A Lark Became a Dream…

And the dream of running the 2014 NYC marathon died when my bone scan lit up like a Christmas tree.

It looked like I’d gone through an airport body scanner with round bags of drugs shoved into the heel of my shoe and the front of my tibia.  Such was the “uptake” of activity in those bones.

I knew the odds were not ever in my favor when the tech took the initial blood flow pictures (before the injection) and remarked, “Wow!  Look at that.  That’s a very intense area of blood flow going into your heel and tibia.”  She cautioned me that things were not looking promising, then sent me on my radioactive way for a few hours.

The bone pictures didn’t look any better.  Two big bright circles in my heel and at the base of my tibia.  She said it was up to the radiologist and my podiatrist to interpret, but I understood.  Me smart!

I still ran 8 miles that night (last Thursday), keeping to my training plan until I heard from my doctor’s nurse.

Then she called, and she said that the doctor didn’t get a full copy to look at, only the radiologist’s report, but that he/she reported “stress reaction changes” in both areas.  My doctor wanted to see me ASAP.

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Of course I asked what that meant and if I should keep to my plan of running 4 miles that afternoon, 8 on Sunday and 17 on Monday.  She said that it was my call, given that my doctor hadn’t seen the actual images herself, but that if I attempted it I would have to stop when I felt any pain.

Well, that meant not running at all.  So I shut things down, and met with my doctor yesterday with a disc copy of the scan.

And the fat lady is singing.

If not fractured, both the heel (calcaneus) and lower tibia are stressed to the point of fracture.  Since I came in relatively early with the pain, the bone scan is only showing early stages.  Later scans or x-rays would show the line of the break better as it heals.  Of course, that made me feel like maybe I would be a quitter to stop…like a better person/runner would keep going.

But I know that’s not true.  I am making a choice to stop, but that choice doesn’t categorize me as weak or uncommitted.  I know I could continue, and I could live with the pain.  I just don’t want to make that mistake.  The peak of my training is still ahead–it’s not like I’m even into the taper phase yet.

I don’t define myself by one race, and I will not run myself into the ground/a boot/a cast/no exercise for 3-4 months.  I risk fracturing both bones clear through by continuing, and if I do that, I will be sidelined from running far longer than if I rest now and let my body heal.

So I am done and out for this year’s NYC marathon, and I am resting my foot and leg for at least 4 weeks.  I guess there isn’t much more to say.  I will add another post in the next few days with some great links I’ve found and want to share along with more of a description of how this injury feels compared to plantar fasciitis–in other words, how I knew this injury was different.  Maybe the info could be helpful to other runners…

But for now, I’m sulking a bit.  This isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of my life, and I am keeping it in perspective, but I am allowing myself a day or two to be pissy, because this SHOULD NOT have happened.

I have been a runner for over a decade.  I log regular weeks of 20+miles, and I build mileage properly.  I can’t help but wonder what caused this injury, because it shouldn’t have happened, and though I know random injuries do arise, I have my blaming eyes squarely set on the one thing I’ve done differently during this training cycle compared to previous race training (one marathon, and too many half marathons and other races to count)…

THE FUCKING DREADMILL.

Looks like I picked the…

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Happy running, peeps!  Enjoy your ability to get out there today…now that I can’t run, all I do is see runners (isn’t that the way?)!  I will be here at home, gorging myself on Game of Thrones books and cross stitching (almost done with my niece’s birthday present…a Paris scene)!

LaurenParis

 

 

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Spitting the Bit: The Summer of My Discontent

It’s been so long…I’ve neglected to post and basically abandoned the blogosphere for months, including following the blogs of so many readers. I apologize and hope all has been well and that everyone is smashing PRs. I just needed a break.

Though writing is easy for me in general (if not quality assured), writing about running can at times be a bit tedious. There are only so many ways to describe a Wednesday morning run, right? Plus, by the time I write about my run and then read the blogs of thirty other people describing their morning run, then go out for another run myself, the world can end up looking pretty small.

What’s more, writing burnout has coincided with running burnout.  No surprise, huh?  I have been mentally and physically fried.

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I talk about how running is a gift, and though I’m snarky as hell, I hope that my overall message is a positive one.  I love to run.  I appreciate the gift of good health and am grateful for each day that I am able to lace up my bright Smurf shoes with the custom orthotics and head out the door to kick some ass.

