Things That Go Boing In the Night

4 Mar

This morning I was once again lamenting the difficulty I am having with my running these days. I had planned to get up early to go running – an actual run on the road, instead of that pesky treadmill – but because my beautiful, quirky child with autism has an autism-related sleep disorder, he woke up at three in the morning to jump on the trampoline in the living room.

I had migrated to the couch in the middle of the night, having been ousted from my bed by James, who sleeps like a starfish and pokes knees and elbows everywhere. So what this meant was that I was woken at three this morning by the sound of “boing boing boing” coming from about four feet away from my left ear.

I couldn’t go running. Not that I had any hope whatsoever of going back to sleep, but going running would have involved leaving the kids with Gerard. Leaving sleeping kids with a sleeping Dad is OK. Leaving wide-awake, ricocheting-off-the-walls kids with a sleeping Dad is not a good idea. I would have come back from my run to find Gerard bound to a totem pole with rope, with the kids running around him in circles waving sticks.

It doesn’t matter that we don’t own a totem pole. The kids are resourceful. They would have found one or made one.

As I got ready for work in a haze of exhaustion, I stared wistfully at my pile of running clothes and wondered if I would ever get to go running again. I started freaking out a little. My next race is just under a month from now, and I have a half-marathon coming up at the end of May. I have not been running long distances for a couple of months now, and I need to start training in earnest.

I want to look strong and sexy when I pass the half-marathon water station manned by shirtless firefighters. I don’t want to look as if I’m about to explode. I mean, c’mon. I know I’ll be a lawfully married woman by then, but shirtless firefighters are shirtless firefighters.

When I stopped to think about the recent dearth of road running, I took heart simply by comparing myself to the state I was in this time last year. I was in the midst of being treated for a bundle of pinched nerves and I had bronchitis. Whereas this year I have actually been running – albeit on the treadmill – on a fairly regular basis, last year I was not able to run at all from late December until late March. And I still managed to put in a fairly decent showing at a half-marathon at the end of May.

So I’m thinking I’ll be fine. I’m in reasonably good shape, better than I was this time last year.

And even when the running is difficult, all I have to do is think about why I’m doing it and who I’m doing it for.

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