Tonight I found Dave’s secret stash of M&M’s. It’s not a secret really. He’s not hiding them so I won’t know he has them. He just puts them out of my sight because he knows that I want to be lean and that I have absolutely no ability to moderate my intake of something I enjoy. That’s true for most things, actually. Moderation is not my strong suit.
For the past week, I’ve done little but work. Especially the last few days, I’ve done 14-hour days, and I’m exhausted. I left the office at 9:30 tonight, and when I called my mom to let her know I was heading home, she said, “You’re early tonight!” She’s right. Compared to last night’s 2:30 in the morning departure, 9:30 felt like a treat. For the first time in over a week, I’ve spent a few hours at home doing laundry, sorting through mail, and putting things away. It’s been nice to have some quiet time at home, but I know morning will come early. I need to get to sleep, but sleep feels far away, so I write instead.
I missed my marathon. I was in a funk last time I wrote, and I got myself out of bed the next morning to run. Mid-run my right calf just cramped. I’ve never had that happen before, and it was damn painful. I walked a bit and wasn’t sure I’d be able to run again, but we were at the five-mile loop turnaround, so I had no choice but to make it back to where we started. I could walk, but my friends weren’t going to leave me alone in the dark, so my walking meant they’d walk. Because of that, I found a way to run. It wasn’t pretty, but I got back to my car and proceeded to limp around the next couple of days.
I knew running the marathon probably wasn’t a good idea, but I think I would have tried at least the half if I hadn’t been buried in work. But Saturday was so busy that I didn’t even make it to a shop to buy my Cliff Bloks, and by the time I got home around 11:30, I couldn’t imagine getting up and to a starting line early the next morning. Maybe work was the universe’s way of keeping me from hurting myself further? I don’t know. It was probably a smart thing to pass on this one, but I hated missing it. I wanted this to be a year that I made all my races, so missing the first big one felt like an utter fail. I hate that feeling.
Now I think my calf is better. I’m eating what my friend Wayne calls dirt food – things that grow in the ground – because he said I could have been short on certain minerals. I don’t know if it’s my diet or rest or both, but I think the calf is better, and I’m anxious to try it out on a run. It won’t happen tomorrow because I need to be in the office again early, but hopefully Thursday morning I can run again.
There are some extremes that I really enjoy. Endurance sports, obviously. A focused training season. A super clean eating plan. Even a good season of hard work. But this particular effort I’m in the thick of is not one I am enjoying. I don’t mind working long hours when necessary, but I’m particular about how I work. I like controlled efforts. I like a methodical approach to whatever the problem is. I can go for hours on end working and caring for every last detail of whatever is in front of me. But I don’t thrive in chaos, and right now I’m in chaos of the worst kind.
I want to regain my sense of balance and control. I want to get back to my workouts and back on my bike. I want to get back to evenings with Dave. I want to get back to working hard but in a controlled manner. I’m not a sprinter. I don’t start and stop and go in fits and spurts in every direction. I’m just not wired that way. I want to sleep for more than a few hours at a time, and I want to have dreams that aren’t about making a mistake or getting yelled at. I want to get my passport renewal mailed and my eyebrows waxed and my thank you cards written.
Oh, and I need to go to the store to replenish Dave’s stash of M&M’s. Sorry, Love. Put them higher up next time, please.