Wednesday, December 9, 2009

45 Minutes

When I left for my run today, I was a solid brick of stress.  Mr. Darcy and the girls were no where near leaving on time and by 7:30 I had enough.  I was out the door and off for my run after a little bit of a shouting match (that I'm not overly proud of) with Mr. Darcy.  This time of year is stressful enough, having Christmas Cards to get out, Christmas presents to wrap, lights to put on the house, a party on Friday to hold (not to mention purchasing all that I need for the party), a 5K Saturday morning (that I'm thinking of skipping for my sanity, but know I'll be happier even if crazier if I do it), a trip back to Mr. Darcy's parents so the girls can attend the Santa Luncheon at their country club.  Not to mention that the house looked completely like a bomb went off in it by the time I got home from Atlanta (although Mr. Darcy did straighten up a little bit last night while I was at a Junior League Meeting) and the end of the year charitable donations still need to be made.  But then, of course, the inability to stop worrying about my Mom even though I'm trying not to worry and stress about it.

I'm pretty sure my blood pressure had to be up.  I even cursed in the general vicinity of my children, which is something I never do.  I can't undo it now, but I've got to find a way to lessen this stress.  The sad part is that I think the only way I will feel better is once the cancer is cut out.  Mom has an appointment with the plastic surgeon tomorrow, so I'm hoping we'll have a surgery scheduled soon.  Mr. Darcy said he can't wait for the holidays, and to be perfectly honest right now I'm no where focused on the holidays.  I don't even know where I will be definitely on the holidays - here? my parents? Is it too much for my parents to have the girls around if surgery is before Christmas?  I want to visit them on the weekends, but Mom is trying to work enough to make sure that she has the hours she needs to keep her medical insurance through work so she's working all this weekend and most likely all next weekend too.  So I have all this floating around in my head at regular intervals, with my trying to push it into the back of my mind.  And I wonder why I'm short on patience.

I couldn't find my HR monitor watch (which I just found next to my keyboard under a piece of paper) this morning so I had to wear my clunky watch that would at least count down the 45 minutes I needed to run.  I was in a foul and throughly stressed mood.  And it looked like it would rain, and with it being December (and forgetting I live in central Florida where the high today will be around 84), I put on a long sleeve "cold weather" under armour shirt to run in.  It did not rain, and I sweat like a pig in a sweatsuit.

45 minutes. I started the watch and took off carrying a card I should have mailed weeks ago.  Better late than never, I guess.  I ran to the mailbox and then around the rest of the little horseshoe and back onto the regular path.  My mind was going a million miles a minute thinking things like "I cannot be responsible for Mr. Darcy's getting to work on time. He's a grown man. It's his responsibility even if it stresses him out." and "Oh I really should not have cursed even with the girls in the next room. That was not good."  And then I remembered that I was supposed to do 7/1's at the highest end for the 45 minute run.  I looked down and it was only 3 minutes and 23 seconds into the run and I was pretty far distance wise for that amount of time.  I kept going and my mind slowed a bit.

By 7 minutes into the distance, my running and mental pace had slowed a little bit but I still made it to the mile mark around 9 minutes total (even with walking that 1 minute in there).  I started listening to the sound of my shoes as I ran.  They were sort of squeeking.  I'm not sure why but these shoes squeek when I run, especially if the road is wet.  I realized I was still breathing like I hadn't warmed up yet, kind of that "this is hard" type of breathing and I focused on relaxing it.  Somewhere I lopped off 10 minutes of time in my math (the watch counts down not up for some reason), so I decided not to do the 3 mile trail and went for the 2 mile trail.  With 22 full minutes left and already being around the 2.25 mile mark, it dawned on me that I still had a good bit of time left in the run and I was approaching the house.

There is something about my brain that when I run, I cannot run by the house because if I see or pass the house, I want to stop.  Yet, I felt good.  My body felt good, my breathing was good.  But my brain.  It was not in it.  It tried to convince me to stop.  It told me that I had cleaned the house a bit before going for a run and that should count for something.  I told my brain to be quiet.  I told myself I would be happy later that I did the full 45 minutes.  That I just needed to keep up with the 7/1's and if I had to I could go lower.  I could do 5/1's or even 3/1's.  My body was insulted and told my brain that I was nuts because it could go and go at this pace (which had slowed a bit more) and that a total of 45 minutes for a run was really nothing.  My brain said, but there is so much else to do.  Don't you want a shower and to sit down with a nice cup of green tea and honey and just sit for a moment - like in a coffee commercial?  So I lied to myself.  I told myself that if I finished the last 7/1 that there would still be 5 minutes left and that I would let myself walk the entire thing.  My body knew it was a lie.  My brain was ready to fall for anything.

So instead of running toward the house I ran across the bridge and into another little part of the neighborhood, up to another side street and then doubled back toward the house.  But I was faster than I thought I was going because I was back at the house - but on the other side of the road - so I ended up passing the house 3 more times before the 45 minutes was up.  When the last 5 minutes were left, I walked the 1 minute I was supposed to and then started right back up running.  My brain didn't even protest.  It knew better all along.  My body was happy although a little ticked off that I had worn that cold weather shirt... it wanted to know what I was thinking.  At the end of my 4.25 miles, quite possibly the farthest I've run in 45 minutes in recent history (and goodness only knows if I could repeat it when it matters), my face was beet red my shirt, sports bra and running shorts were soaked, and I could feel sweat running down my arms inside of my shirt.  But for 40 minutes or so, I hadn't thought about all I had to do.  I hadn't thought about cancer.  For 5 minutes after the run, I didn't think about it either because all I could do was think about drinking water and then the recoverite I decided I should drink since I had sweat so much and gone pretty fast for me. 

In the shower, I thought about what tomorrow's workout was and whether I was supposed to do a run before the strength training or just a 10-15 minute cardio warm up.  It wasn't until I sat down in the office to start the day that it all came back.

But that's okay.  My 45 minutes run was my therapy for the day.  That and Mr. Darcy's nice note telling me that he doesn't want me to worry about helping him get out of the house anymore because he knows I need to run and work out and bathe before work and that he wants me to be happy.  That he can handle it.  A good run and a good man.  I'm a lucky woman, despite it all.


  1. I was reading your paragraph about all the things that stress you out this time of year... MOST not all are holiday related and OPTIONAL!!! No one will fault you if you don't get the cards out or lights up on time. Do what you need to do to work your way through supporting your family through this impossible time. My thoughts are with you during this..

    Hugs to having an outlet for STRESS and anxiety..

    Hang in there....and get those squeky shoes checked :)

  2. Its good that you got out and ran, helps with the stress.

    Squeaky shoes are not fun

  3. Just remember to breath and put one foot in front of the other, not only on your rus, but in life too. Baby steps.

  4. Screw the Christmas cards, go for New Years cards and only if you feel like it. Way too much on your plate to worry about what everyone else thinks about you NOT sending out Christmas cards.