Running: A History, Pt. 2

graduate school, running

You can find part one here.

When I started writing this post last Thursday, I ended with a rupture, that is the rupture of a cyst in my ovaries which led me to be a no show at the Air Force Marathon in Dayton a couple years ago.

It took me about another year to string together any consistent running, but when I did I started training for the Xenia Marathon in 2015. I was in my second year of graduate school. I was in a relationship that was not great, not to mention had plenty of other unnecessary drama going on. And I trained for the marathon, but the whole thing was a slog. It was not like the first time where I felt non-stop energy, like I could go on forever.

There are a lot of reasons for this, but I’ve always handled stress poorly like as in high blood pressure, ulcers, migraines, etc. So I went to go get a Ph.D. Go figure, huh?

But I digress —  at this moment of my life training for that marathon was probably the only good thing I had going for me. I was in a state of being two feet off the ground at all times making terrible, I mean terrible decisions, and felt incredibly alienated and lonely (see aforementioned bad decisions, bad relationships). But, I could run. And I was so grateful. I see it as a happy regularity during a time that was mortifying in its chaos. And it was beautiful.

The DJ played Elvira by the Oak Ridge Boys as I crossed through the finish line. I was not as in shape as I was in 2013, but I still made it happen. It was an amazing moment, but to be honest I could not enjoy it. The stress of life, from just regular graduate school (good stress) to the fact that I felt like a path I was on was beginning to suffocate me (bad stress) made the moment feel incongruous. It was hard and the day is marred by my wrecked personal life squeezing the joy out of what should have been an impressive moment.



Sweet background port-a-potties.


I trained a few more times after Xenia, usually ending with injuries. I broke up with the bad boyfriend and began dating Bruno. I focused on my personal life. I focused on school, learning French, reading as much as humanly possible. I missed running, but I did not want it to break my heart again.

Bruno and I ran a half-marathon together and I felt the bug again. I wanted to run again. Now that my personal life felt good again, I wanted to have a running life again. And I worked hard. But I still keep getting injured, usually a pesky hip, a calf, etc.



Half-marathon with 15 minute PR!


I have wondered if I am being too precious. Not running has not made these injuries better and I feel happier when running. So, 2018 is the return. And so far, so good. As I mentioned yesterday, my IT Band has been giving me some grief, but I feel confident that with consistent strength and yoga these problems should work themselves out.

Here’s to Running: A History, Pt. 3 being one filled with triumph and joy!

xo, Ali




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