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I like things that are concrete.  Real.  Tangible.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be something that I can hold; but I do prefer being able to see it, feel it, recognize it or know it.

Runner Collage
A collage I made during some of my non-running time.

Running feels tangible to me.  I can see that I have run X many miles.  I can see that I ran X many minutes.  I can feel my heart beating faster and my breath rate increase.  I can feel the sweat crystallized on my face. I can see a whole pile of running clothes that needs to be washed.

(Okay, I can do without that last tangible one… I wouldn’t mind a magic fairy that magically cleaned the clothes and put them away, waiting for me to use them again.)

It’s this reason why I like checklists and calendars and PDAs and day planners.  It’s also this need that gives me stress when I have lots of items in my feed reader or emails piling up or instant messages/voicemail coming in simultaneously.  I crave organization in my home yet I can’t do it because I’m paralyzed thinking about how to accomplish it because I want it to be perfect from the start.  I criticize myself when I don’t perform as well as I think I should. I like to feel like I’m taking action toward something, even if the action is misdirected because at least I’m DOING something.

So that’s why I’m having a really hard time right now.

I’m not running as much.  Just 10-12 miles a week at my doctors orders.*  At the risk of TMI (but this could also be information for others who may be in a same situation)… I am not ovulating.  I went off birth control pills in December 2008… and have not had a period since.

My body weight was way too low at that time to support a cycle, I get that.  I entered treatment for my ED.  I have been working with a psychologist and a dietitian since then.  I’ve reached a healthy BMI for my height now and I have been at that for several months.  I assumed that I would just feel great once I reached that point… magically I would have boundless energy, exceptional focus, speedy runs, fluid flexibility and super-happiness.  Apparently that isn’t the case.

A couple of months ago the doctor put me through about 50 days of hormone pills: progesterone, then estrogen, then progesterone…  All that did was prove that my body is capable of having a cycle as long as I have all the appropriate hormones.  Which apparently, I am not making.  Because after a brief artificially induced cycle, nothing has happened since that time… I foolishly downloaded an app that you can use to chart that womanly-crap.  It now tells me I am 41 days late since that drug-induced cycle.  Never mind the 2.5 years before that…. so like, 900+ days late.

My doctor wants me to “chill” until the fall.  Just “wait and see” if running less and relaxing more helps to kick my body “into gear.”

I hate it.

I know it’s right (probably) and I know it’s something that I need to go through (presumably) and that a monthly cycle is a desired thing for women’s health (supposedly.) But that doesn’t make this any easier.

I can’t see what’s happening inside me.  I can’t feel if this is doing any good.  I can’t see any tangible positive side effects.

What I can tell is that I feel much more antsy.  I have to fight the impulse to restrict a lot more right now.  I feel like an ass when people ask why I’m not running as much and I say, “Just cause.”  (True, I’m posting it here on the web… but when you are chatting with someone who you know casually before a fun run at Fleet Feet, it doesn’t seem like the place to open up about all this.)  Running was a form of stress relief, not running causes me anxiety and stress.

But then again, I’m struggling mightily with the heat this summer so far.
Every day feels a little worse than the last to me.
A little harder to deal with.
A little more uncomfortable.
So maybe running less throughout the summer months would be fine.

But what am I supposed to do with my time during then?

* I’m counting that 10-12 miles a week as “running” miles. My hubby thinks it is just “miles in general” – both walking & running. I can’t deal with that, so I haven’t called my doctor to ask for clarification.  Do you know just how little that would be? Just walking Jade The Boxer around the neighborhood each day of the week is 7 miles!


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