Still, the summer running has done a number on my attitude and my running times, and so I haven’t wanted to write much because it would have been 90% bitching, and who wants to read that?  I’ll try to condense my whining in this post yet keep it real as I describe what I’ve been up to this summer (assuming anyone will still take the time to read…and if you do, bless you!)

I’ll start with the running and then move on to some personal summer bits and bobs in the next post for those of you who love all of this very special flower and not just my running petals.

NYC Marathon Training

(Quick summary:  FML.)

If you’ll recall, I got into the NYC Marathon on the lottery drawing.  I did not expect to make it, but when I did, I (like many others) freaked out with excitement.  If I can make it there, well, you know…I can make it anywhere!

Here’s the problem.  I am a complete lazy bitch princess when it comes to summer running.  I fucking hate it.  What’s more, it doesn’t like me one bit either.

I typically run spring races for longer distances and take most of the summer off to rest my body and just do maintenance running.  It gives me a mental and physical reset.  I have run one marathon (Spring 2013), and I chose it specifically for those winter training months (Viva la Winter Running!)

Unfortunately, the NYC Marathon doesn’t set its calendar based on my training whims, and so I’m stuck with summer training for the first time ever (I will run fall half marathons, but those are much easier to train for.)

Now, I’m all full of admiration for those of you who knock out the lengthy summer runs with nary a complaint, especially you Texas folk, as I lived in Houston for 12 years and still remember the weather.  Some of you get up at 4 or 5 am to power through long miles and then go to church, work, etc.–

but as for me on a Sunday morning?  I love my king-size bed and the chance to sleep in.  So does HH (Handsome Hubby for new readers), and I hate to wake him up.

I’ve been getting up far too late (no one to blame but myself) and heading out the door too late in the morning to escape the heat.  In fact, the one morning I did get up at 6am and get out the door, I came in dying around Mile 9 only to have HH ask me if I’d checked the forecast and noticed that cooler weather was going to blow in around noon that day.

Such has been my luck, and boy have I paid the price.

I now know my sweat patterns and can time their appearance down to the half mile (do you know yours?).  The first running river of sweat always trails off the inside of my right elbow starting at the end of Mile 1, followed by the river trailing down the front of my tank followed by buckets of sweat dripping into my eyes and burning my corneas from Mile 2.5 on.  I have tried bringing a towel (tucked into the band of my SpiBelt) to wipe or at least hopefully redirect the flow, but by Mile 6-7 the towel smells so bad I can’t bear to bring it to my face.

I read once that more experienced runners might in fact sweat more (source), and I think that’s true.  I didn’t used to be a heavy sweater, but in the decade-plus that I’ve been a runner, I have turned into a SWEAT MONSTER.  I don’t just glow with sweat, I open a faucet somewhere in my pores and MAKE IT RAIN!

Just don’t come near me.  It’s gross, and what’s more, I’m flicking beads of it off my ponytail.  Be warned if you are running behind me.

All this sweat distracts me and makes it hard to relax and just get into the zone–not that I could anyway because my heart rate is elevated and I feel like I’m running through a sweat-flavored milkshake.  Humidity and I are not friends, and it makes 10 miles seem like an ultra.  Suck it up, right?  I know…but I’m just being honest.

To complicate matters, my plantar fasciitis in my left foot is as bad as it’s ever been, to the point where I am hobbled after runs and can barely limp for most of the day after a run.  Given that I run 5 days a week, this means that I am walking around like an invalid the majority of the time, which means that if I am not running, I am gimped out.  Fun stuff!

I think this is mostly due to to the plan I am using this time around.  I am a Hal Higdon devotee, and for my first marathon I used his Novice 1 plan.  This time I decided to step it up to the Intermediate 2 plan.

That lasted a few weeks until I recognized that I was cutting too many corners for other obligations/laziness/time issues/injury and leaving off too many miles.  So I dropped down to Intermediate 1, which has the same basic problem as Intermediate 2–a required medium-length run the day before the long run.  Hal says the medium length run the day before will ensure that you are tired so that you run the long run at an appropriate pace.  I say that Hal, you are the damn devil, and why not just trust me?  To quote Tommy Boy,

“I can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking my head up a bull’s ass, but I’d rather take a butcher’s word for it!”

