Sunday, December 16, 2012

The run streak and the runner are still alive

On Thursday — the beginning of week four of the Holiday Run Streak — I was bursting with confidence. My streak and, more importantly, my motivation hadn't faltered.

There'd been days, of course, where I sat on my couch and listened to my legs muscles grumble, and I thought: "I can't WAIT for this to be over." (If the muscles were shrieking, I'd quit, but they're just occasionally a little bit whiny.)

But there were also days where I'd squeeze in a short run before work and find myself beaming at the end. Without the streak to push me, I wouldn't have gone into the cold any earlier than I had to, and without the streak, I wouldn't have appreciated that early-winter crispness.

All that said, though, it had been a long time since I put my streak in any real peril — Thanksgiving weekend, with all the visitors, was the last threat. And week four marked the slightly-more-than-halfway point: New Year's Day falls on a Tuesday, meaning that week (number six) isn't a full one.

I got this, I thought on Friday. What should I run this weekend? Maybe an easy threeish-miler on Saturday and four-plus on Sunday?

Then Saturday hit with a vengeance. My stomach was in such turmoil that I was turned back from work upon arrival.

There'd been no way I could run before work, because most movement accelerated the nausea, and as I hunkered down for my first of two multihour naps that afternoon, I accepted that a run was just not likely to happen, and that it was OK. I could start a new streak Sunday, once my insides calmed down.

After the three-hour nap ended, I gingerly sat up for a while, watched "The Big Bang Theory," read a little bit, tossed my cookies once more ... and noticed how calm my stomach seemed once it had emptied itself yet again.

Dare I even think ... ? Daylight was beginning to fade, and as my nausea seemed to be cyclical, that moment was probably the most auspicious one I was going to have for the rest of the evening.

Plus, what was I out? I'd thrown up enough over the course of the day that one more didn't matter — it wasn't like I was possibly going to break a no-vomit streak.

So I did it. I laced up and headed out. I didn't push myself, yet finished in less than 10 minutes. The stomach situation didn't worsen. No one from work drove past and honked and yelled: "YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE SICK!" And my streak lived to see another day.

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