Wednesday, September 15, 2010

the after-life

That is, the after-running-life. I think I am experiencing what they like to call post-race depression. For so.many.months. I had to, well, run. That's what I scheduled around, what I thought about, what occupied at least an hour of my day everysingleday. It determined when I woke up, when I went to sleep, when I ate dinner, which clothes I brought where, etc.

I don't have to think about any of that anymore. And, to be honest, I'm a little overwhelmed by all of my freedom. On Sunday night as I got in bed I reached to set my alarm because "I have to run in the morning, so I should get up at...." Oh, wait. I don't have to run in the morning. Or the afternoon. Or ever. [And, let's be honest here, I couldn't have run on Monday [or Tuesday, or Wednesday], even if I tried]. (Did you like my double brackets there? Haha, too many subsub comments...) At that moment I felt a sudden, overwhelming sense of...freedom. Free time. Space. But rather than relief, do you know what that brought me? Panic. I am not a good relaxer; I never have been good at just taking time to sit. And sit. And not be productive. That's what this extra time, spanning out in front of me into eternity, began to feel like to me. An entire life of...nothing.

Dramatic, I know. It's Wednesday and I feel much less depressed about life. I also can actually make it up and down the stairs without limping too much. [I still have to go sideways, but oh well. I can take the laughter of my coworkers when I remember what achievement has gotten me in this arthritis-like state.] I also went for a bike ride today and, when it was harder than I had envisioned, began to think, "Why is this so hard? I am so in shape, I just ran 13.1 miles for crying out loud...Oh, wait. Right." That's when I remembered that I still had to use some leg muscles to bike. So I took it easy, and my knees thanked me for biking rather than running.

But, oh, I wanted to run today. It was beautiful weather, cool, not raining, just the right breeze. As I drove home on lakeshore I watched all the preppy people running up and down the lakeshore path and I just wanted to be them.

Something is wrong with me.

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