For example, on Sunday I ran 7 miles at goal pace, which ended up around 9:30/mile, followed by 14 yesterday (I’ve adjusted the schedule so that my long runs are on Monday, and I will adjust back a few weeks before the Sunday marathon.)  It was just too much for my foot (the total for the week was 36, which isn’t so bad.)  Usually my PF only hurts in the morning and after runs, never during, since running loosens up the fascia.  Right now, though, it’s intense pain through the whole run, plus I’ve got pain shooting up both sides of my ankle, which I think is tendon pain from not landing on the foot right and from limping around when not running trying not to put weight on it.  I am icing tons and applying my special compound cream, but the pain and inflammation is winning.  I made an appointment with my podiatrist for next week.  She loves seeing injured runners limp in and insist that backing off miles is not an option.

If it were any other marathon, I would bail right now, but I can’t.  It’s New York!

So I hang by a thread, bitch and moan a lot, rub my cream, ask my kids to fetch me stuff, and run with a bad attitude, because I am running with pain, mentally am not in my happy place and further have nothing to prove, which was a huge motivation for my when training for my first marathon.  I wanted to show myself that I could do it, I was raising money for my sister’s disease, and in a strange way I think I felt like I was running those miles as an apology..a penance for being healthy while she suffered.  I had mental motivation and strength out the wazoo.

This time I feel like I have nothing to prove to myself or anyone else but plenty of things I ‘d rather be doing other than spending quite so many painful hours on the hot asphalt, and I am struggling to find the desire to run the training miles, which is is the REAL marathon as most of us would agree–not the race itself with the support of family, friends and strangers and the medal and perhaps the Facebook/Instagram/Twitter bragfest, but the lonely miles, 20-40-60+ each week, known only to you and spent in your own way, one minute, one mile and one sweat drop/river at a time.

I am not giving up, just searching for some healing in my foot and some mental motivation.  It’s been a fantastic summer, just not where running is concerned.

What I’m running to: I’m Not the Only One by Sam Smith, Pusher Love Girl by Justin Timberlake

Coming in my next post…what I’ve been up to this summer and a description of Penis Thumb!

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The Good, the Bad and the Coronita, Plus Running Truths for Newbie Runners

Let’s sum up the weekend quickly.  Friday night involved dinner at our friends, a raucous game of Cards Against Humanity and a few too many of these…

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I didn’t win at cards, but when it came to next morning hangovers, I was the champ.  Those sneaky Coronitas left me feeling pretty pathetic on Saturday, so I scrapped my scheduled 3-miler.  I lounged on the couch instead and chilled with the family.  That was bad.  I felt like a loser (mainly because I was one.  Let’s call it like it is.)

The good part of Saturday?  My baby turned 12!  Here he is last night with his second birthday cake of the weekend (HH provides a lovely photobomb here.)

I love my new 12-year old!  And he loved his new Lego King’s Castle that you see on the counter…

ImageThat was the good…well, that and my 9-mile run yesterday morning.

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I needed to get out and have a good long run to finish my second week of training, and I did.  The wind was calm, so I was nice and comfy the whole way, though I did feel a little like Randy from A Christmas Story.  My splits got faster with each mile, and I had to hold myself back so I wouldn’t go under 9:15.  It felt wonderful, and I finished with no fatigue.  Yippee for me, and hooray for my new Garmin Forerunner 220 that I purchased with Christmas gift cards.  I needed this thing like Anthony Kiedis needs a shirt and a stylist!

Some things you just can’t unsee…

So. Damn. Bad.  I think you can skip the belt when you’re shirtless, dude.

And now I leave you with a short Monday list of Running Truths for Newbie Runners…self-evident to me, perhaps not to others.  Feel free to add contributions in the comments and/or to disagree.  This might become a regular segment.

If You Are a Beginning Runner:

Never do an out-and-back run with an untried distance or a big jump in mileage.  Having to quit or come up with a muscle strain/cramp/injury with a long walk home sucks.

Always stretch after runs.

Never get in a race on a treadmill with some random person next to you (I admit that I race with unaware strangers to this day, but I don’t recommend it for newbies!)

Never decide one day that you’re going to start running and set a marathon as your first race (see my previous bitchy post on this topic here.  And may I add that the lovely gal and fabulous blogger got sidelined with a common running injury during Jeff Galloway’s pathetic training program and couldn’t run for months.  No marathon for her.)

Always invest in decent running socks, and if you’re running beyond three miles a few times/week, get yourself a proper pair of running shoes (preferably with a treadmill analysis at a running store.)

