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A Love Letter To My Treadmill

My dearest ‘mill,

I know you’re angry with me…it’s been so long since we spent time together.  I know, I know, you feel like I neglected you, that I’ve ignored you.  I promise I thought about you…I never forgot you.  I missed you everyday.

Like all relationships, the beginning was the sweetest…getting to know one another, seeing each other every day, all those great walks…it was a wonderful time in our lives.  It’s when we moved to the next level that it became harder to keep the same intensity…that’s not your fault, I know! I’m the one who insisted on running again…you tried to warn me…every time I nearly tripped and fell, I know that was your way of telling me to slow down before I hurt myself…I didn’t appreciate what you were trying to do for me…I’m so sorry…I should have listened to you.

And then, and I know this is no excuse, I got sick…that cold kicked my ass…the nagging cough that followed was horrible…I knew I couldn’t run like that.  I know, I can hear you now…of course I could have walked…but you know I have a mental block about just walking when I could be running…and the busy nights.  I felt you staring at me all those nights I was on the computer working…you felt neglected then, too, didn’t you? Oh, ‘mill, I’m so sorry…

Tonight was good, right?  Like old times?  Before the craziness of me trying to run…I’ve had to admit that my knees can’t handle it anymore…it’s my own fault…I never went to a doctor when I blew my knee out…maybe I’ll never run again…but with you, I’ll walk hundreds of miles…

I have a favor, beloved…will you help me get race-ready again?  I can’t run, but I know I can walk faster than most people…with your help, I can be a racer again…it will mean a lot of time together…I promise, I won’t just disappear on you again…if I have to take a break, I will give you an explanation first…please say you forgive me…

Love,
Michaela

**Yeah, I know, I’m a nut.**

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Today Was A Good Day

I wish I was a good enough writer to accurately depict the joy I’ve experienced today.  I’m not that good, so I’ll just do the best I can…

To celebrate (commemorate?) Memorial Day, I walked the Gate to Gate Run/Walk race on Eglin AFB (thanks to a damn good friend who made sure I had no excuse).  It’s 4.4 miles of nothing but heat and humidity…gotta love Florida in May…the most I’ve walked in the past 6 months is about 3 miles…so I was woefully unprepared…or so I thought…

Let me clue you in on something…I love, love, LOVE to race…when I was still running, that was the whole point.  I trained from race to race always trying to beat my last time.  Running or walking, I’ll never be the fastest.  But who cares?  I compete against ME…it’s the perfect outlet for my overcompetitive nature…

And sadly, since Sean was born, I have barely raced…it all sort of ended when I couldn’t really run anymore.  (Short story: I totally overdid it a couple of times trying to increase my mileage, blew my knee, never got it rehabbed, and now running on asphalt, concrete, whatever, HURTS – I’m getting a treadmill and will start from scratch.)

In fact, the last time I was in THIS race, I was pregnant with Sean.  I did several races while I was pregnant with Sean…the last one 2 months before he was born – a July race, and I had to pee the whole time.

I love the wind in my hair.  I love passing people.  I love NOT letting people pass me.  I love the pain of pushing myself faster and faster.  I love finding that person ahead of me that I WILL pass. I even love that little voice of doubt that says, “Can you keep this pace for long?”  (The answer is a big HELL YEAH!)  I love that little kick you give it at the end (because you ALWAYS finish strong).  And today, especially, I loved not thinking about ANYTHING but the race and trying to keep a steady pace.

I can block out anything and everything during a race.  In that moment, when it’s all about putting one foot in front of the other and NOT giving up (no matter what), I’m not a mom, I’m not going through a divorce, I’m not a neurotic-mess-of-a-woman who has no clue how to be single, I’m a competitor

And when I say I can block out anything, I mean ANYTHING.  Like the blister that formed in the first half mile that bled all over my sock and shoe…didn’t even put a band-aid on it until about 45 minutes after I finished.  Like needing to pee in the first quarter mile which means I didn’t stop for water, either…

The big joke is that I never have a cheering section when I finish…even when there should be.  Today was no exception.  No one thought I would finish when I did, so Aidan and Sean were still playing on the playground as I crossed the finishline…thank God I don’t do this for anyone but me! 

In my circle, all races end with food, usually breakfast – specifically, eggs and bacon.  It’s the proverbial carrot at the end of the stick.  For some reason, it tasted even better today…No post-race nap for me but I didn’t mind…I was way too relaxed to care about naps. 

I found my joy again.  Today, I reunited with something that fills me with pure, unadulterated happiness…and I am NOT going to let it slip away again.  If you need me, I’ll be preparing for my next race.

Oh, and not that it matters, but my official time was 1:05:52 (15 minute mile), 8th in my age group out of 32…not too shabby for being unprepared.  I can’t wait to see how I do once I start actually training.

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