Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Notes from a crabby whiner who should just shut up and go to bed

I am about to end a day that got ruined this morning.

If you’re not in the mood for whining, stop reading. I plan to whine.

And I want to whine about my running. Which is largely uninteresting. So, really, feel free to stop reading.

Okay. Then you asked for it.

I’m not a capital-R runner, I’m a little r-runner. Somewhere between queen of the 5K and master of the marathon is where you’ll find me. More importantly, every October for the past zillion years, you’ll find me running a ten-mile race.

The same race, with the same people. Same course, so I can tell, apples to apples, if I’m getting faster. Every year I’ve gotten faster. It MATTERS to me that I get faster. It means I’m not getting old and fat and arthritic and all high blood pressure-y and water retention-y.

I’ve done the race under adverse conditions, like last year, when I was diagnosed with a completely ruptured disc in my back right before the race. That’s the same race that found me inexplicably barfing as I reached the finish line (yup, right where the photographers were). Didn’t matter, I still ran it, and I liked that I ran it faster than the year before.

But this year it’s not the same. One, all my running friends (save one thank you God) is hurt or otherwise disengaged and not planning to run the race. They all have very legitimate excuses, but it’s a bummer that our field of five is down to two.

Two, I sprained or twisted or just hurt my ankle last week. It was a very glamorous and graceful injury; I stepped on the nozzle of the hose I had lazily left lying in my driveway. Ankle wrenched with a crack, I went down. Laid in my driveway for a full ten minutes, alternatively wondering if I broke my ankle and if the dog was going to run away since I dropped the leash when I fell. And trying not to say, “Holy shit my ankle hurts” so loudly the mail lady would see me and call the police.

So I limped for a few days and Whit wrapped it every night and it got better, but my left ankle still hurts. Then, running today, my right calf muscle rearranged itself in a very painful fashion (like five rubber bands twisting together really tightly) and the only way I could run home was by using only the tippy toes of my right foot.

So there I was, on a busy road. You’d think if I was limping from the left ankle injury and tiptoeing because of the right calf injury maybe they’d cancel each other out and I could run straight, but no. I looked like a drunk, stoned, gazelle amputee.

Then I called Whit to tell him and he shifted into the, “Please stop complaining about all your injuries” voice, which isn’t fair, because I never, ever, ever, ever complain and it’s just that these things are making me think I can’t run the race very fast. And if I can’t run it fast I don’t want to run it at all. Then I’m a quitter, and I hate quitters more than I hate slow running.

Then I was dumb enough to tell one of my shrink running friends why I was in a funk and she was ridiculously rational (“Perhaps you should reframe your idea of success”) and I wanted to push this dear, sweet friend right in front of a yellow school bus.

Caroline heard all this and said, “So, Mommy, you’re mad because your friends aren’t running with you and because you think you can’t run the race really fast, right?”


“Well, Mommy,” she confided, “Sometimes – and I’m only saying sometimes – I throw a temper tantrum when things don’t go the way I want. So I understand how you feel.”

Thank you, little Miss Mommy.

“Caroline, what do you do when you need to snap yourself out of that kind of mood?”

She thought. And thought.

“Well, kind of, I guess I complain, and whine about it to you.”

Touché, my dear.

Between you and me, blogosphere, if I go to bed and feel better, that kid has a green light to whine for at least a month.

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