Hardest run of the year

I woke up angry on New Year’s day.

We were not out late; I was in bed and asleep by 11:15pm. I did not over-imbibe. I am not a drinker and paced myself very well. I managed to make one strawberry-rhubarb cider last me over 3 hours. True story. And about 3/4 of the way through, for a good ten minutes, I felt spinny and drunk. Thankfully, a few time zones over, it was midnight in New York so it all seemed appropriate.

I woke up late on New Year’s day. I felt all out of whack. I woke up from a dream where I was telling my daughter not to pull on the window blinds. She could easily pull them right off the wall. She kept doing it as I was telling her to stop. It seems to me there are two schools of parenting when it comes to giving instructions. Some parents say what they want and that is it — short, concise, and no explanations. Other parents explain why we don’t do something and the circumstances of cause and effect. I think if you are explaining something to a kid they may appreciate why they should not do this particular action again. But as you are talking you are actually giving them time to do more damage. The longer you talk, the more time they have to destroy. Most kids do not react until you are done talking, because that’s their cue that it’s their turn in the conversation. What you say until then is mostly irrelevant.

I don’t remember whether I explained or not. I did not want to have to buy new blinds.

Irritated by this imaginary inconvenience, I got up and slogged around the house. I also remembered that I had said I’d go for a run today.

Remember the Forest Gump Movie?

It started out as “Run, Forrest, Run” but didn’t end up so well.

I look forward to a good run to clear my head. The plan for my run was 20 minutes at an easy pace, 20 at a faster pace, and back to 20 easy. It seemed simple enough and a good way to get my legs moving, a fresh start to the year. It turns out I accomplished something else. With my body feeling like crap, and my legs feeling weak, and my brain struggling with imaginary problems, I did my hardest run of the year.  I felt winded, and not very fresh. My legs hurt in new and unimaginable ways. I struggled. It was hard. I was gasping and not even the rewarding feeling of accomplishment could mar the feeling. Hardest run of the year? — check.

(Photo credit: Kristal Kraft ~ DenverDwellings)

25 thoughts on “Hardest run of the year

  1. Well, you got the crappy run outta the way – time for better runs (oi, that sounded gross)….ah parenting….I think there is not ‘right’ way – it’s the way that works with your kid and yourself.

    I always feel weird when I wake up from a dream and feel unsettled – it haunts me for most of the day – I totally understand that kind of feeling.

    Here’s to a better tomorrow…TODAY!

    • Tomorrow is better today.

      So true that parenting is dependent on both kid and parent. It is a tangled web to decipher. At least it is with our kids. No solution works twice. It keeps me from feeling smart. :)

  2. Some days it’s just really hard to find that stride, isn’t it? I don’t usually run–I do workout videos at home–but some days I feel like I’m sludging through cement. That’s when I realize my body needs a day off, and I just do some yoga instead.

  3. I appreciate your honesty; not all runs can be good runs… just like the rest of life: sometimes the reward is great but the feeling sucks; sometimes we FEEL awesome without getting anything done; sometimes it’s all crap AND we feel it; and, once in a while, if we are blessed, all things good come together in one place at one time – bliss!

    The kids part, (sigh) never gets any easier. I had a scene tonight with my grown daughter, who still insists on running to Daddy instead of making her husband of 6 years step up and be the man he needs to be. I think I finally found the right words for her to hear me…I hope so.

    • Hi Nick,
      Thanks for your comment. Running, like most other things, is all about life. And it can be hard. And it can be fun and rewarding and amazing. And then it can be hard again.
      Just like kids are. It sounds like you were able to let your daughter hear what she needed to and still feel supported, and yet feel more empowered to perhaps deal with what she’s facing. Always a balance, all life long.
      Enjoy your day.

  4. Well at least you went ahead and got it over with for 2013 ;) And as mentioned above, it takes the bad runs to appreciate the good ones. My New Years Day run was awful too – I almost puked champagne on the side of the road :/

  5. Wait, did you say strawberry rhubarb cider? I’ve never heard of such a tantalizing sounding concoction. Who makes it? Where on earth did you find it? Or is it a homebrew?

    Well, if that’s your toughest run of the year, the rest of the year should be smooth running, yes? Well, at least one could hope so. :)

    • The cider was store-bought and made by a local brewery (I’m in Canada, btw).
      I’m hoping other runs will be smoother. It was a combination of fatigue, too much running leading up to this, and just generally feeling grumpy.

    • First off: Happy Wedded Life to you! I was thinking of the joy and excitement last week when it was all happening!
      As to my hardest run, I think it was a combination of a huge jump in mileage on my weekend run and running without my orthotics which later caused me severe pain (tendinits of the Achilles, anyone?) So this run was just the confirmation that things felt like crap.

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