Never underestimate the potential pain of bloody nipples.  If yours can cut glass when hard, tape them, men, please.  Every time I see bloody nipples, I die a little inside.  Please, think of me and have some compassion.  🙂

Never run in 100% cotton.  You don’t have to spend a lot, but get yourself some moisture-wicking gear.  Please.  Chafing is a friend to no one.

Never increase mileage more than 10% per week.  Did you just start running last week, got high on the endorphins and now you ran 4 miles three times already since Sunday (and it’s Thursday?)  Oh my God, you are so kickass…and when you come up lame here soon, let me know.  I will send you a sympathy card.  Seriously…start slow.  Don’t be afraid to start with a jog/walk regimen.  Build up the time on your feet, with at least 70% of your running time spent jogging at a comfortable slow pace.  I always put a few songs on my long run playlists that I can’t help but sing to…and I sing them under my breath to make sure that I am keeping my pace where it needs to be (and just to show you that I have no shame, I will list those songs at the end of this post.)  Your entire body–muscles, ligaments, tendons–needs to get used to the pounding of running.  It’s not just about willpower.  I want you to be a lifelong runner, so don’t get hurt or give yourself a chronic injury right off the bat.  Oh, and if you are one of those exceptional people who was born to run and can just take off like a fricking gazelle with no running background?  I hate you :-).  Mazel tov!

Always be thankful.  Every run is a gift.  A good run puts you closer to nature, closer to your pure sense of self.  Your heart, lungs, legs, everything working together, testing your mental and physical limits…it’s pure perfection, and so many would love to be doing what you’re doing.  Take a moment to appreciate it.

And finally…Always act promptly when a BM feels like it falls off a cliff into your lower bowels and then starts chug-chug-chugging through your colon.  Take it from an experienced (average, but experienced) runner…the time to act is now!  Just google “chocolate rain” if you have a strong stomach.

Happy running, readers!

Cheesy-ass songs I check my pace with because I can’t help but belt them out:  We Belong Together by Mariah Carey, Giving You the Best That I’ve Got by Anita Baker, Jukebox Hero by Foreigner, Forrest Gump by Frank Ocean, Love on Top by Beyonce, Solid by Ashford and Simpson, Alive and Kicking by Simple Minds, We’re in This Love Together by Al Jarreau, Takin’ It To the Streets by the Doobie Brothers, Baby-Baby-Baby by TLC.

Paper Planes!

M.I.A.–get it?  Weak, I know.  

This little labor of love has been on hiatus, much like my running.  The holiday season has been kicking my ass, what with shopping, crafting (I’ll show my results in a future post), hackers hacking, children studying for finals and whatnot.  I really have no excuse (other than that cross stitching is a time-consuming endeavor), but I must admit that I’ve been running just a few times a week.  

I even took a full week off from all exercise, which was an interesting little unplanned experiment.  I realized on Day 6 how much running keeps me centered when the nice old man at Costco asked me, “Where are your gloves, young lady?” and I had to resist the urge to say, “Up my ass–want to dig them out for me?”

I went running the next day and reclaimed my sanity.  Namaste, bitches!  And sorry, sweet old man!

I hope to be back to blogging and following the exploits of my blogging friends in the next few days.  Until then, wishing you all the best with your exercise and holiday preparations!  It’s the most wonderful time of the year, dammit! 🙂

 

 

Traditions

Thanks for the get well wishes, readers.  They’ve lifted my spirits…as has HH, who marched off to work yesterday chirping, “It’s not a death sentence!”  Very funny stuff from that guy.

I am definitely mending, though the voluminous amount of clear drainage coming out my nose and thick chain of phlegm sludging down the back of my throat plague me 59 minutes of every hour.  I sound like a 2-pack-a-day smoker, and I swear that all the cilia in my lungs beg for mercy when I cough.

One good thing about this illness has been that I’ve knocked out three books this week.  I am an avid reader, but I’ve been a little behind the past few months due to my first summer reading selection (which has become my only summer reading selection.)

Just a little light beach reading…I took this picture in Cape Cod at the start of our vacay in June.  That was three months ago…

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It’s a great book, but it’s HEAVY, if you know what I mean, and what I mean is intense, slow, hefty and full of dates/names, etc. that force me to read slow.

Plus it makes me want to cry.  I’m over halfway through it now, and I really recommend it, especially if you’re like me and love to read about WWII.  The author does a great job with this one-volume history in both covering the aspects and framework of the war for people that might not know much about it yet focusing on the individual perspectives…the “bottom-up views and experiences” of the little people.  That’s what makes it unique.

