Running makes you an athlete in all areas of life…trained in the basics, prepared for whatever comes, ready to fill each hour and deal with the decisive moment. – Dr. George Sheehan
4.00 + 3.00
I got up early Monday morning to run, but after checking the weather and seeing it was 75 degrees and 96% humidity, I opted for a morning gym workout instead. Tuesday morning looked like it would be better since the overnight lows were going to be in the 60s. Later on Monday afternoon, I was out by the barn getting the sheep some fresh water when I decided that since it was going to be nice Tuesday morning, then wouldn’t it be nice if I re-mowed Eight Acres Running Trail. I couldn’t even remember the last time I had run it and it was so overgrown that it was hard to find in some places. I had lost all motivation to run back and forth in front of the house and the running trail was just the ticket.
So I spent some time mowing the trail with the tractor, even going over places that had some stubborn weeds. In one spot where it goes through a small tree line, I cut down some low hanging dead branches. I was sweaty by the end of it all, but I felt accomplished and I was excited to run Tuesday morning.
Little did I know, that I would be woken up at 4am to the cries of a feverish child and that instead of a morning run I’d be oversleeping and then taking my daughter to the doctor. Three hours with the doctor plus over an hour wait at the pharmacy later and we were dragging in the door. But after a little medicine and some cartoons for her and some coffee for me, we were starting to feel better. She just has a simple ear infection from a yucky cough/cold she got the week before. It wasn’t serious and it was treatable. I was still thinking about my running trail and considering an evening run. She seemed ok so I set her up with Snow White and got my running shoes on. I walked out the door as Snow White was just meeting the forest creatures.
Trails are like old friends. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you’ve run them, it doesn’t take long before you’re comfortable again. You get reminded of where you want to step for each turn, and oh right, this hill section is kind of long, and once I get to this point, I’ll be in the shade and won’t need my sunglasses. I got into my groove and felt like I could finally relax. I felt like it had been weeks since I had really run. I started to think back over the three weeks my husband has been gone. Why had it been so hard this time?
I reviewed in my mind each week. The first week, the sheep got out of the fence, my daughter threw up, the chickens got into the garden, and I got chased by the rooster. Oh and I started taking a medication for my digestive issues that made me feel terribly nauseous. The second week was a little better from the farm perspective, I fenced off the rest of the garden, but not before the chickens got into it a second time. But the side effects from the medication totally derailed me. I have never felt so miserable from medicine and I had to take it three times a day for two weeks. Meanwhile, my daughter picked up the yucky cough keeping her from gymnastics which is my normal running time. This third week has been better, now that I’m off the medication, but my daughter has an ear infection so it’s not all sunshine and roses. And we missed a second week of gymnastics. Even so, I’m finally getting back into a real workout routine. It has been a rough couple of weeks, but I have learned a couple things:
1. I can outrun a rooster.
2. I can hurdle a live electric fence.
3. I can sprint faster than a flock of sheep.
And I kept thinking the whole three weeks, This is why I workout.
Because sometimes life asks you to do things you don’t normally do, and it helps if you can sprint around a field after escaped sheep without injuring yourself. 😉
And because I know my husband is counting on me. He hates to be gone, but I know he finds comfort in the fact that I can handle this sort of stuff. I wish I could just be the pretty one and never lift a finger, but our life isn’t like that and never has been. So it’s nice to know I can pick up that 40lb bag of chicken feed and I can use the ridiculously heavy mallet to hammer in fencing, even if I don’t want to.
I came back inside when Snow White was about to take a bite of the poison apple. Eight laps on the half mile running trail and I felt a hundred times better than when I walked out the door. Nothing seemed half so bad as it did before…I wondered if that had been part of the problem the last few weeks. I hadn’t gotten to run hardly at all. Running is my time to think and sort out the mess of life. It is usually the most therapeutic and relaxing part of my day. Too sick and too busy to run for weeks, no wonder I had gotten so pessimistic and mentally run-down.
I ran again tonight, partially because my husband is flying back tonight and it was giving me something to do besides sit around a wait for him to land at DFW. My daughter wanted to run the trail with me. (Obviously the amoxicillin is working despite her protest about how wretched bubble gum flavored medicine is.) I let her do one lap with me. She likes to flap her arms when she runs because she pretends they are either dragon wings or fairy wings. Tonight she may have been pretending to be a griffon (it’s in a story we are listening to). She always looks like she is having fun when she runs. Don’t we all wish we could run free like we did when we were 6 going on 7?
My heart was lighter this evening knowing my husband was on his way back home. I could feel the weight of the last few weeks melting off. Almost done.
“Come on, Mommy!” she calls.
A quick, click-click-click of the camera before I call back, I’m coming!
Just a short three miles tonight, but it’s so nice to be back. Two nights in a row of running – what a treat! I’m back on track!