It started off so well. In fact, I was pumped. Since my mother-in-law is temporarily living with us, and since she arrived yesterday, my husband and I thought it would be fun if we went for a short run together. You know…run together…bond…while running…together.
I really need to let go of my fantasy of running with my husband. Here’s the thing: he’s a much stronger runner than I. I know this, and yet I thought it would be different today. You see, I’m fairly comfortable running 5K now, and so, I thought running with a more experienced runner could be…well…fun.
Not in the slightest.
Right from the get-go, I was aware that my pace is slower than my husband’s. Instead of me trying to push myself, he let up, falling a bit behind me, allowing me to set the pace. While this should have evened things out, all it resulted in was me feeling guilty and also wondering where the heck he was. I simply could not get into a groove. Back I warped to when every step felt mechanical. There was no rhythm.
At the half-way mark, we stopped to walk as I usually do. I laughed a bit, told my husband that I was finding the run tough, but I was determined. My right hip was hurting. Weird. The sun was hotter than I was used to, expected at 9am when I usually run at 630. We walked and talked and that part was genuinely nice. Then we started running again, and it all went to crap, for lack of a classier word.
Not 5 minutes into Part 2, I slowed again and forced my husband ahead. I just couldn’t find my pace. Here’s my theory: since we both are used to running solo now, and since I no longer require someone running beside me motivating me (code word for yelling) to keep going, we thought it would be ok to simply run with each other, but still maintain a runner’s silence. We both had our ipods on. We both were listening to different music, with different beats. It threw me off completely.
Attempt 3 to run, with husband ahead. I thought I could focus on me now. This is where my body cried out “enough” and simply failed. My hips throbbed, both of them; my knees ached; and my finger joints swelled with inflammation. I had forgotten to take some kind of pain killer before setting out, which I find helps me get through a run. I did what I’ve never done before and what I never thought I could do before: I stopped.
I was so disappointed. I started crying. I kid you not, and it wasn’t the subtle tear-rolling-down-the-face-slowly crying either. I’m talking heaves, sobs, and gasps. Not pretty. Not pretty at all. How awful. Horrible thoughts were circling in my mind, and no matter how I tried to tell them to “bugger off,” they wouldn’t. I was so upset that I (a) couldn’t enjoy a run with my husband on a rare opportunity and (b) I couldn’t get through my usual 5k when it hadn’t been that long since my last run. I was lost.
So I walked for a bit. I even passed our neighbour and co-blogger Nick. He looked zoned out and I’m hoping he didn’t notice the sad state I was in (hmmm…if he did, he’d be a pretty awful neighbour now wouldn’t he?). I was slightly embarrassed that he passed me while I was walking and not running, but I was so demoralized by this point, that I mostly didn’t care.
About 500m from my ending point, I started to run again. I could see my husband, finished, waiting for me. He had no idea the mess of a wife that would soon arrive, or I’m sure he would have kept running. I did finish that last 500m, but it was tough.
I could blame the humidity. I could blame a lot of things. I’m not. Live and learn. Now we know. And perhaps I’m being too harsh on myself…on us. Maybe there was more than one factor at play today that was working against me. Who knows.
Wednesday is my next run. I’m not going to let today get in the way of that. I may have to give up my dream of running with my husband…or perhaps, next time we’ll know better, leave the ipods at home, and talk while running! Imagine!