So far August is not covering itself in glory.
This has long been my least favorite month. It’s usually the hottest, for starters, and I’m much better at pushing through the 20 degree days than I am the 80 degree ones. It’s also the time when summer vacation is starting to wear on everyone’s nerves. My kids still have a month or so before school starts—they don’t get out until late June and don’t go back until just after Labor Day—but my classes will start in two weeks and I need to get on top of syllabi and work email. By the third week in August, I’ll fully turn into Yelling Mommy, who can be set off with the slightest eye roll.
August has always been a month of chaos and transition. But this August has stepped up its game.
For starters, this has been a rough summer for stepfathers. Mine died in June; and my husband’s died this week. It wasn’t a shock, which doesn’t make it less of a loss. And with the loss comes the need for trips to his hometown, Rochester, which is a 3+ hour drive away.
I’m not complaining, mind. I’m happy we can do it, even if I’m sad about the reason for it. One of the reasons we moved back East is to be closer to the extended family. There’s just an added level of logistics and panic right now, coupled with the realization that both kids have outgrown their dress shoes and nice clothes.
Add to that Jerkface. I was already 95 percent committed to the ablation procedure before I asked for your comments. Your input pushed me into the “Go” category. Now it comes down to scheduling. I keep looking at the calendar and sighing heavily. It looks like I’ll be off of my feet right after I get back from a conference in the U.K., which is also the same week that classes start. Because, sure, why not?
Let us not speak of the paper for said conference. I’m hoping for a very small miracle between now and then. I keep leaving treats out for the magical paper-writing fairies in the hopes they’ll tackle it during the night. Stupid, slacker fairies.
(Speaking of miracles, as I’m typing this, my children are downstairs wrestling with each other and yelling, which really doesn’t sound like emptying the dishwasher and/or brushing your teeth LIKE I ASKED YOU TO DO FIVE MINUTES AGO.)
Adding to the list of “sure, let’s have everything happen at the same time in this melon farming month:” later this afternoon, the Tween will be getting braces, which means a week or two of complaining about getting braces. Additionally, the dog has Lyme disease — she’ll be OK — but requires meds twice per day. Additionally, additionally, I’m really worried that all of the Minecraft has eaten the Boy’s brain. And my mom is in town. With her dog, who keeps attempting to have amorous moments with our dog, who doesn’t seem to mind as much as we do. Even though we know there will be no puppies, it’s just not what one wants to see while eating dinner.
It’s just all so very much, August 2014. And we’re not even to the double-digit days yet.
Which brings me to my last few runs.
On August 1, I tackled the first 12 mile long run of the 13.FUN race plan. The middle 4 were to be at my 11:30ish race pace. So, yeah. About that.
I was looking forward to the run, truth be told. It would be a nice break from the hurricane.
After mile four, which is where the hills get extra steep, I realized that that middle four at race pace was crazy talk. I was lucky to haul my heiner ever upwards for those steep miles, much less force it to pick up the pace. I couldn’t even get race pace going on the downhill. My step was pep-less.
By mile 9, I just wanted to lay down by the side of the road and whimper. By mile 10, I’d fallen into a well of suck and started outlining each and every failure I’ve had as a human being. There are enough of them that I had lots to do during the rest of the run.
I lay down on my bedroom floor once I got home and wondered how delusional I clearly am to think that I can run another half, much less one at a slightly faster pace. I have zero idea how it’s going to happen, given my current state of conditioning plus all of the life events coming fast and furious. This is what it looks like when a carefully calculated plan meets reality, I guess. I find it both infuriating and disheartening.
The next morning, of course, I woke up with a familiar pain in my right shin, because, sure, bring an injury to the insult. I’ve been slapping on the 701 plasters, stretching, and hoping for the best. It doesn’t bother me while running. I can hop up and down without pain, a test I hadn’t even heard of until SBS mentioned it. My lower leg just feels too tight, somehow, and has one spot that is extra sore when I poke it. So I don’t poke it.
So, mother runners, how do you get through these curve balls? And how do you keep from letting August make you crazy?