Years ago I read an article in a fashion magazine about marriage and sex. The author said that when she and her husband went for too many days without having sex, their emotional connection got all fuzzy. I don't remember anything else about the article--what the symptoms of the fuzzy connection were or what she did to remedy the dry spell. I can imagine what they'd be, since I've been married 14 years and have had my share of not getting my share. But I remember that line clearly: their emotional connection got all fuzzy.
Something similar has happened to me recently. I feel disconnected, soft, and my brain is fuzzy like a summer peach. It feels like it's been forever, and I'm not sure how to get back in the saddle, so to speak, because it's been so long and I'm a little intimidated of starting things up again. It's not like it's been months or anything, but it has been a couple weeks since anything significant has happened.
I'm not talking about my marital relationship, though. It's a running dry spell that I'm going through. And it's bloody painful.
I've described to my friends before that running 13.1 miles is almost as good as great sex. The constant flood of endorphins that make their presence seriously known around mile 5 is as close to a passionate romp as anything else I've experienced.
During my first half marathon, I had my first running orgasm. Okay, so I didn't have an actual orgasm (although how freaking cool would that be?). But I had the equivalent of one--my spirit was lifted heavenward, I was transported, my body was so awash in goodly brain chemicals that it moved of its own volition, doing my bidding without me having to even try. I had an honest to goodness out of body experience around mile 12. I can't describe being able to run farther than I've ever run in my life, other than I died and went to heaven for those last two miles. I was filled with white light, moving forward, on and on and on among other souls who sought the same destination.
Crossing the finish line was pure bliss.
So why, with the memory of ecstasy being within my power, can't I get my ass out there and run?
Our weather this weekend was unseasonably cool for August. Upper 50s in the mornings, with highs in the 70s. It was perfect running weather. In August. In Southern Indiana. And did I run once? No. Did I have a legion of excuses why I couldn't run? Yes. Do I feel like a total worthless piece of "how can you call yourself a runner" garbage? Well, it's not quite that bad, but close.
So now that it's been over three weeks since I ran a significant distance (I'm not counting my 5 miler a week and a half ago, because I walked half of it because it was too stinking hot), I'm all freaked out over it. I want to run. I do. But I feel disconnected, soft, and fuzzy. Like this relationship might have some serious issues.
And I'm doubting myself like mad. How can I call myself a runner if I can't even make myself run a solid 3 miles on the most beautiful days of the summer? How can I call myself a runner if I don't want to run the Race for the Cure 5k this year (my First Race Ever was this 5k)? How can I call myself a runner when my training for the Half Marathon in October has been shit?
Getting out there again is intimidating. I have no idea why. It's like when I went through that phase where I would run on a treadmill but have an uncontrollable urge to jump off the tread and onto the rails. I literally could not keep my body off the side rails; my feet had taken over and they said, "Uh uh, not running today, sorry, we like it over here where it's nice and sedentary." It wasn't rational, my side rail issue. But at the time, I was nearly paralyzed by it.
So here's what I'm telling myself today: this dry spell is going to pass the way any dry spell passes. Not with roses or a nice dinner or a new pair of running shoes. It's going to pass because I am going to JUST DO IT. I'm going to put the bullshit excuses aside, get out my sexiest, er I mean fastest, running clothes I own, lace up my Mizunos, and hit the pavement.
You break a dry spell one step at a time. I just need to remind myself that I'll find my bliss again. It's going to require a little foreplay, in the form of 3 and 4 mile short runs. But the bliss is out there, somewhere. I'll find it if I just keep running.