This, my twenty-fifth summer on this earth, was the first time I had to deal with my body's aging. I mean, aside from the substantial laugh lines, and the teeny pooch of a belly that I'm sure wasn't there when I was 16, and my muffin tops, and so on. I spent the summer training for a half-marathon, and the more I ran, the older I felt. My right knee went first, cringing at the way I come down hard and flat-footed. Then I developed a problem with the tendon that runs from my left hip down past my left knee. Before long, I was cutting runs short, not because I was tired, but because my knees just wouldn't hold me up any longer. By adjusting my gait and stretching out that tendon before, during, and after each run, and by the grace of God, my knees stopped giving me trouble just in time for my hips to begin voicing their displeasure. Every run I've taken in the last month has left me pregnant-waddling afterwards to avoid using my hips. In addition, I've always suffered from abdominal cramping. It seems to go away if I just ignore it for long enough, but seriously, when you're running, what else is there to think about besides your abdominal cramping (and fiberglass hips and shifting kneecaps)?
Last week, I went for the longest, hardest 10-K run of my life. I used to run 10 K with such ease and delight! With every step, I felt the damage I was doing to my joints, and what was supposed to be my last long run before the Big One quickly turned into a dash for home in the interest of self-preservation.
So. A teensy bit of weekend-backstory. Joel got up at 4:15 on Saturday to catch the 6:00 ferry to the island to play in a volleyball tournament, and this concerns me not at all except that I told him to wake me up when he said goodbye, and then I used that early-morning-waking to justify sleeping in til 9:30 (which is waaaaaaaaaaaay late in this house). Saturday eve, I went to the wedding of two people I don't hardly know, and Joel and the other guys rushing back from the tournament missed the ceremony entirely, and we didn't have our car because we'd both gotten rides, and were stuck there until midnight (thanks, Anna, for abandoning your husband to drive us home, and thanks, Carl, for letting Anna abandon you and I'm sorry you were trapped there until the bitter end) and didn't get home until nearly 1:00, and then got up at 6:00 so we could drive into Port Coquitlam in time to pick up my race package.
All that to say, it was a beautiful trail run, and my hips felt like shards from about 5-K in and got steadily worse, and there were some lovely people and I had all sorts of deep, spiritual thoughts (what else is one to do when running for nearly 2 and a half hours?) which I may share with you tomorrow, and Joel and I definitely took a loooooooooong nap this afternoong, and I forsee many hot baths in the next day or two, and if you'll excuse me, I have to hobble upstairs for a date with the landlords.