I realize it’s been a minute since we’ve posted ... to be honest, we’ve been totally overwhelmed: Darin just started a new job at his same company (an amazing thing, but stressful nonetheless), we completed our 2nd marathon two weeks ago, I was playing the World Series of Poker Online last month ... and then just managing our training, enduring the heat and humidity, trying to keep up with our Sahara Strong - Virtual 250K MDS challenge...we’ve just had so much going on!
It’s been relatively easy to forget the frustration and pain of being injured the last many months. It wasn’t until today that I realized how much I take throwing on my shoes and going for a quick 6 mile run, for granted.
This morning started out like any other over the last month and a half. Darin decided to do my workout with me (6 miles - fast walking / then running for 5 mins every other mile). I had to put running on the back burner because of my broken toe...so our coach is helping me slowly re-introduce running/jogging to my training program.
Within the first 5 minutes of our workout today, I had to stop - readjust my shoe/sock...and I could sense Darin’s impatience; this made me even more frustrated. In the short car ride to our trail minutes prior, I had just boasted how much I‘ve grown to love my shoes (Hoka One One Gaviota’s 2 - Wide!) and how I lamented not switching sooner / enduring painful pinch pinky toe blisters for like two years in ill fitting footwear...
After the E.T. Marathon I marveled to D at how I didn’t have to take my shoes or socks off mid race once! I had the worst blisters of my life during the Honolulu marathon (that’s including years in pointe shoes), and still wonder how I managed to finish - I probably pulled myself over to a random curb in a quaint Honolulu neighborhood at least 8-10 times trying to add KT tape, fixomull, various bandages to the balls of my feet, and ripping my shoes and socks off in frustration. I held back hot, angry tears in utter bewilderment at how it could’ve all come to bits on this day of all days.
Back on the trail this morning, we ran our five minutes side by side, finishing mile 1 and the moment we went back to walking...I knew. The painful 😖 signal that a blister was starting to develop on my heel. We walked a few hundred feet and I had to stop again. This time I sat down in the middle of the path and ripped my shoe off, exasperated. Then I took my sock off and inspected the hot spot. I tried to rearrange my sock and shoe but at this point we were a good mile and a half from the car / from any tape or bandages / and since this was such a short run (what I assumed would be a simple “stretch our legs” day - ahead of our 16 miler tomorrow), I didn’t bring my hydration pack or first aid kit. Stupid mistake!
I limped along another 1/2 mile or so and realized I had developed a full blown blister in that short amount of time. D offered to sprint to the car and come pick me up. I had to take my shoe off and walk in my now swampy squishy sock: the walk of shame to parking lot C in the middle of the trail.
I had to admit defeat - and I confessed to Darin on the mostly silent car ride home - I was so unbelievably tilted. For the non poker players out there ... ”Tilt“ is defined as: Tilt originated as a poker term for a state of mental or emotional confusion or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in the player becoming over-aggressive.Tilting is closely associated with another poker term, "steam". Another definition: "Going on tilt" is when a player becomes enraged about something and starts making ill-advised plays based purely on emotion.
I do know, that if I’d been sitting at a poker table today, I would’ve lit my entire stack on fire 🔥 . Then I smiled. This is one of the first times I’ve felt tilted whilst running. Running is one of the only things...if not the only thing, I’ve ever done in my life that I haven’t felt wildly competitive about. I mean, I’m unabashedly terrible at it and I know I can’t podium any races or win anything...so who really cares if I walk 1 mile or run 30, or even decide to just stay on the couch watching Netflix all day.
But poker has taught me you don’t tilt because of something you don’t care about or value. So, ironically, maybe today is the day I’m ready to call myself a runner.