Monday, November 5, 2012

It's kinda like Christmas...

Hi folks.  Lots have happened since my last post.  Well, lots of miles anyway; 26.2 to be exact.  And there are lots of words to say and pictures to show, but we'll get to all that in time.

Right now, I thought we'd talk about a little thing called "recovery."

I was prepared for a lot of things; pain, celebration beer, mile 20, fatigue, porta potties....
And I was not prepared for a lot of things; the number of men seen peeing on the side of the road (really, no shame), the mob of people, the actual amount of shot blocks and hammer gels I would actually consume....
And I was not prepared for the days following. Physically, I was fine by Wednesday.  Stairs and toilets were no longer my enemy.  But mentally? Well folks, I'll be honest with you.  It wasn't pretty.  

Do you remember, when you were a kid, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on tv?  Seeing all the floats and marching bands go by, picking out the big balloons and dancing like a Rockette in your living room?  Okay, I may have been the only one practicing her kick line...but nonetheless, we all got excited when that last float came into view.  You know, the one with the jolly old man himself!  It marked the beginning of the holiday season.  You got your Sears Wish Book or the Toys R Us catalog in the made your "What I Want for Christmas" list, you waited, counted down the days, anticipating, dreaming.  And then Christmas Eve came and you could hardly sleep.  You just knew that jolly man was downstairs filling up the stockings, piling up the presents under the tree....You've been waiting for this day for WEEKS, and then, just like that

it was over.

No more cookies.  No more candy.  No more special hot cocoa with the peppermint stick.  No more parties. All the branches of your family tree returned to their own forests.  You're left.  All alone. Among the ripped wrappings and the once shiny bows that now have lost their luster.

Yea.  That's what my recovery was like.
Folks...I didn't even want peanut butter.  Now you know it had to be bad!

I've heard recovery is different for everybody.  People closest to me kept saying..."don't worry, it's normal."  No way in HELL was this normal!  All I wanted to do was lay in a fetal position and watch NCIS re-runs.  And I did.  And I felt horrible about it, but I still couldn't seem to pick myself up.  And then the flashbacks started.  Back to the times when I was happy laying on the couch feeding my face with Hershey Nuggets with Toffee, watching movies or the entire collection of X-Files, and I got scared.  So scared.  I began to wonder if I'd be able to get out of the spiral before I ended up like that again.  What's next?  What will I do now?  I don't have a plan.  I always have a plan.

I wanted to cry, but I didn't have tears.  I wanted to get up, but I didn't have the desire.  I wanted to sleep, but I couldn't close my eyes.  Before I knew it, my "vacation" was over.  Friday came and I had to get back to work.  I had to get back to something.  And then hour by hour, the haze began to clear.  I started feeling okay again.  I started to feel back to normal.  I could smile.  I saw a picture of myself crossing the finish and then it all rushed back to me.  That feeling of accomplishment, of pride, my sense of self.  And without even realizing it, my fingers typed that email...

Hi Coach Sarah -
So.  What's next :)

Bottom line.  Training is different for everyone.  And now I understand that recovery is different for everyone.  I wasn't expecting this depression, this grief.  I'm writing this today to tell you, Fellow Newbie That Might Be Reading, that no, not everyone experiences this; but if you do, it's okay.  Don't panic.  And a small're going to want to punch people when they tell you "allow yourself a few days,"  but before you throw down you need to remember these three words....they are right.

Allow yourself a few days, and before you know it, you'll be making that "What I Want List...."  Mine may or may not include a road bike ;)

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