It was really hot and really humid. Like you-showered-with-your- clothes-on-humid. The consensus (thanks, Nancy!) is that I was dehydrated (I'm not stupid, I hydrate like crazy but apparently sweat like crazy too), and that leads to ... bad things.
Run recap over!
Well, not quite. Eleven miles on Saturday took me 2 1/2 hours. I don't know how I made it back. I thought about taking a cab. But I didn't. I didn't want to inflict myself on a cabbie. It's pretty amazing what you can do when you have no real options. So I walked/ran/dragged myself back to the Pentagon.
I was pretty down—depressed— Sunday and it lasted right thru Monday. I seriously contemplated quitting, because who was I kidding?? I have too many problems to keep on with this running crap. Blisters, PF, chafing, now my back was acting up, and the final straw was this GI stuff, which made a funny story the first time. But the second time? Is quite another thing.
In my quest to understand what is happening with my body, I was talking to the amazing jeff, who was giving me all kinds of encouragement and advice about what in my life and diet might be exacerbating this problem, and I found myself writing back to him about the "things I had going for me," which led to me really thinking about the things I have going for me (don't worry, it's a short list):
- The Will to improve.
- I can run. I know I have said this before, but I have to keep reminding myself, so you have to keep reading it: I can run. Three years ago I was using a cane to walk. Three years ago I was ready for the back surgeon. Every time I run, even badly, it's a little miracle.
- And let's not forget: I'm off anti-depressants—a direct result of running.
- An awesome coach.
- And of course, all of you.
So, I returned from the hairy edge of bailing (see #1).
Who knows if I'll make it across the finish line on Oct. 29? I do know for certain that I'll keep trying until every part of my body tells me it's over. And I have to be prepared for that to happen, given my history.
But I'll tell you this: I'm not gonna go quietly. And I'm sure there will be plenty more times when I will feel like giving up. But I'm not gonna give up. Not. Going. To. Give. Up. Got it?
You need more inspiration than my little story? Check out "What He’s Been Pedaling," a feature on Floyd Landis from the New York Times Magazine. Take a look at what Landis' life is like:
...in almost every [other] situation in his life, Landis is slow. He walks with a limp. He sits as often as possible and cannot cross his right leg over his left. He takes elevators instead of stairs, valet-parks at the shopping mall and sometimes has difficulty sleeping. Running is out of the question. Like many of the 216,000 Americans who will receive hip replacements this year, his life is defined by chronic, debilitating pain.I know what years of chronic, debilitating pain feel like. Watching Landis in the Tour, and reading his (and others'—many of them yours) stories, reminds me that I'm hardly alone in my little struggle.
Now that's encouraging.