Eleven years ago today, I had no idea that in 24 hours my entire world would be obliterated; broken into a million pieces by my husband’s unexpected and sudden suicide, leaving me and our seven-month-old son in a reality that I did not want to be conscious of. The days, months, and years that followed were the darkest of my life, and there are still long stretches of time I do not remember.
Today, I ran and my mind wrestled again with the memories and feelings that always reemerge this time of year. Happier memories surface more as the years go by, thankfully, but so do the rock bottom ones … moments where I’d stare at my nursing son and know that if not for his needing me, I would choose to not be anymore. Today I ran alone in the woods, along the river in the hot afternoon sun as a steady breeze cooled me. Why do I run? Why does this action specifically soothe my heart in a way that so many other ways do not?
Running is a choice that I have control over; when Chad’s death hit me like a clap of thunder directly overhead and my entire world felt like complete chaos, having something that I control and can depend on makes me feel safe.
The action of one foot in front of the other is a metaphor of how I lived life in those times that were so hard, and how I continue to when times are rough. One foot in front of the other. Relentless forward motion, no matter the pace at least I am still moving forward.
Running gives me a time to be present with myself, to let my feelings flow, and to reset. The successes and the failures that I experience from running and racing help either lift me up or let me practice my coping skills on a level that is of little real importance. But the practice will come back to help in moments that are of more importance.
I know tomorrow will be hard, but I know I’ll choose to run. To move forward. And it’ll be fine.
Monday 7/24: 7 miles, core
7/25: 12 miles. AM- 8.02 miles, PM- 4 miles
7/26: 6 miles, core
7/27: 15 miles. AM-11 mile workout (3 warm up, 2 x 3 @6:48 with an easy mile in between sets, cool down to 11). PM-4 miles
7/28: 10 miles. AM-5 miles, PM-5 miles, core
7/29: 14 miles– planned on 18 with a workout but had one of those runs where I could really feel my low iron. I couldn’t breathe or catch my breath, even at 9:00+ pace. Slept for nine hours afterward though!
7/30: 5 miles– felt smooth and good again, I guess I needed the sleep last night.
Total: 69 miles