Wednesday, 1 April 2015

From fear to frustration

Words just can not even come close to describing how much I want to run right now. I will try anyway—

The setting sun paints the clouds as a slash of pink against a fading blue sky. I drive through the escaping streams of rainwater water that wash the hillsides clean. The air is crisp and dry now after the earlier downpour. I've been seated all day and still I sit, caged in this mechanical beast as it lumbers toward the forest. At last I am free. I step out, curl my toes in the dirt, and run. The sweat beads on my forehead and at my temples; it collects at the nape of my neck and trickles down my spine, tickling like a feather…perhaps one of the Powerful Owl feathers I found on the very same trail some months back. I run until my legs hurt and then I keep running until I can't feel them any more. Then I run a bit more, because I can.

It won't happen. It can't happen.

I've been doing pretty well so far—the jealousy is fading away and being replaced by a genuine excitement for the participants who get to run the ANZAC Ultra. It probably helps that I managed to ride to work yesterday, and home again. It was only a total of 26 km, but that's 26 km without pain. I even managed a short stint out of the saddle. (And I'll also confess: I had to brace myself for unclipping my right foot when I dismounted.) I can almost walk normally, and bear weight properly on my right ankle, and go down stairs with only a little trepidation. I'm starting to see how I will be able to run again, like I used to. It's not just a dream anymore—it's something that will probably happen for real.

But now race day is fast approaching, and I'm feeling frustrated about not running. I've hit that time when I should be frantically packing all my gear and writing up a race plan for my crew, who probably won't even look at it because they'll know I'll change my mind anyway. The race team is emailing us regularly and I can't even peek at Facebook without seeing a stream of posts relating to the event. And instead I'm cancelling flights and thinking about what chores I might get done over Easter.

I was due to fly Friday. So, I reckon the next few days are going to get really tough.

Bear with me.