It’s a great read, but it’s taking awhile, and it’s not appropriate for reading with a death sentence head cold.  So I tabled it this week in favor of three books, mostly read in a semi-comatose state in this very spot in my living room…

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If you are looking for a good book, I give four Kleenex boxes out of five to The Girl You Left Behind (I would have given five, but Liz annoyed the snot right out of me) and The Light in the Ruins.  I am currently finishing up Ready Player One, and so far, as a child of the 80s I adore it.  It’s original and captivating.  I can’t wait to see how it ends.

I’ve also discovered a new free word game…Wordly.  It may kill my Candy Crush addiction (something’s gotta give, right?).  If you’ve got the cojones to take me on, I’m AnjN.  Send me a chat message if you start up a game with me so I know it’s you; otherwise, I’ll probably let it pass.

Finally, the real topic of my post…traditions.  I decided to start a new tradition for my boys this school year.  I call it Bacon Mondays.  Basically, it means that I’m going to cook bacon every Monday morning.  Original, no?

I hope that the sizzling smell of succulent sow (not to mention my alliterative prowess) will lure them out of bed and have them raring to go and ready for learning!

Along that same line, I’ve decided to start Frankie Fridays, at least with my 14-year old (since I’ve introduced him to so much good music, he’s giving me some slack.)  Every Friday on the drive to school, I shall hold him captive and force him to listen to Frank Sinatra for the ten-minute journey.  Today, between coughing and snotting, we listened to All the Way, Fly Me To the Moon, and That’s Life.

I’m raising a gentleman, and a gentleman should know the Sinatra catalog.  Don’t you agree?

Do you ever think that as soon as you can’t run for some reason, suddenly you see runners everywhere?  They’re all over the place, and they’re making me so jealous!  I’m going to head out tomorrow, Kleenex in hand, and test the running waters.  Wish me and my lungs good luck.

As always, happy running, readers!

Downed!

Felled by the common cold.  Destroyed by some vicious godawful virus that started in my throat, spread to the outermost reaches of my head, then burrowed deep in my chest for the death blow.

I haven’t felt this awful since we saw that Ronald Reagan film!

Alex came home sick on Thursday, and I thought it was an allergy attack.  He stayed home from school on Friday, and I hit him with nose sprays and picked up his Kleenex from all over the floor.  Curse this ragweed, I said, as I cluelessly scooped up tissues with my bare hands.

I got in my 8-mile run on Saturday and then woke up Sunday morning with a raging sore throat.  I managed to play a spectacular 18 rounds of golf (if you can call shooting a 115 spectacular) with HH and my father-in-law, but by Sunday night my fate was sealed.  

My throat was under attack by knife-wielding germs.  An army of phlegm was invading every part of my head, and I was simultaneously clogged yet oozing snot at the same time.  

I even lost my appetite, and folks, that’s when you know it’s serious with me.

I slept Sunday and Monday nights flat on my back with my head completely upright to avoid any drainage spilling out of my nose.  I managed to get some laundry done on Monday, but other than that I have been immobile.  And (lucky me!), yesterday morning I woke up to that deep, deep ache that meant it had spread to my lungs.

This is about the worst head/chest cold I’ve ever had.  I spent at least 7 hours in bed yesterday, eyes closed and mouth hanging open to breathe, just willing the minutes to pass and the Advil to work on my fever.  HH left town, so I picked the boys up from school (and likely will forever be known as the crazy braless mom in the grey sweatshirt with the stringy greasy hair…I must have looked like a meth addict) and took them straight to the grocery store with a list of food to buy…chicken noodle soup and crackers topped the list.

The thought of running, or really walking up the stairs, has been terrifying, which completely throws off my training.  I’ve missed Monday’s 4-mile run, yesterday’s tempo run, and today’s 3-miler.  Though I’m starting to recover, I hate to think of the missed miles.  I’ve been blowing my nose every second possible and trying to cough up loogies (sp.?) like a 12-year old tough kid to get this shit out of my body so I can heal and run.

As I stared at the back of my eyelids for hours yesterday, I started to feel discouraged.  I know I mentioned a few weeks back that I had a urinary tract infection.  Well, I can’t get rid of it.  I’m just finishing up my THIRD round of antibiotics.  It’s weakened me, and it’s pissed me off.  Now this cold comes and completely knocks me on my ass.  What is the deal?

