The week following American River 50 was the first week I have not run a mile since the beginning of October, 2011. It feels weird. I thought the soreness in my muscles and my joint niggles would be gone by now, but they remain, vaguely. The rest of me is ready to lace 'em up and get back out there, but I have already renegotiated my return, and I will only make one exception: Running for Boston tomorrow, April 17th.
I suffered some post-race depression, likely a result of the hole left in my routine. Going from ten hours of running per week to zero leaves a lot of time for self-loathing. In the months leading up to AR50, I had abandoned my weight loss attempts. I did not want to handicap my training by limiting calories. And my waist paid the price. As I write this, I weigh 25 pounds more than I did a year ago, and despite my current fitness, it is having a wretched effect on my attitude. A vicious cycle of low self esteem and depression combined with apathy and severe lack of motivation. I even had to exchange my race tee for a larger size.
I found myself on the outside looking in at the lifestyle I was leading, after only one week.
A few conversations with Twirly set me straight, though, and as I began the second week of down-time, I followed the Boston Marathon on Monday to find some motivation. I don't have any designs on running Boston; I can hardly qualify as a woman. But it occupies a reverential place in the running community, and I respect it for that. Plus, I knew about dozen people participating on that beautiful Patriot's Day.
The motivations for such maliciousness are beyond many of us. The finish line of any marathon is a triumphant place, a literal milestone in so many lives. An act of terrorism there is out-of-place; it has no reference, it makes no sense. There are no values or immoral aspects to protest. There is no political or economical voice to silence.
The running community has been hit hard by this tragedy, but ours is a resilient family. Our bond rises from shared suffering, chosen suffering. To become victims is not in our nature. Just look at all the helping hands that Monday afternoon to find the real power of our commitment. My self-loathing did not seem like such a big deal in the face of such a spectacle.
As I worked through the shock of the day, I realized, now more than ever, that running is a part of me, and I cannot take my ability to run for granted. So I will get out there tomorrow, in blue and yellow, and log some miles not for me or my log, but for those affected by this tragedy in Boston and beyond...