Twenty-two weeks. Twenty-two weeks in a row (nearly six months!), I didn’t miss a single week of posting about a new thing I did. Until week twenty-three. See, I had a plan to try a new thing, and it fell through, then I ran out of time to try another new thing. I missed a week. It really bummed me out.
Scratch that–it more than bummed me out, it pushed me into a dark place, the one in which the part of me that is convinced I am worthless and cannot do anything right was validated. However, that part of me was so much smaller than it was twenty-four weeks ago, when it was a destructive little monster I lived with and kept fat and happy. This time, twenty-four weeks later, I was able to tell it to shut up.
I wanted to write a long post about body image and anorexia and gaslighting, but…folks, I’m exhausted. It’s been a very busy couple of weeks, so instead of writing a somewhat-literary-but-not-really post, I’m going to keep it simple and short.
I mentioned in a previous post that I am a runner, something I haven’t really discussed during this project, but which is really important to me. In fact, when I last mentioned it, I was in a state of limbo–I’m very out of shape and I wasn’t really sure if running was still something I could or wanted to do. This year–2018–might be the year I make a definitive decision on this particular subject. See, I’m running a race every month of this entire year.
I know. It sounds crazy, and in some ways it is, but I think I set out my schedule to be pretty reasonable. I’m starting out small–with 5k races first. So my new thing this past week was my first race of 2018.
Every year, Deer Park, Washington hosts a winter festival and a coinciding run called the Frostbite 5k, which is one of very few races that take place anywhere in the state of Washington in January, and it was definitely the only one that was remotely close to where I live.
I have been half-heartedly training, if I’m being honest (and with you, I always am). I could be working harder, eating better, sleeping more, etc. But I’ve been easing back into training–after spending most of 2017 just trying to stay alive, I’m focusing this year on being gentle with myself. I don’t always succeed…I may have actually asked my wife to give me a pep talk.
I ran the Deer Park Frostbite 5k on Saturday morning in 33:29, which is an average pace of 10:48 per mile. I know that isn’t a terrible run, but I’m having a difficult time swallowing just how slow and out of shape I am these days. Less than two years ago I ran the Rapid Rabbit Run, a five-mile race that is also a Bloomsday qualifier, in just under 48 minutes, for an average pace of 9:35 per mile. Here’s the kicker–I WAS SICK that day! I could barely breathe and struggled through all five miles. In 2018, I’m lucky if I can break 11 minutes a mile. Such is life.
I have signed up to do the Rapid Rabbit Run again this March, and I want to reach the same time goal I had in 2016. To achieve this would be nearly impossible at this point, so I think I’m going to have to lower the bar and accept that I’m just not capable of what I want and hope to be. And that, my friends, is a jagged pill to swallow.