It’s been an unnecessarily rough few weeks. I kept thinking, Oh, I really ought to write about this, and then I’d try to figure out how to say what I wanted to say, and it was a muddy mess. And potentially more than I’m comfortable disclosing. So maybe I’ll begin to sort through this stuff in the next few weeks and try to lift some of the weight from my shoulders.
I discovered this week just how horrendous seasonal allergies can be. Broadleaf maple trees, otherwise known as “Oregon maples,” are my latest nemesis. Since they’re unavoidable — I live in the state they’re named after — I’m doomed. Back in Ohio, I’d experience what mainly felt like a mild cold, usually at its most irritating during weed pollen time. As I ran under a line of broadleaf maples the other night, tromping on their flowers piled on the sidewalks and streets, I felt my throat tighten and my nose instantly turned into a spigot. I coughed and coughed and couldn’t breathe, and then my eyes started to itch. An inhaler sure would’ve been nice to have on hand! The rest of the time I’m just dealing with a sore/scratchy throat, swollen glands, and a persistent cough. This would be less of a worry if I didn’t have a marathon on Sunday.
This Sunday. A day and a half from now. Ack.
This morning I felt lousy enough to consider calling off work (but didn’t). I spent the morning contemplating the idea of switching from the marathon to the half marathon. But you know what? I realized I had no intention of racing it anyway, and with the prevalence of my new favorite trees, I was just going to go out there and enjoy the gorgeous weather and scenery. My fellow Portland running chicks are out there to challenge time goals, and it’s so easy for me to get caught up in that mindset and start comparing myself to them in the millions of ways that female runners do. In my dream of dreams, I’d like to break 5 hours. Back in December when I registered for this, I anticipated a much more regimented training plan. I was gonna aim for 4:30! But my health has been just lousy enough for me to not feel well enough to run and work out as much as I’d like to. Ah well. I sure did enough running in the first half of 2011 to earn some downtime.
And now for a kitty story! So as you may know, Frank is a superb snuggler. It’s been really difficult for me to get out of bed in the morning, not just for the usual reasons, but because Frank is snuggling aggressively and will bite me if I try to get up. Well last night, while lying on my back in my burning throat coughing poor breathing state, Frank climbed onto my chest and settled in with his front paws pressing on the bottom of my throat (which is quite raw from all the hacking). The next thing I knew, he’d lowered his head onto my shoulder, nestling in between my hair and my neck. I leaned my head in that direction to return the snuggle, and ohh, soft kitty cheek on your face is a little like heaven.
“What we are taught when it comes to rape, over and over and over again, is that ‘No means no.’ And, of course, that’s true. But what so many people don’t seem to understand is that there are many shades of gray when it comes to rape, that it can be confusing. That doubt, that constant need to defend and reaffirm my experience even just to myself, is one of the worst parts of my recovery.” (See Unbreakable.)
Hey, it’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month!
I suppose it’s appropriate then that I’m struggling with an overwhelming amount of doubt. As an analytical nerd, I think it would be interesting to wear my running heart rate monitor when I’m not running and see what happens as my thoughts drift all over the place (and occasionally settle into memories of the traumatic events I’ve been trying to work through over the past year or so). I’m very thankful for my snuggle-bunny cat these days — he certainly makes it easier to fall asleep at night, and when I wake up in the middle of the night, upset over the dreams I’ve been having, he makes sure to snuggle in closely to comfort me. Everyone should be so lucky!
You know what I need, right at this moment when I’m caught in a tornado of anxiety? I need for Runnerboy to randomly stop talking to me. This ignore-a-thon struck so out of the blue, it knocked me into a nice, deep depression. So now, all the stuff we’d been planning to do has left me with gaping holes in my calendar and a lonely New Year’s Eve. He was supposed to be better than this.
Ho, ho, ho!
Today was one of those days where I wished I could do a better job of regulating my emotions. I was still pretty upbeat from yesterday when I woke up this morning. Then, for the second week in a row, I got a voicemail message from the body shop that sent my mood into a death spiral. I kept trying to pep-talk my way out of the mood, but it only made me more numb, restless, and indecisive about everything. I tried to allow myself to wallow in the mood for a finite amount of time, but instead, I just beat myself up for feeling low. I wanted to visit Grant Park and Alberta Street, but I didn’t want to drive across town when I felt so lousy. I needed to stop by the Columbia or Nike outlet and get some solid rainy weather gear, but I don’t have any money to spare. I wanted to go for a run or a walk, but my body ached. And it was cold outside. And I was going to have to walk three miles to the body shop later in the day to do battle with them and pick up my car. And, and, and…
And I hate letting my mood ruin any chance I might’ve had of having a productive day.
I ended up never hearing back from the body shop that my car was ready to be picked up. I missed another day of running/walking, which riddles me with regret. However, I did get a call near the end of the day that was promising. More to come on that next week!