(Before I did my own turkey race, my daughter got to do her own little 1K. It brought me nothing but great joy to share my hobby with her, to hold her hand as she ran sloppily toward the tiny finish line, to have here there with me in a place I am usually alone and without my family. I want only to help her find her own bliss and learn how to be active and healthy.)
Race #31: The Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day. The race to do in Colorado Springs every year.
Last year, when I did this race, I was either barely impregnated or just about to be knocked up. Either way, I was at the end of the period of my unadulterated running shape (slow and round, though it may have been).
And it was hard then. 1.5 miles uphill in the unseasonable heat. It kicked my ass into dry heaves across the finish line, as all 5Ks were wont to do then.
This year was no different, only even slower. But I “ran” (wogged) it. The whole distance. No stopping, no walking. And I cut my 5K time down to 40 minutes. Under 40 is my first goal, but 40:30 is pretty damn close.
I try not to focus how far I have to go to get back to my original sluggish pace or normal slow distances. I am trying to take one win at a time and consider this full wogged 5K at the fastest pace post partum a big win and step in the right direction.
I went to a chiropractor last week who includes life coaching and massage in his practice (brilliant and awesome). As he explored the knots of tension on my body, he told me how all my pain was balled up in the parts of the body that reflect a fixation on the past and self-criticism and self-esteem. He certainly had me pegged.
As he worked out my kinks and misalignments, having me all the while confront the feelings that had created them, I felt the realization hit me. The realization I have made many times before in my life. Acceptance. No matter where I want to be, I have to accept where I am. Yes, I had a baby. Yes, I got fat and lost all my physical conditioning. It happened; nothing will change that. I can continue to work on recovery, but it has to be ok.
I have to get the fuck over it.
And I know this. I have known this for my bipolar for gaining on 10 years now. I don’t know how I let myself fall off my own life philosophy so easily. I was just so fixated and unhappy in my own skin.
So as I wogged slowly on that balmy turkey day, I kept that mindset over my brain. I let myself experience just the moment, just the now, rather than perpetually comparing it the past I was never satisfied with either.
I let my run just be my run.
And it felt better. I noticed that the chiropractor had resolved the horrid twinge in my sciatic nerve. Strides in new and more supportive shoes made the aches throughout my body hush. I felt revived, even as I nearly died and puked at the top of the hill.
It felt normal, and it felt ok. And I reminded myself how much I hated the 5K distance all along anyway. I told myself this was just a step, just progress on the way to where I want to be.
So on this Thanksgiving run, I was thankful to be running and thankful to be at peace with my running self.