I’ve been eating okay, and I’ve even discovered this new tea/juice bar near my house.  They offer fresh veggie/fruit juices, and I’ve been stopping by a few times a week and getting their immunity boosting juice with kale, spinach, apple, orange and lemon (they also have another one with pineapple, apple, cucumber, lemon and green tea that I love.)  I’ve been hoping to build my immune system to beat this stupid UTI.  It doesn’t seem to be working.

Needless to say, I was frustrated, most of all at missing my runs.  But then my mood changed.  I realized, as I have many times before, that I don’t just run for racing.  In fact, I don’t race very often.  I run for so many other reasons, one of which is to take care of my body, including my lungs.  I told myself that what was knocking me down so much would hurt other people even worse, and that I would recover faster than anyone.

My lungs are strong.  I’ve worked hard to make them that way.  My running base is strong.  I’ve run for years.  I will bounce back from this stupid little cold, I will work harder to build up my immune system, and prices be damned, I will continue to frequent that snooty tea bar and suck up that kale smoothie until I run out of money!

Did I mention I’ve had a fever?  Something makes me wonder as I read this over if I might still have it…

Anyhoo, I am on the mend and hoping to run by Friday.  My chest and torso ache from coughing so much, but I at least feel alive and a little less dramatic.  I managed to shower and go to Panera for some soup.  I coated my hands in germ gel before going in and prayed that no one would notice the thin layer of Aquaphor I’d spread under my nose because it was so raw and dry. 

Happy running!  Wishing you no sickness in your near future…those head colds are killers!

 

Silence

It’s so quiet in this house.  After a flurry of early morning activity, two sweet boys are off at their first day of school, and I am sitting on the couch with some jazz music in the background.  It’s peaceful, and it’s sure nice to have control of my house again, but my mind is churning.

Our oldest started high school today.  He had butterflies in his stomach as we approached the school.  He’s so excited for the next four years, and we are for him, but I also feel sick inside.  The feelings that I have for him mix with my own.

It’s so strange to watch your children grow.  You see them go through phases and hit milestones that you’ve already gone through, and each one causes you to worry and/or feel excited for the child having his turn at things (and the added perspective of adulthood makes it worse, not better!) while also reflecting on yourself at that long-ago time (a perspective which your child isn’t aware of at all and could care less about.)

I never realized how bittersweet it would be to raise a child, how the mix of personal memories mingles with such a sharp sense of present and fading time.  I sent a 14-year old off this morning, but I saw a little boy in a superhero pj set with a removable velcro cape wake up on the first day of kindergarten.  I took a picture on the couch (iPhone in hand, texting!), but I remembered a proud boy posing out by the big tree in the front yard, wearing khaki uniform shorts that I searched everywhere for with elastic instead of buttons to make going to the bathroom easy on little fingers.

Oh how it hurts, and oh how I am scared of high school.  High school is brutal.  Who would go back and relive those years?  Certainly not me.  And in my case, just like my son’s, I started high school after only one year with my new classmates.  I still felt like an outsider, much like he does, and that’s not a great feeling in a world that’s so new and uncomfortable.

I worry, of course, about the academics too.  The clock starts clicking now on g.p.a..  Will French 3 kick his ass?  Why did they have to schedule his Honors Biology class for the last period?  Will he be able to manage it all?  Oh, if I could just take it all over for him, I would (but who am I kidding?  I don’t have the brain I used to and can barely remember to feed the dogs!)

I hope the next four years are some of the best of his life.  No matter what, I am continually amazed at what an incredible person he is becoming and what an inherently beautiful soul he has.  He is funny, caring and kind.  He is equal parts flaky and yet maturing.  I think of how I changed in those high school years, and I can’t wait to watch him grow.

But however he gets through it, and however well it goes, the young man that emerges will still wear a hero cape, still have that hair sticking up in the back of his head, still be the child he was all along.  The memories of that little boy are such a gift, no matter how painful it is for a mom to look back.

So he looks forward, and I flurry between looking back at him, looking toward his future, and doing the same with my own life, while trying to maintain a sense of appreciating the present.  Thank goodness our younger son started 6th grade and his last year of elementary today…I don’t think I could handle it if he’d started a new school too!  Thankfully, his district doesn’t begin middle school until 7th grade.  I’ll consider it a personal favor from God to spare me the mental breakdown I feel I deserve.

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An update on my half marathon training and details of my dramatic golf (yes, golf!) injury in my next post!  Happy running!