Confessional: I have been sick since Vegas. In my defense, I went to my primary who announced it was late season allergies. She didn’t examine me in any way what.so.ever despite my vitals being out of whack. Blood pressure: 140/100; pulse: 90; core temp: 99; no monthly since Sept and 3lbs lost in four days. I thought it was something just a little more than “allergies.” But then…wait for it…I had told her about Vegas. The rainy and windy marathon. And, and. And! The family issues. Nine days in a row with less than three hours of sleep each night. I’m a woman who needs her solid eight. Let me snuggle down with nine and I’m a happy camper. No wonder I was breaking down. My primary didn’t come right out and say “stress” but I suspect I had exhausted myself right into illness. I took to my bed the day before Thanksgiving and didn’t leave it until the end of the weekend.
But, But! But. I am turning a corner. I don’t know why this counts but I’ve been listening to Tom Petty radio on Seriously for three days straight. Somehow it prompted me to order new cold weather running pants and register for my all time favorite nemesis, the dreaded St. Pat’s 10k Road Race. Don’t ask me how my mind works. The important thing is this: me, myself and moi are starting to return to the run. Finally. Why is this such a big deal? Because the last time we had a horrible run the trainers were hung up and all but abandoned for nearly five years. I let the pain rule my head and the fear strangle my heart. I wore the crown of Can’t and bore the cross of Won’t. My sanity turned saintly and I almost lost it all. It’s a silver lining to say this time is hugely different. The fear lurks but does not dominate my desire to start again. The toe is still very black but I can’t wait for one dodgy digit to heal. The only petty thing I can wait for is this cough to go away. I’m still rattling a little phlemy in the lungs and my ribs are sore from the exertion. I don’t dare step out into the cold and rain in this condition. I can barely breathe straight at it is. For right now it’s enough to know the mindset is there. As Mr. Petty says “you can stand me up at the gates of hell but I’ll stand my ground. I won’t back down.” Holyoke, I’m coming for you.