October 31, 2006

Anger Having A Bad Day

Ooof...my legs....ugh....they....ouch.....hurt..... argh.

[heavy breathing. perhaps even panting]

I'm [pant] running [gasp]. It hurts, if you can't tell. And if you're so bad at telling that, you probably are too dense to realize that I am angry right now. The forecast, so you know, doesn't show any happiness on the horizon either so batten down your hatches, it's gonna be a rough one. And if I can give you some other advice, don't act up or I'll smack you upside your head without a moments thought. I'm that type of angry.

I look at my watch.... thirty two seconds.
THIRTY TWO SECONDS?!?! Jeeee-sus fucking Christ.

If looks could kill, the sidewalk would be dead. I lift my head up angrily and look around. I look behind me. Shit. I am one block from home. Just one measly block. How could I have run only one fucking block yet hurt so goddam much. This is bullshit. This is, without question, the longest thirty two seconds of my whole goddam life (not counting the water boarding episode of 2002, of course).

My legs were tired when I woke up this morning. My quads were painful to the touch. I've run twice, maybe three times in the past two weeks. None of those more than four miles. And then Catherine and I went on a very hilly, quite challenging 11 mile trail run this past Saturday. I knew I shouldn't be doing an 11 mile run, much less a hilly one. It was stupid. Fucking idiotic. I told myself I'd turn around before I went to far. But I didn't. It was beautiful. It was fun.

I went too far. I'm an idiot.
I hurt.

Catherine was running again this morning because she is a superstar. And that was motivation enough for me to give it another try. Besides, I mistakenly woke up at 5am today and had already watched the latest episodes of Lost and The Daily Show. There was nothing left on TiVo to keep me at home.

Cat planned to run one mile intervals this morning at a sub-8 minute pace. Despite the fact that I haven't run a sub-8 minute pace since February, those long-gone early days of Ironman training, I figured I'd meet her about fifteen minutes into her run and hang with her for as long as I can... which shouldn't be for much more than ten or twenty feet at this rate. We should be able to run together for about 10 seconds. That'll be just peachy. Fucking great.

Yet here I am less than one minute into my warm-up and it already feels like my heartrate is red-lining. Every step hurts. Every moment, pain. I'm clocking in at about 12 minute miles. The quads are screaming, screeching, a million tiny knives seering through my legs with every step - gnawing, scratching, tearing apart muscle and fiber. It has devoured my happiness. There is nothing left but bone and anger.

Yet I press forward. One mile. Two miles.
I do one block pick-ups. 9 minute miles. Pathetic. It hurts so much it is annoying. Frustrating.

Finally I see Catherine approaching. I turn around and wait for her to catch me. I hear her behind me and so I pick up the pace. I'm running, faster and faster. 9 minute miles...8:30s....8 minute miles... and now we're side by side. We are running sub-8s. 7:40s maybe. I don't know, I don't really care. I just try to keep up with her.

I focus my eyes on the horizon. Focus, I tell myself. Because when I speak out loud, the pain will dissipate. Focus, I say with a deathray gaze. Focus goddamit.

A minute goes by. Then two. I'm holding on.
Hold on. I notice.

My breathing, it has gotten easier. My legs, they are feeling less painful. My feet are floating.
We are flying. Our feet are not touching the ground. The trees are a blur as we speed on by. It is Halloween and we are flying. Are we witches? Does that mean we will have to go through water boarding again?

I laugh.
I smile.
This is fun.
I have outrun my anger. My anger is panting, breathless on the side of the sidewalk. Fuck that anger. I don't need that anger.

I am happy.
I am running.
I love this.


triathlonmom said...

Wow. You had me there for a second. I was totally relating to you.... Knives in calves. Panting. 12 minute miles. Anger. Pain. All so familier.
How the hell did you get to that other place? One day I hope I find it. ...I AM happy for YOU though.

Laura said...

Read your latest post. It's humorous but FYI, the swearing (Jesus f- Christ) will be very offensive to lots of people, including family members. Can you change it?


j. said...

Thanks for the comments, Laura...I recognize that some people will be offended by the writing. I don't use bad words too much but I do occassionally. If people don't like it, they probably shouldn't read what I'm writing. Truth be told, I don't think most of my family reads this crap anyway.

jbmmommy said...

I hope that someday I feel that good about running. The first part I've felt. When will I ever get to the second part? Most of the time I'm just hoping I won't die on the treadmill, that could be messy, and embarrassing.