So nothing irritates me more than my body failing on me. I mean to be forced to quit, not because I was unwilling, and not because I mentally could not hack it. No. Forced to quit because my body literally gave up. I mean, there I was starting mile 2 and . . .
Sorry. Deep breath.
I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning shall we. . .
I began the week with 2 goals in mind: 1) finish the yard work, and 2) finish the nursery.
Goal #1 was not a pretty sight:
As you can tell, my grass had been neglected for sometime. I began referring to it as “the beast” and the beast needed quite a bit of taming, as it were, nearly an entire day’s taming, to get it mildly under control.
(Weeds the size of elephants had sprung up. We’ll get to those later.)
By the time I reached the grass by the fence my body already ached from hours of bending and lifting and raking and pushing and pulling. Then, it took me another 45 minutes just to get to this point along the fence:
Yeah, that’s right. You’re looking at some nasty thick weed grass. I had to stop 5, count them, 5 times to get that area cleaned up and raked before I could move on. Eventually though, the tall grass was hacked to pieces and I was able to finish the mowing and edging. But I was not done. Nuh uh.
Once the yard looked magnificent:
I still had to weed those ginormous monstrosities of weeds!
(Sorry, no pictures of them. I was too tired by this time. You will just have to trust me that they were that huge.)
Pulling these weeds took me another 2 hours of bending and pulling. I had to traipse around the multitude of weed patches around the house, squat down, and pull with all my might to get these suckers out. It was just enough labor to make think I had seriously injured both hamstrings.
Aching everywhere my yard work was complete, and my first day of spring break came to a close. Needless to say, I did not go running that day. 😦
The next 4 days consisted of converting a spare bedroom into a nursery. “Sounds easy,” you say. Yeah, until you have to do it.
The first step was to move everything out. Done. Easy. But then we had to wrap, re-wrap, and double wrap, Christmas present wrap, the mattresses. Yeah, that was fun. I made my wife do the wrapping mostly because I am the worst present wrapper ever. Seriously. You don’t believe me because you have never seen the gifts I wrap, but I assure you, my wrapping skills are atrocious. (Now, my rapping skills on the other hand, are quite amazing. But that is neither here nor there.)
The next step was to paint the walls. Having moved into a new house a year ago, I felt pretty confident on how to do just that.
Step 1: Understand you have no crafty skills so wife is in charge.
Step 2: Let wife cut in with her steady hand.
Step 3: Cut in around outlets because you can’t screw that up.
Step 4: Watch wife finish cutting in.
Step 5: Wait for wife to finish.
Step 6: roll the rest of the room with two coats. (Be careful not to get any on the ceiling!)
Step 7: Make wife go to store to get a gallon of paint even though you only have one wall left.
Step 8: Done!
So, once again I forgot how much labor really goes into painting. Either I’m doing it wrong, or I’m just a wuss, but the parts of my body that didn’t ache after the yard starting aching now. Once again. No running for day 2 or 3.
Day 4 comes and here we have to put together a dresser and a crib. Now, people say that over time muscle pain goes away, but apparently not until like a year later because each day my hamstrings and back hurt worse and worse. I kept wondering if I had been mauled by a Llama in my sleep. Why a llama? Because those are some foul creatures! And they have a funny name. Anyway. After taking the morning to put together said dresser and crib, I had the brilliant thought to finally go running. Everyone else was napping making it the perfect time.
So, as usual, I strapped on my outfit and proceed to my park to run. I started moving to the wonderfully slow, melodic sounds of Mr. John Mayer (I know slow music and running don’t seem to mix but it works for me.) and realized how many people were at the park that day. My lance, doesn’t anyone have school or work? I thought, then laughed at myself and remembered it was Spring Break.
I continued around the park getting stares from a group of punk kids on skateboards who weren’t even riding them. They were just sitting in some shade talking. (Which is kind of lame if you ask me.)
But I was going steady.
Around the mile and a half mark something just didn’t feel right. My hamstrings were starting to burn in a weird way. I ignored it thinking they probably just needed to be stretched out, and I kept pounding.
About mile 2, I started to think it was more than that when every step felt like my legs were running through fire. I kept going because I was determined to finish this run.
Inside I knew that I should probably have stopped, but my will said keep going.
So I did.
Around 2.5 miles every step felt like it was going to be my last and my legs were going to fall out from underneath me. I kept pushing through, gritting my teeth trying to ignore it.
I decided about thus time to do a shorter run but not stop. I crossed the street to head home, and, as I pushed off the pavement to launch myself back onto the sidewalk, I felt it. My knees buckled and I stumbled forward.
I caught myself and realized my run was probably over.
Angrily I pulled to a stop and began walking home. No, I didn’t walk. I trudged. I trudged. The slow, weary depressing walk of a man full of anger at being forced to quit prematurely.
I have played sports all of my life from baseball to basketball to football to tennis and in each sport I have had this moment where I know how much I can do, but for some reason my body just doesn’t cooperate. Typically it has been during a game or match where I lost not because the opponent was necessarily better than I, but because I didn’t play at the level I know I am capable of. That is what angered me.
So I trudged about a quarter mile and my anger got a hold of me. I decided to sprint to get rid of it. I pushed off the sidewalk with a jolt and felt my legs instantly turn to rubber and my lungs fill with flame. But I didn’t care. I was angry and didn’t want to be beat. I ran about another quarter mile until I had to give it up. I slowed back to a walk and made my way home.
At one point I had to stop to fix my shoe and found it nearly impossible to start moving forward again as though my legs were not receiving the signals from my brain. With a great effort I willed myself forward and opened the door.
My running was finished and so was I for the week.
I have not run since mostly due to Easter today and preparations for it. I’m sad that my only run of the week ended so terribly but I’m looking forward to next week. Until then.
Everyone have a blessed Resurrection Day!