Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Trouble With Normal

Seems to me someone co-opted this title awhile back to make another really bad sit-com but I associate it with Bruce Cockburn's song, the lyrics of which resonate powerfully with me today: "The trouble with normal is, it always gets worse".  Spring came and went, or rather, we returned to seasonably cool temperatures.  I haven't run in a week - too cold - and I haven't been sleeping.  I thought my sleep meds were to blame for my daytime lethargy so I cut back on them, though I had never exceeded the recommended dose.  The result was sleeplessness.  In combination with the day-to-day stress of having no money, gaining weight and not being able to run I lost my marbles this weekend, if only temporarily. 

I hate people.  I hate people who have life so good they think it's bad.  I hate having to be the sympathetic ear to friends who can suck all the air out of a room with their sorrow and the need for pity.  I hate people who belittle the things I can do, or what I have.  I sell clothes.  No, I'm not reshaping national policy or rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous but I work for a home-grown company that sells quality goods to a marginalised sector of society - women over 40.  I make them feel good.  I hate people who think that's an insignificant thing to do.  As anyone can probably guess I've had a bad weekend.  I've been a good and supportive friend to those who are probably working a whole circuit of people like me to the same end - to keep the pity party going.  All they have to do is turn on the tears and the world is theirs.  There's no real concern for how to pay the next bill or where to live but somehow being a 50+ woman on their own is a trauma unimaginable.  Maybe I should try it and see.  Something tells me I have better survival skills and would get through it even if I'm finding my anger and depression hard enough to deal with now.

So what to do with the anger and depression?  I walk my dog.  I talk to people in the dog park and the customers at work.  I keep smiling.  I may get some anti-depressants from my doctor when I see her on Thursday.  I will stop feeling like there's something bitter and twisted in me.  Being angry and resentful is a normal range of emotions but it doesn't do to dwell there too long.  The best thing about anti-depressants is that once they kick in I won't give a shit about anything any more.  And I will run again.  Hopefully this week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Miraculous Spring

It's almost a miracle that we have such an early Spring.  In this city we rarely get Spring at all.  March can still bring us snow and April drags on, rainy and cold and depressing until May which is usually pleasant but I've been to plenty of May weddings (and even some in June) where the weather can be cool and overcast and  I've seen plenty of shivering brides posing for pictures.  Not this year, however!  March began like a lion but it's not only going out like a lamb, it's like a flock of them!  Temperatures are in the low to mid-seventies these days, my garden is showing great signs of life and I've seen dozens of robins.  All of which means -and you can't fool me! -  it's Spring!

I'm continuing to train for my upcoming race and I'm still finding it very difficult to get back into running mode.  My legs feel like lead and my breath just doesn't flow.  I'm back to feeling like a smoker again, like I did at the beginning.  I'm sure if I went back to read my first boot camp journal I would see that I found running difficult at first but then I quickly adapted.  I think it was by about week eight that I found all the parts fitting together.  The problem is, I don't have eight weeks.  I've stepped up my running schedule to twice a week and have (I think) lengthened the running intervals though it's hard to tell without a stop watch and I do tire quickly.  By the last interval this morning I was feeling less weary but I also cut the full length of the run by 10 minutes.

While running I was finally beginning to feel some of the clarity of mind I remember running used to give me.  Once I stopped thinking about the discomfort in my body the thoughts flowed freely and I became one with the music I was listening to on my IPod.  I always try to keep it upbeat and inspirational.  This morning I heard the following:   "Don't give up/ You've got a reason to live/Can't forget you only get what you give".  It's from a one-hit wonder band called the New Radicals.  It speaks to me.  I have to give it more, with or without time.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Slow and Painful

The only way to describe what running feels like after a four month respite is to refer to the title of this post.
Let's take into account the strong headwind off the lake, the fact that I desperately need new shoes and that there were far too many people out on the boardwalk enjoying the early Spring weather.  When all that is taken into consideration it might show why I found 5K so incredibly difficult to run but I think the real reason lies with inactivity and a five pound weight gain.

I had a training session this morning with my new trainer which I was almost too tired to get all the way through.  He told me that my intervals of running to walking should have been equal, or even allowed for greater resting time between running intervals, so instead of running for two minutes and walking for one as I did, it should have been 2:2.  Live and learn.  All I know is, instead of being able to sprint the last half kilometer I nearly passed out.  This is going to be a long, slow road.