It was wonderfully sunny and warm all week long, even going up to 16 degrees on Wednesday! My heart rejoiced and my feet were quick and light. This is truly the joy of running; the sun shining, the birds singing and my best friend beside me. Who could ask for anything more?! Thursday's run was supposed to be a recovery run but I had a hard time keeping my pace down because I was so carefree! I felt alive!
This morning, we woke up at 2:30 am to see snow on the ground and the temperature hovering around -6! What kind of cruel joke was Mother Nature playing on us?! My last few posts, except the one about my Spring Companions have been rather bleak so I tried hard to think of something insightful and inspirational to blog about. The first two hours weren't too bad. I tried to run happy. We passed by these teenagers who seemed a little tipsy... or a lot. They saw our headlamps and started panicking. "Are you guys cops?!!" We reassured them that we were only runners. Their attitudes changed from alarm to disbelief that someone would purposefully get up at this time to train. We had a good chuckle over that incident.
We found a new trail which totally made me happy but all the lower trails in the River Valley were atrocious! Previous pawprints and footprints had hardened into cemented ice which threatened to roll our ankles. On slopes, the ice was slick forcing us to grab unto trees to get up or we slid on our feet and hands like a crab, going down. And because of blisters on my toes which I had duct taped to prevent them from rubbing against each other, I tried to avoid puddles but a few times, I stepped onto thin ice and my feet would go through into the freezing water. It was so frustrating and with this agonizing slow pace, the wind chill got the better of us. I had to bite my tongue to keep from swearing!
Some couples yell at each other, we hash it out on the trail. I could tell Stephen felt bad that I was struggling so much, not only with my breathing and my pace but also with every slip on the ice and my gagging trying to get food down. He felt guilty thinking he kept going too fast and I felt guilty because I was slowing him down. The cold was seeping into his fingers, making his Renauld's act up. I was trying as best as I could and he felt like a lame husband, not being able to make it easier for me. But it was because of him that I had made it this far in my running career! His constant encouragement, his loving attitude; his desire to be with me overriding his risk of injury! It was so sweet, it made my heart ache and I realized that I was trapped! That we were trapped! I would never be able to match his speed or grace and he would always have to wait for me, never being able to attain his personal bests!
Like a dark tidal wave, discouragement yanked me down and I was swept out to sea. Every slow step was a crushing realization that I was just a sham. Here I was boasting of the distance and the early hours and how great I was when really, the credit goes to Stephen for uplifting me on every run for the past two years. I've been riding his coattails and he has had to put up with so much emotional crap for so long. He actually enjoys running, he talks about it all the time, he looks forward to the weekends, for our long runs, for the great bonding moments we'll experience and instead, he gets... me and my drama.
We were on the very opposite side of the city. There's was no way we would make it at the pace I was going. I was swarmed by demons and there was no way to rescue me this time. I did not have the emotional strength to reach out to some higher power or rely on the strength of my brother. I didn't look back as I boarded the bus, the tears blurring my vision and making my throat ache. Stephen doesn't deserve this, no one needs to hear about all my failures week after week. There is no inspiration to gain from this. I hate myself for quitting but I'm signing off. I don't know where this will take me from here but I cannot let those families down! Perhaps it's the case that I need to find my own path...