I started this public journey knowing that I’d be honest. I’d be honest about my fears facing my mastectomy, my struggles with getting healthy, and my challenges holding myself accountable through this 1/2 marathon. I also knew that the honesty would help my friends stay focused, stay committed, and stay with me. So, this entry is one of THOSE posts.
If you’re just following my journey out of curiosity and not that into the honesty, you might want to stop reading now and check back in when the next post goes up. Fair warning, this post makes ample use of the words vomit, mucus, and pee. Still with me?
For the past few weeks, I’ve been sick. At times, my body has felt like it’s been through 12 rounds with Manny Pacquio, dunked in a tank of Nickelodean green slime, and knee deep in a pool of piss. I’ll start in order….
Despite finally giving in to the peer pressure of flu shots (I typically don’t get the shot), I’ve been the sickest ever. I’ve taken more sick days this season that I have in my entire working career. So, yeah, it’s that bad. At times, it has felt like every bone in my body was being smashed and every joint in my body was being smoked. Yet, life as a mom with three kids still goes on, and yes, those days have also included the three children being sick, too.
I can’t seem to shake this mucus and chest congestion, either. I spent the first few weeks just drinking juice and going the more homeopathic route — steam, green tea, vitamin C. Those didn’t work, so I then desperately moved to medication – Mucinex, DayQuil. No matter what, I find myself drowning in my own phlegm. Now that I’ve gotten the taste of the thrill outdoor workouts, I’ve been desperate to go outside. A few times during my weeks-o’-congestion, I’ve tried to go running and ended up walking. Today, I thought I was much better, but only made it a 1/2 a mile into an anticipated 3 mile workout. The will was there, but I had to cut it short after throwing up mucus — and, as I’m still new to the whole “run-and-spit” thing, I’m covered more in mucus than in sweat. Let’s just say, good thing there is snow on the ground and I was able to cover up my mess. Thankfully, it was also too early in the morning for anyone to see me doubled over and puking slime.
Okay, Mamas. I KNOW some of you are with me here — As a result of pushing three children out of my body, my body isn’t quite as awesome as it once was. Yes, despite attempts at Kegels, I still end up peeing whenever I get into these extremely violent coughing and throwing up fits. Not the most comfortable situation when I find myself a mile away from home.
So, needless to say, my attempt at a workout – after a nearly 2 week break – was spoiled yet again. It’s beginning to wear on my body and my spirit. Thankfully, the new running shoes fit great (glass 1/2 full, shall we?). Just wish I could run longer than 1/2 a mile in them before calling it quits.
There were moments in the early part of the run when I tried to convince myself to just keep going. My legs felt good, my head was in the right place, and even my actual lungs were strong. It was just this damn congestion!
So, I’m frustrated. I’m absolutely frustrated. Glass 1/2 full … I’m excited, though, to be frustrated, because it means that I’m committed to the physical and emotional benefits of being outdoors and exercising. The thought of hopping onto our indoor elliptical machine is just dreadful. D-R-E-A-D-F-U-L. I’ve begun to love the cold air, the feel of the wind in my sneakers, and the warmth my body generates just prior to my run. I enjoy the feeling of moving forward instead of just “keeping up” on my indoor machine. I love the sound of cars driving and the sound of silence as I turn a quiet corner. I love the sound of my feet hitting the ground and the rhythm of my breathing.
I keep trying to put a good spin on all of this. I realize that the work I’m doing now is in preparation of the work my body will need to do in order to heal. I realize the rest I’m forcing myself to take is in preparation for the slowing down I’ll need to do after my surgery. I’m even trying to visualize the congestion is symbolic of the years of neglect I’ve given my body; and the release is my body’s way of making me feel the physical manifestation of it all.
Those are the times when I’m feeling particularly Zen-like. Today, though, I just feel like crap. I want to get out there. I want to run. I want to move my body on my terms, and I want those terms to be outdoors, running, breathing.
Training for this 1/2 marathon — and, for the surgery — is my way of taking control over my body. Maybe this is the universe’s way of reminding me that I can’t always call the shots.
Here’s hoping my other training buddies are feeling healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Peace, love, and Happy Year of the Tiger,