Thursday, 20 November 2014

Karma doesn't care about you

Just a couple of weeks after I ran my first post runner's knee, walking break-free round, my foot started hurting.

I have had similar foot problems before. The first time was a couple of years ago, after I got hubris and thought I could do 27 km in my VFF. Well, I could, but then I got injured. The second time was just last summer. Both times the problem was the second toe tendon, on top of the foot and halfway to my ankle. Both times I had to take several weeks off from running.

This time, the dull pain came unannounced and with no preceding running hijinks to explain its existence. It just started aching last Tuesday afternoon (on my rest day) and then got worse as the hours passed.

Yesterday, my short lunch-break walk made my foot complain more firmly. So much so, that I came home from work and spent an hour worrying I would miss practice. Wednesday afternoons are easy run days with AIK. Should I run with them or should I rest my foot?

I was getting frustrated. Furious at the injustice of what seemed to be yet another injury, I shook my fist at the sky. Hadn't I paid my yearly injury dues with my runner's knee? Was my body falling apart, finally beaten after years of abuse by way of running? Would I have to take up birdwatching instead? I don't even like birds! 

See? They're evil! By Abode of chaos

I don't believe in karma, or cosmic justice, or ”what goes around comes around”. Just read the news. There's evidence all around us that bad people get away with doing bad things all the time. And there are good people in the world that live in misery, never catching a break, bad things happening to them all the time. The universe is indifferent to our fate, and nothing that ever happens happens for a reason. As much as it would stroke my ego to believe that I am the centre of the universe and all it is there for is to accommodate me and my whims, I find it impossible to actually do so. I'm just not that special. None of us are. To each other maybe, but not in the grand scheme of things.

Still, I couldn't believe that my luck was so rotten, that a deity I don't even believe in would punish me this way (yes, I made up a deity so that I had someone to be angry at. I call him Stan). I refused to accept that I had sustained yet another injury, so close to my latest one. On some level I must have believed that my righteous anger would scare the cosmic powers (=Stan) into admitting that they (=Stan) had messed with the wrong person this time, because I went ahead and joined the AIK practice anyway. My foot sent weak signals throughout the run, but today it's much better than it was yesterday before the run.

It might be too early to say for sure, but I think that the universe might have finally thrown me a bone. Thank you Stan, fictitious deity of my imagination!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Maybe I'm a dog person after all

For about a week now, our older cat Tidus has been keeping us up at night. He's done it before. He becomes completely unhinged and embarks on a lunatic back-and-forth spree through the apartment, running and screaming like a possessed cow, while we try to catch some sleep. He does that every night for a while, and then several months can pass before his next fit.

Last night, it started around 3 o'clock.

* gallop gallop gallop*  
*gallop gallop gallop* (we should really clip his claws)

(I cover my head with my pillow, a futile exercise as said pillow does not contain, say, a ton of earplugs, but mere feathers, which are excellent at keeping you warm but not so great soundproof material. Still, it gives me a false sense of peacefulness. I drift back to sleep)


(He has succeeded in opening one of the kitchen cupboards after a few attempts and crept under the false floor. I am startled awake from the most wonderful dream. I was dreaming I got a full night's sleep completely undisturbed. I try to ignore the scratching sounds from the kitchen and the perversely enjoyable thought that maybe the cupboard door has shut itself after him, trapping him inside until I decide to let him out in the morning, or maybe tomorrow morning or maybe the next day, and fall back to sleep in three, two, o-- )

* gallop gallop gallop *  
*sound of living room sofa getting moved three centimeters to the left as something heavy crashes into it*

(Now he's taking his energy out on his little brother Sote, whose sense of personal space is so strong that Tidus just has to look at him and he starts howling like a pig that's just realised he's bound for the slaughterhouse. Sote takes cover under our bed, making sure he knocks the mattress under me with his back as he does so, because why wouldn't he)

Cats are so adorable they even make napkins with cats on. Vintage napkin from the '90s, courtesy of JH's wife

A person can only go back to sleep a limited amount of times before impatience and annoyance win over the desire to sleep. Sleeping in on the weekends? I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Real and imagined dangers

While the rest of the country were stuck in the Friday evening traffic jam on their way home and some fredagsmys, I was driving in the opposite direction on my way to Vitberget. J and I had made plans to run 10 km in the dark. It sounded like the perfect way to relax after a long work week and kickstart the weekend. The moon was just one day past full, the air was crispy and our legs were willing. Now that's what I call fredagsmys. I also call it spending quality time with my husband, but I'm kinda weird. 

Like it happens with all great plans, there was immediately a hitch. J called me on his way home from work to let me know that his bike had gotten a flat tire and that he had to walk all the way back. I would have to run alone.

Run alone? In the dark? In the forest? But...moose! Bears! Sabertooth tigers! EFFIN' BIGFOOT! I felt my courage crumble like a stale cookie. I had run in the dark with only my head-torch for company before, but never in such remote woods. I hesitated. Maybe I should go for a run in my neighbourhood instead?

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Out of the woods

...I am not. Not yet. I am standing on the edge of the woods, admiring the open fields before me, wondering where that lovely single-track leads.

Last Monday was the first time I dared run a proper session with AIK. I arrived at our meeting point first, eager to get going, my nervous anticipation betrayed by my constant jumping into place. I had no idea how this interval session would go. I had run a couple of test runs by myself last week, which went well, but intervals are a whole different kettle of fish. It could go either way.

As my fellow runners started arriving, I was greeted by more and more of them with hugs and lovely-to-see-yous. I was overwhelmed. I had missed this group so much, and to receive this kind of welcome meant a lot to me.

The intervals went well, at least knee-pain wise (let's not talk about my rapidly declining shape), so I joined AIK for the longer Wednesday run. As we ran under an almost-full moon and a crispy clear sky, the others kept asking me how it was going, if I was experiencing any pain, understanding my nervousness and excitement better than any non-runner ever could. They were looking out for me in case things went south.

Belonging. Caring. Learning. Daring. Laughing. These are just some of the reasons why being part of a running club rocks.

I completed the run with only minor niggles but I am not going to throw caution to the wind and start running longer runs. I am not out of the woods yet. But maybe soon I can find out where that lovely single-track leads, together with my running buddies.