Saturday, June 18, 2011

People along the way

Uggh. What a week. I am out of my element on all levels, it seems. I suppose on the outside, it looks like I'm managing OK, but I'm a bit frantic inside my head. I want to sleep for days and not just because I've been sick all week. I have to admit, the sounds coming out of me are hilarious. The laryngitis makes me sound like a squeak toy. However, it's not so great when trying to help customers at work or have a conversation. I'm fatigued and annoyed that everyone keeps asking me questions, and then says, "what?" after my unsuccessful attempts to answer. Grrr. On top of everything, I guess all the stress has confused my body, and my period arrived two weeks early. What's up with that?! Sigh... It seems to always come at odd times- every time I've had surgery, etc..boom there it is.

I've never dealt with concepts of death well. When my dad died, it was surreal, and my emotions were all over the place in the following weeks. About two weeks after he died, I seriously thought I might come to blows with a lady on the trail, because she let her dog run up and jump on me. I think my glare was enough to tell her she better not mess with me, but my disproportionate anger was clearly spilling out all over the place. I seem to be handling the death of a sweet little dog I used to take care of much better, but it might be because I don't have a choice. Life goes on, as they say. Being sick allowed me to let some of the emotions go at the appropriate time. I guess my resistance is down, so stuffing any emotions wasn't an option. Ultimately, I'm afraid of death and don't understand it. It's the big fear of the unknown. I always found it odd that despite this intense fear, I was always bumping up against it with the eating disorder, almost as if getting close to the edge would allow me some kind of glimpse into what it might be all about. Sadly, I've never experienced any white light or comforting sensations the closer I got, more just flat out panic. The one time I had meningitis and let go, things were peaceful, but I think that was more the morphine than angels on my shoulder.

A few days ago, I started a much more uplifting blog post. I'll take a quick left turn and get back to that.

Throughout my running career, I've been fortunate to meet some wonderful people in the sport. In fact, I would say that the majority of runners I encountered have all been pretty outstanding individuals. Sure, there's always an asshole or two to be found in any group of people, but on the whole, the runners I competed against, trained with and had conversations with have primarily been cool cats. Even the girl who mistakenly thought the 4 mile turkey trot was the National Championships and tripped me, apologized after. I still get grumpy when I think of that. I mean, who the fuck rides someone's ass in a fucking turkey trot? Shit. And I kept running from side to side of the road, because I specifically wanted to not race that one. Oh but once she tripped me, it was on! I got up with a bit of rage and fury, and chased her down. My main goal suddenly became passing her no matter what, and I did, placing 3rd in the process. The fact that she was so apologetic after the race helped ease some of the anger I was holding. In general though, even my fiercest competitors ended up being friendly and courteous.

Living in Boulder, you can't help but bump into all kinds of renowned runners, from former Olympians to ultra legends- Boulder has them all. Here, the average house wife is a 3:20 marathoner in her spare time. I'm living among some of the best overachievers in the country. It makes it difficult to feel good about going out for a light jog x times a week.

It's interesting that in the podcast I did with Lauren Fleshman for Women Talk Sports Lauren wasn't as exposed to eating disorders in high school as I was. It's hard to say why that is. There are so many possibilities. It's possible that there were more girls with eating disorders in my high school because of the atmosphere, but it's also possible that there were unrecognized or undiagnosed eating disorders that Lauren didn't see at the time. It could also be that, as Lauren pointed out, there was more pressure in college, so less girls in her high school struggled compared to when she went to college. It's true that environment plays a huge role in the development of eating disorders. I do believe that Ann's statistics regarding how many runners have eating disorders is probably accurate. I mean, it's estimated that about 8 million Americans have an eating disorder. I assumed that's a diagnosed eating disorder. I'm sure there are plenty who slide under the radar. The point is that many runners struggle with weight, body image and food issues. It kind of comes with the territory. Those who escape it often say, like both Lauren and Lorraine Moller did, that they had shades of an eating disorder, or that they were in the gray area with it, not fully falling into the abysmal cavern like I did.

All of a sudden, I don't like this topic.

Tonight I am in the mood for fun. I went out and met a few friends at a going away party. It has been such a shitty week with my foot still sore (but fortunately getting slowly better), the cold lingering and the death of the sweet little dog. Also, I was feeling out of sorts, because I didn't even get to do a single hard workout. So it was great to hang out and talk to new and old friends. Sometimes I like to just put everything aside and linger in a good conversation or fun moment. Those can be all too rare in my life. I enjoy much of what I do, but sometimes the thoughts in my head are way the fuck too loud. Gah! So, being in the moment is a great place to be.

Ooohhhh AND another fun thing I did tonight was stop by Piece, Love and Chocolate! I have chocolate to sample, including a vegan walnut truffle. They were out of the hazelnut hearts, so I opted for that one instead. Mmmmm The place is awesome. I predict I will become a regular customer!

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