Friday, June 20, 2014

What goes up...

About three weeks before my early-April half marathon, I felt a twinge in my hip.  I had run a 10-mile training run on Sunday (which was an amazing, all-the-stars-aligned sort of run) and then on a stupid, 3-mile Tuesday morning run, something felt off in my right hip.  I ignored it, stretched more than usual, and hoped for the best.  To no great surprise, all my ignoring, stretching, and hoping did nothing to heal my poor hip.  I continued training, though I ran very little in the 10 days before my race.  After I crossed the finish line and hobbled for several days, I knew I needed professional help.

I found an incredible chiropractor, herself a mother runner, who worked hard to put my body back together.  My lowest vertebrae were misaligned, likely from pregnancy more than running, though the constant pounding of the road certainly didn't help matters.  Under her guidance, I took a complete break from running for two weeks and then tentatively returned at the end of April.

Since I've returned, almost all of my runs have been top-notch.  I feel like I'm in the zone: my body is strong, my brain is engaged, my heart is happy.  Every time I lace up, I remind myself that this zone of running nirvana can't last; eventually, I'm going to have a crappy run.  After all, what goes up, must come down.  I leave my house half-expecting to bonk on the run, but each time I've returned grateful, rejuvenated, and full of life.

I'm at this peak, and I fear the inevitable pit.
Could I just skip the pit and settle for the reasonably-priced snacks and drinks?

To make this string of amazing runs all the more unbelievable, the runs have been wrought with opportunity for complaining and agony.  We have launched into a full-on St. Louis summer, complete with palpable humidity and scorching temperatures.  But I haven't minded.  Torrential rain threatened to blight my run commute last week.  But I just felt all the stronger because of it.  Even fighting through last week's treadmill run left me feeling elated rather than defeated.

I know this can't last.  Such zen-like states are fleeting, in both running and life.  So while I am trying to soak up the beauty of each run, I can't help but wonder when the other shoe is going to drop...