I run with my feet and I run with my thoughts. I enjoy the running with my feet. The running with my thoughts, not so much. It gets me into trouble. Thinking ahead too much feeds my depression, anxiety, and mania all in turn. It brings up things that I’d rather not remember, it robs me of sleep I’d much rather have.
And it has me puzzling over problems I just don’t know how to solve.
This week it brought up one of those issues.
I began training for a half marathon on December 29th of last year. Said race is now just 9 days away!!! Single digits. Wow. Preparation for this race has consumed me. And
Preparation for this race has consumed me. And gotten me through some rough stretches with the bipolar. It has given me the coping mechanisms I needed to tolerate depression that sought to overcome me. It has focused my brain when anxiety and hypomania tried to tear me asunder. Running is hands down, or is that feet down, the most effective coping tool I have when it comes to the bipolar disorder.
My practice run to make sure I can run 13.1 miles. Guess I can.
Thing is…what happens when I am finished? What happens when the post race high crashes? What happens?
Yes, yes, I know I can keep running. And I will. I know I can sign up for other races. Believe me, I will. But there is this thing. This very real thing. The post race high. And it crashes. And crashes are hard on anybody, but especially on me. I have a horrible time dealing with them. Horrible. The mass of emotions colliding is so hard to sort out and I immediately assume it is just going to get worse and worse. And that I won’t survive the collision of thoughts and emotions.
This time I am a little extra concerned. I have been thinking, planning, dreaming of this race for so long. Years, really. I originally trained for a half marathon when Patrice was a baby but had to quit due to issues with my medications…so really, this is a 5-year dream. And here it is, 9 days away. And my body will probably need a break from running for a few days afterward. I also don’t see my body withstanding a full marathon (26.2 miles), so what is the next goal? Where do I go from here?
I just don’t know.
I have no answers.
So, tomorrow I will lace up my shoes for my last long run before my half-marathon. I’ll schedule a couple short, easy runs during the week and the rest of my running will be running kids around to cross country practice, dance, gymnastics, church, and then lace up for my big day, my half-marathon on September 17.