This weekend I chose to be the crew for a distant friend who was running her first ultra marathon. (a race longer than a marathon) in her case, she was running a trail 50K.
It may or may not have been the best idea so soon after the spine repair, but I’ve been feeling pretty good and most importantly I had agreed to do it. Having experienced the support of a wonderful kayaker when I raced at Alligator Lighthouse this September, I felt like being crew for this woman was a way to give back. It was also a way to be part of the running community I miss.
It was a fairly fun experience. My whole role essentially was to hang around the start/finish area, and wait for my runner who made 2 passes through the area during her run. One the first pass I helped her change shoes and socks, get a drink and some pain control. On ether second I provided cool towels, more food/drink and encouragement. It was a little difficult for me; not to help her but to wait and wait in the hot sun. For the rest of the time I did a number of thins. I read a little bit. I’ve been reading a collection of short stories my Dad sent me, Joy Williams, the Visiting Privilege. She is a good writer, but I’m not so sure I like her style, and her topics… SO DEPRESSING. I snacked on a variety of things, took some short walks, taking a few pics of the lay of the land.
I got to cheer all the finishers and talk to all sorts of people, other crew, other runners. With little wifi and cell reception, people really spoke to each other. This was a lot of fun. We all need to do this more often. Post race, I drove 2 hours to return said runner home and take myself home. It was a HUGE day for me, and when I got home I was so tired, I actually left the keys in the car with the car unlocked. Seriously. In the aftermath, I really want to run again. I want to spend time on those dusty roads, I want to see the things that she saw, rather than just the finish.. I want the hills and ruts and mud to reveal themselves to me…. but this is the big question… can that happen for me. I suspect lately that it will, but who knows.
Today was ok, I woke up tired and napped throughout the day. I then embarked on some cleaning and cookie making… and maybe just maybe overdid it as I find that several neurological symptoms are returning. I am moving more towards acceptance of the ongoing come and go of the nerve symptoms, though I have a small bit of hope that next year at this time, the come and go nerve irritation will be a thing of the past, I mean, the nerve is now unrestricted, and one would hope it might eventually calm down with a rare, occasional flare, rather than a frequent aggravation.
As part of attempting to deal with my on going symptoms I listened to this radio cast. In general I have found most of the resources on the web to be somewhat helpful, but this one didn’t do it for me. I suspect that while this last year has been really difficult for me as far as pain and dealing with it, next year, may be a lot more difficult. last year I spent the year chasing something that would “Fix” my spine… So, it was easy to have hope…. that I’d find the “cure all” or the perfect fix.
Now it’s pretty much as repaired as it is going to get. So now, it’s sort of a wait and see how much it can improve, and learn to cope with what won’t. If things really really improve and I only have to deal with nerve pain once in a while then I will probably go back to my old life with minor adjustments and feel much better. If they don’t and I’m not able to return to some things, I’m going to really have to pretty much reinvent myself. I have not really been able to come up wth anything I’d like to explore more. I have to admit, I really really LOVED my life. If I had really had a desire to do other things, I would have done them, so there is this moment.. of severe questioning of what will make me experience Joy again…and I suspect, but , I don’t know, that it is not crochet. Even with all the swimming I did, it just did’t really “do it” for me.. The one thing I don’t want to do is to seek physician after physician in hopes of attaining something that may not occur, become the chronic patient. so… I suspect that 2016 may be a year of watchful waiting… and listening to a lot ore TED talks…I have a feeling that it will be a deeply revealing year, and I’m not so sure I’m ready for all that reveal of emotions, thoughts, physical sensations etc…