Well this is embarrassing. It's been way too long. I have excuses, good ones even! I moved again, I had no internet, I had another MS relapse, and I was overwhelmed. Like, massively. But as of today I have internet again, I am healthy again, and the boxes are mostly unpacked. I finally feel almost settled. Life is good. If I'd written last week it would have been all whiny. Now I can just sound all tough and shit.
Two weekends ago, I was supposed to run my first trail race. It wasn't exactly my first trail race, it was kind of my first-second trail race. My second-first trail race? Let me explain. Two years ago, about six months after I started running, I registered for my first trail race, a half marathon in Massachusetts. About a month before the race, I got injured -- the original posterior tib tendon injury that I ran through for so long that I did permanent damage and the stupid thing is still weak to this day, but I digress. On the heels of that injury I had a little mini MS relapse, which was my first experience going partially blind. That was a trip. Whenever I have a relapse I always tell myself that it will go away, that I will heal, and I really do my best to believe that and not to freak out, but it's pretty hard to believe that things will miraculously go back to normal in a few weeks when you can't see or walk or breathe normally. Or count to ten, that was a fun one. Good times!
It was funny actually; the blindness came on suddenly, around 3:30am one morning when I woke up to drive Sean to the start of his first ultra. I suddenly couldn't see out of my right eye, and I had to drive him and Maple about 10 miles in the dark on winding country roads in Vermont, and then back to our hotel. That sounds badass right? I'm so tough. Actually I'm pretty sure there was a fair amount of blubbering and panicking that I was going to go completely blind while driving and kill all of us, but yeah, I didn't.
The relapse didn't get worse, and a few weeks later I could see almost normally again. To this day when I look at a white wall, it looks grey on the right side, but it's not that big of a deal really, I'm just complaining cause it's my blog and I can do that. So I DNS'd my first trail race two years ago when it sounded like a stupid idea to race while half blind and exhausted with MS fatigue. I'm such a wimp.
Fast forward two years and I was all excited to run my first-second (second-first) trail race. It was just a local 5k, but I was excited to live up to my idea of myself as a real trail-running badass, even though the trails were well groomed and it was only three measly miles. But come on, I have tattoos! I shaved my head once! Right? And then I woke up the morning before the race with half-numb feet. MS can affect sensations in your body, especially your extremities, so I wasn't really shocked by these symptoms. I've been so so SO stressed out over this move, and the new job, and the new house, and stress is not really a friend of MS. Another little relapse was not surprising. I'm just lucky the relapses are little! Major relapses don't really go with my outfit. Anyway, by 5 a.m. on race day my feet were more like completely-numb, and I started thinking it was a stupid idea to go run a trail race on them, no matter how short it was or how well-groomed the trails were. Even though I tweeted this the night before:
Right after I tweeted this, some very nice person tweeted back that I was an inspiration, and I thought, that's really sweet but no, I'm not an inspiration. I'm a fucking moron. I need to rest. And so I did. As it turns out, I am not a badass, because I DNS'd. Did Not Start. ed. But I did lay in bed (and okay I unpacked a little) and thought about how much cooler it would be if I took care of myself and ate well and didn't spend all my waking hours in a stress-induced shit fit over my brand new house (hello, first world problems!).
Ever since then I've been planning for my future life as a healthy person. I've been meditating, eating better, resting more, and running less. It sucks to be (once again) building back up to 10 miles a week, but it's better than being you know, sick or dead or something. I am feeling much MUCH fucking better. My feet are normal again and even better, I might just have my priorities in order. I might not run a half marathon this fall, or if I do run it, it will be more "for fun" and less "for a PR". In fact I think I'm going to do a whole bunch of races for fun instead of PRs. I am going to celebrate the fact that I can run at all, and forget about the almighty clock for a while.
It's a good idea, right?