Friday, March 2, 2007

The Runner's Low

I do not usually have a potty mouth. I am married to a pastor and only twice have uttered curse words in the presence of my innocent, pure-hearted children (it wasn't even a really bad one). I am usually in control of what comes out of my mouth (my husband would probably disagree with that a teensy bit.) But, 2 weeks ago, I ran a very hilly fifteen miles in the humidity of the beautiful island of Kauai at high noon. Rookie mistake. Around mile 12, the filter we have that permits our thoughts to be transmitted to our lips literally evaporated.

To say I was tired would be like saying maybe Donald Trump should re-think his hairstyle. The official runner's term is "bonking." It used to be called simply "hitting the wall." Now, we say "bonking." Apparently, there are many different kinds of bonks. Mental bonks, emotional bonks, physical bonks, psychological bonks...... I believe I bonked in all these ways on that fateful Saturday afternoon. I'm not that skilled of a curser. Really, you probably would have died laughing listening to me. But, I really could find no other words to express just how crappy I felt. The cuss words were cathartic, actually. As they flew out of my mouth, so did the despair and much of the pain.

The run was destined to be a disaster. For one, I woke up a little sick that day. Slight chills, stuffy nose, sore throat. Secondly, I ran too far away from my car without enough water. That is to say, I ran out of water when I was miles away from the refills in the trunk. Third, I ran hills. Not little hills, big old ones. By the end, I truly believed that it was possible for a course to be uphill both ways.

I finally made it back to the car and refilled my water bottles and guzzled down water. I started crying a little as I realized I had 3 miles left to run. But, I did it. I plodded on and I made it. I made it. In spite of hills, dehydration, heat and lots of bonking, I made it.

That 15 miler was far and away the most difficult. Well, it was miserable really. Pure hell. But, guess which run I am the most proud of? Guess which run I like to brag about? Some accomplishments don't come easy. Some require a breakdown on the way. Some things in life come with cuss words in the middle. When I finished the run that day, I was standing next to the glittering Pacific Ocean. I thanked God it was over, that I made it, and that I was alive. Then, I jumped in.

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