering, no promises of its “just water weight” fluctutations, it planted itself there in black and white on my Sunbeam scales with my tired toes clinging on for dear life. Praying and wiggling in anticipation that there was a mistake, that it would settle back at 209 and keep me out of the “danger zone”- that entrance into a whole new “tens” section of the scale.
I tried to shrug it off. Make my morning coffee and even made a traditional morning scramble of only 145 calories including my flavored coffee. I was going to do this. I had high hopes. I was going to disregard the scales and ignore it. Afterall, I can do a woodland mile in under 10 minutes when I feel like it, I’ve done it before with no problem. I wasn’t going to let the weight gain affect me too much. Who cares? What’s six pounds gonna hurt me?
Six pounds is the weight equivalent of:
24 sticks of butter.
12 Large apples.
A medium sack of potatoes PLUS a pound.
7 boxes of Pop Tarts.
5 loaves of Wheat Bread.
Could I run with any of those 6 pound equivalents in my arms?
Probably not. So running with my own six pack strapped to my midsection today sucked.
It truly was an awful run.
I started out cold, because I didn’t prepare well, so my head was chilling, my hands were freezing and the only leggings I have are capris and they just didn’t cover enough of my leg in the 50 degree early morning start with the wind gusting in my face. I was underdressed, overweight and shivering.
None of them a good, and the combo proved to be a real handicap.
I started my run with a brisk walk like I always do, up the road and then start my way into the woods. Where I stop and have a nice yoga stretch, up to the sky, to the right, then left and begin my leg stretches, this was uneventful, but I felt a tightness I wasn’t familiar with and the waistband on my running shorts was itching. Because it was tighter than the last time I wore them. I felt an uneasiness wash over me as I began my first few feet of running.
What was going on?
Where was that gazelle step? Where was that luscious lift and fall of my instep that kissed the mulch as it passed under my soles of my Asics Gels? Why was it replaced with this heavy thud and deep dig of the heel? Where was my rhythm?
Freddie Mercury was still echoing through my headphones, that had not changed, he still loved me…my morning meal was the same, but my body had changed.
And it pissed me off.
As I ran my frustrations grew, my tranquility never came and tears washed over onto my cheeks and because of the gusting wind, they dried cold against my skin. My breathing became unnatural and the dig I had done into the mulch before was greater now that I was angry. I was digging size nine graves as I plodded through the place I loved. The place I had affectionately called my happy place.
I was running scared.
Not my typical “Zombie trek” that I laugh about and love that helps me improve my running time, but scared because I have lost all I had worked so hard to gain.
In short, my 4 week cessation had brought me down. It was going to be my undoing. Or what seemed like it at the time.
I know its not. I know it is temporary because I’ve put in nearly 400 miles in that same grove of flora and fauna. There is no way I am starting from scratch. But it sure feels like it at this point.
I gave up today.
Never done that.
I ran 1 mile and came indoors freezing from the wind, poor clothing choice and the cool tear bath I had given myself.
I am sure I looked a mess. All red-eyed and flustered.
I headed up the steps and finished my 2 miles indoors. Every arch bending- hard hitting step that I absolutely abhore that is: The Indoor Mile. But I did it and then instead of my traditional shower and regroup I headed to my car with my ID, keys and water bottle as quickly as possible.
I sat there for a moment and looked into the trees just in front of me and remembered how much I love it there. How welcoming they had been to shade me from the heat of the sun the months before, how beautiful they had been blowing in the breeze when I was sweating off 53 pounds of me and leaving all my cares and worries in the canopy they created.
How fickle I was today.
How shallow I was to myself and my tree lined haven.
Not even giving myself the opportunity to recover before beating myself down.
I sat there in the car and I wept a little more.
I picked up the handful of red grapes I had packed for my after-run treat and I ate them.
All of them.
I deserved those grapes.
I showed up.
I ran and I finished, even if it was indoors.
I drank a little water and ran my fingers through my short sweaty hair and took a moment to realize that it’s okay.
I am going to get through this weight gain and this stall.
There was nothing wrong with my high carb sidestep.
There was nothing bad about letting my hair down for a bit and forgetting where I came from.
Just as long as I remember my way back.
And I will.
But first I’m buying some longer pants.