Tom bailed on our long run late last night. It was too late to change plans and go to Caesar Creek and ride with the CincyExpress gang...or go to the TT. My bike is still in the box, disassembled. I already planned a ride with Brian for Sunday, so I still needed to get the run in today. The Pig is just three weeks away and all the focus on IMCA 70.3 didn't allow for such long runs.
Admittedly, I was a little pissed that he bailed last minute...but I told him I understood. He's had quite a bit of emotional turmoil involving friends and family as of late. He needed to "decompress". Don't we all?
I decided I'd still get out on the road around 9am...and after spending all morning on the toilet, I wondered if I'd get out there at all. I assumed it was the sweet potato I ate at 9:30 last night...or the ice cream at 10? I didn't realize until I stopped at the bathrooms at the levee about 80 mins in that it was simply hormonal since I'm bleeding from the crotch.
Needless to say, I was less than thrilled about the prospect of going out for 2.5 hours alone. While I've done it so many times before, I'm a tad needy right now. I want company to keep my mind from reeling with various sick thoughts.
So, I started slow....and with my iPod. Right around the first mile, I see a bumper sticker that reads "My give a damn's broken". Yep. I can relate with that. My mind wandered and every time the dark thoughts came, I just asked God to redirect my thinking. I took the long way down to Newport, went through Ft Thomas, by my old apartment, past the high school, down the long winding road where I ran so many times over the summer. I back-tracked to the flood wall where Tom and Judi and I would do speedwork in the heat of the day. I stopped at the levee to fill my water bottle and I crossed the bridge into downtown Cincy. The bars were opening their doors and fans wearing red were beginning to linger in the streets.
It was then that I finally got comfortable with being alone out there. An hour and a half in...and I realized I needed to regain that confidence to be running alone, long and slow. (Well, kinda slow. I averaged 8:13 pace for 18 miles.) That confidence that comes from just feeling, even if just for a few minutes or hours, that everything is right in the world...that no one can hurt me when I'm running, that I'm strong and powerful and beautiful in motion. That's exactly what I needed. And I as I made my way back home, I sent a little thanks up to God for having Tom bail on me.