August 7 was my 15th wedding anniversary. Yay!! I've been anticipating this for months. I was excited and it felt like a big milestone we should really celebrate. Rick and I had an amazing summer, spent a lot of time together, and I was really happy. Well, I say "we" had an amazing summer. I did and I hope he did too. Anyway, the anniversary was coming up. I made plans, got a babysitter, etc. I mentioned it lots of times. Rick told me he had enrollment that day, but that's no big deal. Our plans were for the evening. Then Ryan's enrollment papers came home and I started reading through them. There it was in what seemed like enormous font. Enrollment lasts until 8 pm. That meant Rick would work until at least 8:30. On our anniversary. The boys were already scheduled to go to Rick's parents house, so I was going to be spending my anniversary home alone. To say I was angry was putting it mildly. I was furious. It's no secret that I've struggled with Rick's work schedule and not getting to see him much. I was so nervous about school starting this year but we had both vowed to make sure we spend more time together, have dates, and communicate better. Then this happened. It was like his job was punching me in the face. Overdramatic? Yeah. I probably was. I just felt like this year was going to be repeat of last year and I cannot handle that.
I moped and whined and was hateful to Rick. I complained to friends. I was mad. I decided I'm not even going on a date the next night. Just forget it, we're not celebrating our anniversary. Then I realized I was being a giant baby and sucked it up. I had 15 miles scheduled for Sunday. It was going to be hard to get that done as my brother was getting married that day. I thought that it would be perfect to run the 15 miles on Thursday evening. I could do an anniversary run. 15 miles for 15 years. Deanna agreed to bike with me. I was really dreading it because we all know I'm a heat wimp. I was right to dread it. It was HOT.
We started at 7 pm and the sun was bright. Within half a mile I had sweat pouring off of me. I pushed on. At nearly the two mile mark a dog came out and chased me. Long story short, I used my pepper spray on him. Sadly, the pepper spray came back and hit me in the face. Within a couple of minutes my face was on fire. I pressed on. I finally had to stop. I was almost in tears. I had a frozen bottle of gatorade so I held that to my face for a few minutes. It helped. Deanna asked if I wanted to go back. I did. So bad. I was hot, my face was burning and it sucked. This was my anniversary run though. I hadn't given up on my marriage in the tough times, so I wasn't giving up on the run. Plus, I'm trying to be less wimpy and learn to tough it out no matter what. I walked a bit, then started running again. We came to a big hill that I knew was going to be hard. We were doing the usual loop backwards. I normally run down this hill. By the time we got to the top I think we were both cussing.
We trudged on. Up and up and up. I was not pleased. I felt horrible, it was hot, and I had no energy. I was trying out Tailwind Nutrition as I've heard great things about it. Well, it just isn't the thing for me. It's a powder you mix in your water so it is your nutrition, hydration and electrolytes all in one. The problem for me is that it means every drink you take is flavored. When it's hot and I'm thirsty I just want cold water. I don't want flavor. I got the the point that I didn't even want to drink because I didn't want the flavor so I knew it was time to make a change. It was late enough I thought Rick would be done working so I called him to bring me water. He didn't answer. I texted him to call me and waited. He didn't call back so Deanna called her husband Ryan. He was kind enough to bring me some water. I dumped out the tailwind and filled my pack with water. Ahhh, so much better! I was 8 miles in and thankfully had a lot of downhill from this point. The sun was also going down, so it was a tiny bit cooler.
Not a lot to say about the final miles. It was just a lot of walking with some downhill runs thrown in. Lots of nasty frogs! They were everywhere. I was thankful for Deanna's company because it was late and dark and scary out in the country. I wish the run would have been a little more enjoyable. The important thing is that I finished. I'm so much stronger than I was a year ago. Mentally and physically. I'm happy with where my running is. Just have to keep pushing!
The moral of this story is, when it seems like everything else is falling apart and you don't have anything else to do, just go run. Running will always be there for you. It might not always be pretty, but you learn from the tough runs and they prepare you for the tough times in races.