Monday, October 08, 2007

Hot Mess

So many feelings, so little time.

Tonight I called my mom, and without warning, rhyme or reason, I started crying. I spent the next 30 minutes playing a game of match the emotion (stress, sadness, loss, exhaustion, uncertainty) to the appropriate person/place/thing.

My mother determined that I was suffering from a condition known to medical professionals as “lack of sleep.” As a mom, her diagnosis is likely spot on, but that’s not about to stop me from whining to ya’ll about it here.

First of all, the weight of what happened at the Chicago Marathon finally hit tonight… hard. I think marathon training is probably a similar to planning a wedding (without the whole repercussions of spending the rest of your life with someone). Months of preparation, the involvement of family and friends, emotional highs and lows, and finally… it’s here – yes, you expect some unexpected… but not complete and utter breakdown. I – along with running buds Meg, Lindy, Jamie, and 10,000 other runners – prepared for the big day, put on the dress, but never made it down the aisle (perhaps, more appropriately, we were left at the alter?). And, now… what?

It’s heartbreaking. It’s frustrating, and it’s maddening at times, and it’s heartbreaking.

So where does one go from here? Conversations, email chains, and phone calls began to shed light on new marathon hopes, an upcoming race (only two weeks away!) in Columbus, Ohio – which happens to be my hometown, where my mom and grandma still live. It’s a possibility. And, there was even a point where I started to get excited – my family could be there, maybe my sister would consider flying in, I have friends in the city – others close by who may consider the short road trip to cheer us on – it could be a good race, and maybe it could make up for Chicago.

This is probably what initially set off the crying… I ran the idea past my mom… you know… if we did it, how would she feel about housing one, possibly two other runners? As it turns out, she’s not going to be in town the weekend of the Columbus Marathon, which made the entire idea seem pointless. My head immediately moved to a space that said, “It’s not meant to be. Give yourself a few weeks off, pick a half marathon for the winter, and start over.”


Will said...

This marathon thing sucks. I was trying to explain it to my girlfiend, who isn't into the fitness thing, this weekend. My sorta metaphysical thoughts on it are that the mind, body, and soul should have some balance. When you devote so much time preparing mentally and training your body to do something you need to finish it. People need to have a sense of accomplishment--that spiritually uplifting moment when they can say, "I did it." Lots of people this year were robbed of that moment.

L Sass said...

Oh, Lou. My heart, it breaks.

Maybe this sucky race sadness is a feeling only another runner can understand? I feel kind of post-partum depression after a big race myself.

Definitely pick the next goal--be in Columbus, Philly, or a wintertime half--and focus your energy there. You're still a runner!

Lindy said...

I haven't cried yet, so I guess I'm not going to. But I feel your (our) pain. I'm still trying to process it all, to reconcile a summer of training. I'm glad I met you guys and I hope we continue to stay in touch, and follow each other's progress until we reach our marathon goal, whether it's at the same race or not.