Dumb Dumb Dumb Dumb

A couple of days ago my friend made a facebook group for people trying to run/jog/walk 1000 miles in 2014 and then posted a status update about it asking friends to let her know if they wanted in. There is no way on god’s green earth that I am making it to 1000 miles this year. My jogging has been a solo endeavor. It actually needs to be a solo endeavor. I’m an introvert with a severe anxiety disorder. The thought of jogging with another human makes me want to puke.

So joining a running club or finding an informal crew to go out with isn’t really an option for me. I like being alone. People have explained to me that they chat on their runs with friends and it cracks me up. I’m gasping for breath the whole time. I cannot imagine carrying on a conversation.

All of that said, I know next to nothing about training. The idea of an online community of actual runners appealed to me-I could learn a thing or two. I wanted in.

Yesterday I was poking some fun at my slow running times and another person in the group suggested speedwork to increase my pace. I had to google it. I also was introduced to the fabulous word fartlek (Thanks, Kelly). Obviously the highlight of my day.

I found an article explaining speedwork for beginners and I decided to do it this morning. You want to know one of the most stupid and ridiculous things about an anticipatory anxiety disorder? I was so nervous to try intervals, so uncomfortable about stepping outside my established jogging routine, so frightened to try something new that I had the shits all morning. Like full on IBS diarrhea. The boys were almost late to school because I had to run back to the bathroom for the 12th time.

It is so embarrassing to admit how incapacitated I am by doing new things. Even after all these years of living with anxiety I am still deeply shamed by how hard it is to engage in normal activities. Before every class I take I feel sick to my stomach. My brain is generating a list of possible excuses to get me out of going until the moment I step into the classroom. We went to a birthday party this weekend at a gymnastic place. As soon as T joined the group he ran off to an area he wasn’t allowed to go to, one of the instructors telling him to stop. I yelled at him and immediately felt like a parenting pariah.  I blinked back tears as I stood there with the other parents, unable to make eye contact. Next month through my class I have the opportunity to attended two days of the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in New York City. It is a huge deal. And I am so scared that I simply cannot bear to think about it other than to hope I am hospitalized with a non-life threatening illness so I don’t have to go.


The classes have been fantastic for me. I am hoping to become a matriculated grad student. I have new career goals. My self confidence has been positively impacted. T and C had an amazing time at the party. I’m glad I got to see it. We are going to start T on gymnastics classes there next month. What a bizarre stroke of luck that I have a professor who is on the board of the largest Right to Food NGO in the world! Who gets to do this shit as a part of class?

So yes, my fear and discomfort when faced with normal life is suffocating. But the difference between the me of three years ago and me now is I am fucking doing stuff anyway. I am putting myself in situations that are uncomfortable because the long term payoff is worth it. Was the fear and discomfort any less three years ago when I was struggling to engage? Nope. It was not. I’m going to have it no matter what choices I make. So why not fucking try to enjoy life? Why not make sure that I get to see my boys’ faces light up with joy as they ran around with a pack of kids and have the best time they’d ever had at a birthday party? Why not GO TO THE UNITED FUCKING NATIONS?

Why not run intervals for the first time?

Because there is a difference between facing fears and being a fucking moron.

The roads were not very clear here in Syracuse this morning. Actually worse today than yesterday because we are in the city where alternate side of the street parking means today’s driveable part of the road wasn’t really plowed well at 9:30am. The side with cars on it was pretty damn clear, though. So I wore my amazing and trusty yaktrax. And found about a .2 mile stretch of flat blacktop. And realized when I got home that I hurt my foot. Yaktrax are magic. I can jog in snow without slipping at all. But trying to sprint in them? Let’s just say that I’m a fucking idiot.

Being an idiot is really the easiest way to get hurt while jogging. As soon as I hit the road I knew it was dumb to try speedwork. But I didn’t want to wuss out. Thankfully tomorrow is my rest day. We’ll see how the foot feels on Thursday….


P.S. I called the doc’s yesterday. Have an appointment for March 10th. Kinda proud of myself.

C jumps

C is missing the fear impulse. It was so cool to see him flying through the air.

hat hair

Short hair = amazing hat head.


The swing actually resting on the snow.



Made it to the Y yesterday. Barely got through two very slow miles on the treadmill. Man, do I ever hate that thing. The whole time I just want to stop, I feel like me heart is going to explode even though I’m going considerably slower than when I jog outside. It’s the most miserable 22 minutes ever.

Today there wasn’t time for a trip to the Y. Z had an 8 AM appointment. I left the house for my jog at 7:15 so he could leave on time. Which meant no coffee or breakfast pre-exercise, guaranteeing a crappy time. But at least I did it, right?

It was 21 degrees when I woke up this morning, warmer by far than it had been in days. By the time 7:15 rolled around it had fallen to 19, but I’ve jogged in colder. During my stretches I noticed my right hip was bugging me again. I knew I wasn’t stretched out enough, but I also knew if I didn’t go RIGHT THEN that Z would be late for his appointment.

Damn, it was cold. The air felt like it was burning my lungs. My muscles were bunched tight against the frigid wind. I was slower than I’ve been in months, much slower than on the treadmill, like over 11:30 a minute slow. I finally made it home and that is when the pain started. It wasn’t my hip, it was the middle of my upper back. Clearly I contorted my body to try and conserve warmth and I pulled something.

Over the next hour the pain blossomed. It is the worst pain I’ve experienced since I started jogging 6 months ago (holy shit, has it really been 6 months?). During this exercise odyssey I have reminded myself to be reasonable, to not push myself into injury or exhaustion so I can keep on going. But today I was so obsessed with not missing another day that I was stupid.

I don’t know how to heal my back. I don’t know how long a break I need to take. At this point I’m hoping tomorrow morning I magically wake up pain free. The icy-hot patch I’ve put on my back is helping, but I am fucking pissed at myself.

Yes, I proclaimed on my birthday that I want to complete a marathon before my 40th birthday. I’m not going to get there if I am not careful with my body. Making a jog happen no matter what the consequence is basically setting myself up to fail.

Seems I have a lot to learn about exercise. And hubris. And good decision making.

cold runThe pain was just starting when I took this.

bad back

Icy Hot patch working its magic. And I’m being all honest and uncomfortable with this one-lower back blubber! I have it!

cousin hot tub

We were doing this last week. Would feel pretty awesome on my back right about now.

silly k c z

My current favorite picture. If T was in it it would totally be the header photo of the blog. Photo by Ellie Leonardsmith.