|Jim and I BOTH had dental |
crown preps on Tuesday.
Happened to be my fiftieth
birthday. The very kind
dental staff brought
flowers and crowded into the
room to sing "Happy Birthday."
Last weekend was the first shorts-clad training run of the year. Sue, my marathon training buddy, and I paced ourselves in 80-degree heat. (Such odd April weather.) We dressed summertime light; we carried running belts heavy with water and nutrition. Still we were under-prepared.
The first 90 minutes or so were well enough but by mile 9, when Sue saw a garden hose in the hands of a motorcycle-washing guy, she was magnetized toward it like a witching stick. Harley-man generously filled and re-filled our water bottles, perhaps sensing the needs of two sweaty, crazed women coming at him. We left him to his motor and trudged on.
At mile 11 Sue's tummy wasn't so good. A mile later she wisely stopped. Sue is always wise.
I trust Sue. I've been biking with her for years and she has kept me out of trouble. She never gets lost, never does risky behaviors -- and keeps me from foolish practices. When I first got cleats she would remind me to clip out at upcoming intersections. When we hit unfriendly hills she showed me the best way to climb. And, with great patience, she reminds me every time to turn RIGHT when arriving at Briggsville. (I've gotten lost at that intersection so many times when alone.) I should have stopped running when she did. I should have been wiser. But I filled my water bottle again and went on. The plan called for 16 miles. Silly me.
A week earlier my knee had started feeling sore. One-legged squats were the culprit, topped off by poorly-fitted bike cleats. Today's run didn't seem to be bothering the knee. Yes, I was feeling the same-old, same-old hip bursitis that usually hit about mile 8. But when endorphins and the will are strong, it's easier to ignore wisdom. By mile 14 I was fantasizing about sitting in the barely-thawed lake. I walked some, I ran some. I got to 16 miles and stopped.
Sue was waiting with the most beautiful glass of icy water. Ah. Then, keeping my promise to myself, I drove to the heavy-looking lake and sat in the numbing water. The wisest thing I had done all day.
The real adventure was the following week. Hip bursitis hurt with every step from morning to night, day after day. A twinging knee lived in perpetual ice wraps. I gave myself a good talking to. "What are your priorities, girl? Why a marathon if you can't do a basic workout? What good is fitness if you can't bring laundry up the stairs?"
I took the week off. Really OFF - no running, no swimming, no lifting, no biking. One yoga class so gentle that I hardly knew I was moving. Minimal walking. I scratched yesterday's half-marathon that I had paid good money for. I made Jim crazy by being home all the time. But I didn't get crazy. I've got my priorities figured out: health.
I talked to my mother-in-law on Friday. She asked if I'd had a happy fiftieth birthday. "Are you feeling older and wiser?" she said. "Not older," I told her, "but wiser." Most definitely wiser.