Running on Empty

Yesterday afternoon, I busted out 10 miles. Truth be told, I had anxiety the entire week about this run.  While laying in bed yesterday morning, I had come up with at least 14 excuses to not run the 10 miles.  “Oh. Its SO cold out ( it was 30 degrees). My throat hurts.  I have enough time in my training so I can skip 1 long run. I can do my run Monday morning at 5am before anyone gets up”. Husband just let me say my excuses and he listened to me play this out loud.  Finally, I told him the truth.  I was scared of 10 miles.  Something about 10.  Being out of the single digits. More time on my feet.  “What if I forget how to run?  What I get cold, hungry, thirsty or tired?  What if I get kidnapped? What if I get hit by a falling tree?  The “What Ifs” in my mind were none stop.

Husband headed downstairs to fix fancy breakfast potatoes ( so very good!) and I had more time to really face my anxiety head on. Anxiety was fear. Fear of failing.  Not being good enough. The self imposed expectations that I had placed on myself were showing their ugly faces (again.) I started to do some soul searching about my relationship with running.  Is this healthy if it is causing me such a level of anxiety?  Running is such a part of who I am ( soul level speak here) that just like I can not imagine my life without husband, I can’t imagine my life without running.

Yesterday , I committed to myself to not live in fear of the “what if”.  Sure, some things are scary because they are new or uncharted territories but you don’t know, until you know.  Not to mention, I did sign myself up for the Chicago Marathon lottery. 10 miles has nothing on 26.2 miles! My current training is to hit sub2 at the half marathon I am running on April 24th.

A gal from my running group agreed to meet me for the run yesterday.  She was only supposed to run 6 but after I told her I had 10 to tackle, she said ” Ah. Whats 4 more!” The run was awesome. Amazing. Goal pace was 9:30. We crushed it.

This weeks intention before running… empty my negative thoughts, fears and doubts.  Right foot.Left foot. Repeat. 10miler

 

The first person to ever love me.

One day I won’t have her on this earth with me. I can not even wrap my brain around this concept.

My grandmother, 81 years young, left to head back home today.  We call her GG ( for Great Grandma).  GG came to stay with us the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  Now that spring is attempting to break through here in Ohio, GG declared her departure a few weeks ago.  Although GG was with us for a little over 3 months, the time feels like it was  just not enough. As we said our finally goodbyes this morning, my heart felt heavy and my eyes filled with tears.

My grandmother was THE only solid foundation of love and trust that I had growing up.  If I got sick at school, I begged the secretary to call my grandmother. Chances are, I would have ended up with her anyways, pending my mothers mood or ability to process having a sick child.  My grandma was one of the first people to know of my first serious boyfriend, my college decision, my engagement and my first pregnancy.  She stayed up with me during school to assist with homework, science fair projects and to let me practice my speeches for class. Grandma brought me 2 chocolate iced donuts and chocolate milk the first day of school kindergarten through senior year. Every year, she would make sure that I had a new winter coat and new tennis shoes for school. When I didn’t have money in college for groceries or to pay my phone bill, money appeared in my mailbox. She was at the hospital the day that both of my children were born. GG knows all.  Even when I don’t know, Grandma does.

When my Grandpa got diagnosed with cancer in 1999, Grandma and I started writing letters instead of just phone calls.  The letters enabled her to voice the reality of what was occurring without my grandfather hearing her.  Some weeks we would write daily and sometimes it would only happen a few times a month.  We still continue this pen pal relationship.  In fact, last night I wrote her a letter and slipped in her suitcase.

Grandma grew up with 3 sisters.  All of the girls have names that start with “C” and the middle names rhyme.  My grandma is Constance Day.  ( she HATES this name… and goes by Connie). ( Her sisters are Carmen Kay, Cherita May and Charlotte Fay )My daughters middle name is Day after GG.   Grandma has always been an introvert.  Observer.  Not one to speak up or speak out.  Grandma married my grandfather at an early age and only had a few ” real jobs” prior to becoming a mother. My grandfather was not a stand up guy.  The physical and emotional abuse started soon after they were married and occurred much throughout there marriage. He was a raging alcoholic.  Grandma still is struggling with finding her footing and her voice since my grandfathers passing to cancer in 2001 ( He died on my 21st birthday). How she could be so strong for me when she was made to feel so weak, I will never know.

GG came to stay with us just in case this winter was bad.  I would often worry myself into a frenzy when the temperatures were low or the snow kept falling in winters past.  GG does not like to be out in the snow or cold.  We invited her up to stay the winter with us last summer and she agreed. She said she was just bored looking at her walls anyways.  (No way she was bored here with these gremlins running around!)  GG and the kiddos  have developed an even closer relationship.  They have there own routines and activities they like to do with one another.  I also had the privilege of spending some one on one time with her out to breakfast, lunch, movies, talking or just playing Scrabble while drinking tea. She would tell me stories of the days of being a mother to two kids herself or a funny story involving her sisters.

This time was precious.  It doesn’t seem like it was enough.  When we pulled out of the driveway today, my heart stopped.  One day I won’t have her on this earth with me.  I can not even wrap my brain around this concept.  Until then, I will embrace these memories with the strongest grip I can muster, while counting down the days until I see her again.

gg and i