Week two: Pain

“No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful. Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful.”
-They Might Be Giants

When you undergo a new training regimen, you are bound to feel a few extra aches and pains as your body adjusts. For week two, I started to feel muscles that I had forgotten about and my joints reminded me that I am not as young as I used to be. These are all good feelings, even though they are feelings of pain. Pain can be a good reminder that you are pushing yourself further. That your body is changing. Pain can make you feel alive again.

Not all pain is created equal. I happen to battle migraines, which can be pretty incapacitating. This week was a bad one for my head. They are predictable for me since they are hormonal, so I developed a system to help me combat this misery. I wake up an hour earlier for a “migraine check.” If I am in pain, I take my migraine pill and lay back down for an hour. If I feel fine, I go right back to sleep like nothing is wrong to wake up at my normal time. The medication leaves me sluggish and nauseated, but it’s better than the pain that surges through my eye. Adding a migraine check to my new marathon training schedule was difficult in that it had me waking up at an ungodly hour. As difficult as it was, I didn’t miss any of my morning training runs, despite waking up with a migraine twice.

But as difficult as migraine pain is, it’s nothing compared to the emotional pain I had to combat this week. I sometimes struggle with depression and although recently I have felt okay for the most part, there are times where I still get small bouts of it. I don’t know what triggers it. I had been feeling emotionally off for a few weeks, but suddenly this week my thoughts turned into full on despair. It is usually accompanied by a physical pain as well,  a dull ache just under my rib cage that sometimes extends to my limbs and joints as well. I was able to keep it together for most of the day, but when I got home I ended up sobbing on the couch. Most people in my life don’t know this is going on, because I tend to hide it from everyone. So many people throughout my life have told me how much my depression hurts them and causes them pain, so for the most part I keep it to myself. The week dragged on and I went to bed on Friday feeling like a part of me was missing. I’m not sure what was going on but I had to find a way to reverse this funk I was in.

Saturday morning came and my alarm was like a slap in the face. Migraine check was on and I could feel one side of my head screaming. I took my pill and lay in the dark room, cursing that I had to get up and run on such a hot day, that I had to do ten miles, that I already felt defeated in my life before I even started the day. Fear, paranoia and anxiety all wanted occupancy in my mind. I slowly opened my eyes, rolled out of bed and began to put my running clothes on. Dull ache was present in my stomach, but I knew that this pain was okay to push through. With each mile I ran, the ache was less and less and I felt the pain in my head melt away as well. I finished my ten miles feeling better than I started – if nothing else good happened that day I had at least accomplished something. I walked back to my car with a slight limp, feeling the soreness in my legs and hip and every blister on my toes. I never felt better.


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