My body has a cold…but my heart is warm.
First of all, do you think it’s called a cold because your hands and feet get so chilly? My feet were frozen last night; they felt like they might crack…and I had socks on. At bedtime, I removed the useless socks, turned off the light, got into bed next to my husband and then iced my left shin with my right foot.
Then my brain started spinning.
What if I’m hurt again? It’s the same thing as last year. I’m never going to get to run a marathon. Maybe I’m not a marathon runner. Maybe I should just stick to 5k’s. Why are my arches tight? Maybe I shouldn’t be wearing orthotics at all. Maybe it’s their fault. What did I do? I don’t feel like I’ve overdone anything. I’m only running three times a week (except for a couple weeks when I ran four times, but that shouldn’t matter). I’m running less than I did last year. Why can some people run marathons every weekend and some people can’t even get one? This is what Christopher McDougall was talking about. It’s not fair. Wah, wah, wah.
My eyes started to get blurry in our dark room, and the love of my life — my best friend — Mr. T, reached over, patted my thigh and said, “It’s going to be okay,” as if he’d heard everything going on in my head. Then he kissed me goodnight and, “Happy anniversary.” I slipped my frozen toes under his warm legs, quieted my brain and fell asleep.
Today is our 9-year anniversary.
I actually met Mr. T in college at the end of 1995 and we officially began dating in January of 1997. I wasn’t much of an athlete then. Not like I was in high school.
In high school, I had swim practice and soccer and track and cross country. There was a time I had basketball and softball, too. And I would run in my neighborhood. I would run mid-day during the hot Central California summer months. I would tackle monster hills…for fun. In PE class, I would actually run laps around the track while most of the other girls would walk it.
But in college, I really only occasionally ran. I went for a jog if I ate too many Pizza Pipeline Tricky Stix (cinnamon and butter breadsticks that came with frosting to dip them in — heaven) the night before, and once I ran five miles around the track when I was homesick. I played soccer (for school credit!) and occasionally took an aerobics or abs class with my sorority sisters. But I didn’t eat, breathe, sleep, write running or any of those things.
Then we graduated and I worked long hours in a newsroom. He commuted to Seattle. We were busy, busy, busy. Working, working, working. This is how it went for years.
We got married in 2002. We’d spent the year before the wedding getting in shape, but forgot about that after the honeymoon. Then T Junior came along in 2008 and everything changed. I worked less and had to learn how to be a mother. And, even though, that’s what I wanted, it still felt like something was missing. Like I’d been missing something for a long time.
Two years ago, the herniated disc (and the threat of having surgery) was my wake-up call, and when I began running to get back into shape so my chronic back pain would go away (and hopefully lose some weight, too), I found out what that missing thing was.
And Mr. T’s wife changed. And she started to talk about running all the time. And writing about it. And she became cranky if she missed a run. And she was gone on Sunday mornings all the time. And she filled her dresser with running clothes. And she spent way too much money on races. And she got injured and cried about it a lot. And he discovered registering her for a marathon is actually a good gift.
|From L-R: Baby (T Junior), Mommy (me) and
Daddy (Mr. T) at Santa Runs Tacoma in 2010.
My running addiction has definitely been something we’ve had to work on in our relationship over the past couple of years. He supports me, but he also has to keep me in check. If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you probably know I can get carried away. Just a little bit.
He also knows what running this marathon means to me. And, as I realized last night, I don’t even need to say it. He just knows.