a not-so-bad run

This morning’s may be the first run in two months where I’ve felt like my runner self rather than a self in recovery from a difficult training and a hard marathon. I’ve been suffering some digestive issues and sort of feeling lousy but I’m reading a lot and trying to rethink how I eat and what I eat. I might be due for a visit to a nutritionist who works with athletes. More protein? At the very least.

The 6.2 mile jog to Dogwood Dell and back felt great— or at least, I felt strong and relaxed for at least half the run and picked it up at the end for a last speedy mile. It didn’t take me two miles just to not be feeling wretched, so this is a marked improvement over my runs this past month. I don’t need to know my pace. I kept my watch just on the time function to be sure I was back home and showered to get Henry to soccer camp. Don ended up taking him in.

It’s summer break from teaching and I was hoping to restore and replenish but that’s not yet happening. I’m still feeling a little beaten up by the grueling experience with Henry’s school last year. Maybe not so for him personally—although it’s hard to know how the turmoil affected him: with awareness that every word, every behavior, scrutinized and examined and rated for its disruption quotient. By mid spring I was out of patience and generosity towards his teacher and an administration who met my concerns with denial and deflection. I excepted the assessment that Henry was a difficult kid for his teacher, but it was too painful to engage in open dialog with a teacher whose written and spoken reports invariably contained acerbic assessments and global denouncements. Without the willingness of the administration to examine the bigger issue of how the school was accommodating learning differences between boys and girls, there could be no progress. For the administration it would require taking a hard look at the philosophy of the school, and seriously considering the observations of outside evaluators, and this was too much of a threat.

The emotional and psychological challenges of being a parent take their toll. Sometimes when things fall apart we have to reverse course. Or stop what we’re doing and evaluate what need to change. Things weren’t working well at Sabot for Henry. It was time to cut bait and move on. My health isn’t what it needs to be for me to start training again. I’m not sure what pieces I need to assemble to feel stronger and healthier. When training goes well it’s great. When we’re stopped by injury or slowed by illness, it calls for humility, and kindness and patience. And that’s hard work. Maybe I have to stop thinking of it as work.

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