This week has been a mind game. I have been at my parents house since Monday night and I leave tomorrow. Tuesday my father took my mother and I out to lunch (I went to work with my mom)to the same place I went with Chelsea in April and freaked out. Probably my most embarrassing eating-disordered moment ever. Relived on Tuesday afternoon. Of course my parents had no idea that of all places in the town that was by far last on my list to go eat at. I tried to suggest other places the second I heard my mom say the dreaded restaurant, and she succumbed to my offerings. However, as soon as we got in the car, my father suggested the SAME place…and I had no strength to try and change his mind. Off we went to greaseville.
I’m not sure how, but I survived. Without any embarrassing stories. Only mental scars from fretting so much in such a short amount of time. Crisis number two was sveltely avoided by running 6 miles on Turkey day and basically not consuming anything until the big dinner.
Now, crisis number three begun before I got here and will continue long after I leave here tomorrow morning. My piriformis & IT Band are being stubborn (again) and have put quite the damper on my winter training plan. Not to mention, I don’t even know if I want to run track this winter/spring. Well, I don’t want to; I do know that. What I don’t know is if I am actually going to run it. I cannot stand the coach [longer story than I care to type] this nagging injury is severely annoying, and I am not sure if being stressed out and frustrated every single day is really worth going through the actions of running track for a program I do not whole heartedly believe in. I love running. Oh, how I do. And running for a Division I school is a dream come true. But I did not sign for this coach, or his program. I signed for the coaches who left before I even got here. Something completely out of my control, but is having a very big effect on me.
It helps that I have managed to graduate a semester early. I will be done here in December 2008, which means I only have one track and one cross country season left, if I so choose to continue to participate in said program. I am torn right now. My passion for cross country could overwhelm anyone and If I choose not to do track, the coaches will likely tell me I cannot do cross country in the fall. Or at least, that is what I should expect if I don’t do track. It makes sense.
At the same time, I have lost the idea of running for myself, and I want that back so very badly. I want to run without rules and times I have to hit or else (even if that “or else” is only in my own head). I want to run because I want to run not because I have to go to practice everyday at 3:30pm. When I get injured or sick, I want to be able to stop without becoming flooded with feelings of guilt and shame. I want to run to improve, not to beat my own teammates for a varsity traveling spot.
Sure some people could do all these things and still be on the team. But I cannot. I need to separate myself from it. The only time I had fun (and consequently had decent races) were the two times I ran unattached, by myself in road races.
Just for the record, I am proud of myself for surviving this thanksgiving without any eating disorder behaviors. Yes, my mind was occasionally a wreck during the past six days, but obviously I am doing alright. Just keep telling myself that: I am doing alright.