Monday, March 4, 2013

Shin Splints of the Soul

Months ago, I entered my name in the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile race.  I didn't think I'd get a number, but I figured it would be good motivation to get to the gym if I did.  I got a number.

So I've been running a fair amount over the last few months.  Nothing huge in terms of mileage - a couple of miles per run, a couple of runs per week.  In my brain, I know I could easily run a 6-mile race - and probably an 8-mile race as well.  Ten miles seems scarier.  My head is doing everything it can to talk me out of the race. 

And as if my head wasn't hard enough to get past, now my legs are conspiring against me too.  Shin splints.  Really painful, owie shin splints.  The kind that sorta burn and itch, even when I'm just sitting still.  Shin splints that coincided exactly with the purchase of new running shoes.

So I should just go back to the runner's specialty store where I bought them to see what can be done about this searing, splintering pain in my leg.  But my head is right there, telling me to just quit.  Just drop down to the Cherry Blossom 5k that I know I could do in my sleep without any training at all.  Just give up.  Stop running.  Stop trying so hard.  Why bother.

My heart feels like that sometimes, too.  A lot lately.  This parenting thing is so hard.  I can't even survive a day with a three year old without losing my patience.  What's wrong with me?  Why can't I do anything right?  My heart is searing in splintering pain.  My ravaged cuticles the only outward sign of my remorse for yelling again. 

Everything hurts.  Everything feels overly dramatic and wrong.  Every step a reminder of my failures.