I started 2014 with a visit to a neurosurgeon, who told me that with a more positive outlook on my life and my health, my back would get better. And for a while, things *were* better. I was able to run more off and on throughout the spring and summer. By fall, though, I asked my doc to send me back to physical therapy. Each night without fail, pain would shoot through my lower back, making it nearly impossible for me to walk from my son’s bedroom (after a fun-filled evening of reading) to my own room. There were many nights that I lay in my bed and my boy would read me something from his room because I just couldn’t get back up again. And after two months of PT, I once again have a better outlook on life, but not without some changes to my future.
My physical therapist, Chad, is a very good person, or so I believe. He came up with a walk/slow run plan for me that will eventually get me back in shape and back to running on a more consistent basis. I liked that. But he also told me that any dream I had about running a marathon or even another half marathon, would never come to fruition. Chad said, “If you’re running because you enjoy it and it makes you feel good and because you want to improve your physical and mental health, then good for you. Keep running. But….as for long distances….”
I have no idea what else he said because I started to talk over him. I didn’t want him to say the actual phrase “You cannot do this.” He didn’t want to either. So I said, “You know, I ran a half marathon last year and I’m so glad I did. But I’ve pretty much give up on my dreams on running a marathon.” (I wish I could have seen my face, because *that* is the face of a liar.) Chad nodded and said something else about running for my enjoyment and I shook his hand and got out of there. I held in my tears driving back to work then ate too much candy throughout the rest of the day.
But you know what? That was two weeks ago. The words have been said, the deed is done. I’ve started the walk/slow run program and it’s super hard. I’m really out of shape and I want to eat everything in sight and since I tend to do what I want, I gained 7 pounds since Thanksgiving. (I know I said that in the last blog post, but I’m still in shock over it so I felt the need to say it again.) But now it’s officially 2015 and I have to just suck it up (especially when buttoning my pants) and do this walk/run program and stay diligent with my back exercises or I will always be in pain and miserable and terribly squishy.
Just yesterday I was feeling sorry for myself because I couldn’t complete the walk/run program for that day. Chad told me that if at any point during the run portion specifically, if I feel pain then I should stop running and start walking. So I did.
And I was pissed about it.
I was mad that I couldn’t run anywhere near the mileage I did a few months ago. I was angry that I’d never be able to run the Bay of Fundy Marathon I set my eyes on back in 2013, hoping I’d make it there by 2018. I felt like an imposter for being my friend’s virtual “coach” as she loses weight and trains for a marathon in the spring. I wallowed in my self-pity, whined a bit on FB, and ate a big spoonful of Cool Whip. (I know, I know, it’s nasty stuff. A bowl full of chemicals. But I friggin’ love it.)
This morning after breakfast, I was in my bedroom trying to decide if I wanted to try and workout or just loaf around for a bit, when I heard my son run to the bathroom. He was sick and a little scared and needed me. After helping him get cleaned up, we proceeded to camp out in the living room, where we watched My Little Pony and attempted sips of tea and snuggled with the kittens. After a few more trips to the bathroom and cleaning of “the” bucket, he went to his room and lay on his bed. He asked to watch Youtube videos on the tablet and to hold my hand. That’s all. Those were his only needs just then. To watch other people play videogames and to be near me.
Do I care about that marathon now? Nope. Not today. Will I try to run then berate myself because my body isn’t ready? Nope. Will I snuggle with my sick kiddo and just appreciate the fact that he needs me and right now nothing else matters?