I registered for the Race Away from Domestic Violence 5k a few weeks ago, expecting to have finished the Couch to 5k program by now and expecting nice, clear weather on June 1st at 8am.
A few things happened to the contrary. I got sick with strep about 5-6 weeks ago and never fully got back on track with Couch to 5k. I still gave myself enough time to finish C25k (barely), but then I got a cold about a week and a half ago. From Week 1, Day 1, I vowed to repeat any failed workout until I succeeded. I never failed a single workout until Week 9 Day 1. P.S. It’s a 9 week program. So that was last Sunday…I was supposed to run 30 minutes without stopping but I was so congested that I couldn’t breathe. I only made it 15 minutes.
Tuesday we went to Kings Island. Thursday I went to the Tim McGraw concert after receiving a last minute invitation. Things happened and the week got away from me. By Friday, I still hadn’t tried again and the weatherman was predicting thunderstorms during the race. He didn’t lie. I set the alarm for six a.m. and watched the news for thirty minutes. I didn’t see anything about a cancellation but I just didn’t have the heart or desire to run in the rain. Especially not knowing deep down if I’d be able to finish. The furthest I’d ran before was 2.4 miles (without stopping) and the longest time being 28 minutes.
The other thing that happened — very unexpectedly, our babysitter told us last night that she is closing her doors. My heart sank and I literally felt like I was going to puke as she was explaining. As soon as I understood what she meant by “closing,” my mind was going a million miles a minute. She was talking but I was only half-hearing. The boys were trying to walk out the door and I was trying not to cry. As soon as the door closed behind me, I burst into tears. Theo told me all the way home that everything was going to be alright, although he had no understanding of what had just happened. A bomb went off in our happy little world. She gave a million reasons with which I can find no fault. I know it’s not personal. But it feels personal. It feels like a break-up when you’ve done everything you can do to keep someone happy but it’s not enough. It feels like she’s breaking up with our kids. Like they weren’t good enough. Like they did something wrong. Again, I know it’s not personal. None of the reasons she gave had anything to do with us, but everything to do with her family and personal life. But from day one, she said that she was committed to seeing our families through to Kindergarten. We stayed in the same geographical area when we bought our home based largely on that. Knowing all the while, that we were completely vulnerable and that this could happen any day of the week. Knowing all the while, that priorities change. Life circumstances change. That promises can be broken and there’s not a thing you can do to change it. She made a big decision to better her family’s life. I can’t be upset with her, but naturally and selfishly, I’m upset and saddened by the situation that it leaves us in.
So I spent all of Friday night crying and processing. Worrying and wondering. Fearful of the future. Sick over the uncertainty. Searching online and making a list of people and places to call come Monday morning. I couldn’t sleep last night and when the alarm went off at 6am this morning, I sure was not in the mindset to toss aside my worries and go run in the rain for the sake of saying I ran a 5k.
She’s giving us 4 weeks to find alternative care. We’re thankful for that but so much remains unknown for now. It’s just been a gloomy kind of weekend.
After gorging myself on Mexican food for dinner tonight, I told myself to snap out of it. I knew I’d eaten way more than My Fitness Pal would appreciate and I needed to do something to make up for it. At 8pm I decided that even though I didn’t make it to the 5k 12 hours earlier, I had everything I needed to run a 5k right then. I put on my shoes, grabbed my iPod and I ran. I ran and ran and ran. I ran fast then I slowed down. Waaay down. I sped up and slowed down. Over and over. I sung. I focused on my breathing. I felt my feet hitting the ground. Ankle, knee, and side pains came and went. I focused on the sky and the lines on the sidewalk before me. I ran and ran and ran until I’d gone 3.2 miles. Just over 5k in just under 40 minutes. The furthest and longest I’ve ever ran. It felt good to accomplish it, even if there was no crowd. No tag with a number to pin to my shirt. No official time. No one to high 5 me at the finish line. I did it for myself. Now I know that I can.
Still sad? Of course. But life moves on. We all keep progressing. Our babysitter told me to focus on the positive. It will be good for Theo to be around older kids. I know it will be fine, but it just doesn’t feel that way right now because I just don’t know what to do or where to go. We have a big search and a big decision ahead of us. It’s hard and stressful and anxiety-provoking. It’s time to figure it out, though, so that’s what we will do.