Sunday, November 25, 2018

Running in silence

I got a new hydration backpack as part of a Black Friday sale and much to my delight it arrived yesterday.  Now, I've been resting my hip and ankle in hopes of restarting my running so I didn't have any miles this week at all.  I was excited to try out the new pack and to try out my hip so I got myself together and hit the trail at the local zoo.  It was awful!

So what makes a run awful?  It can be lots of different things and don't worry, you'll hear all about my run of suck.  Like a said before I had a new pack which should have been my first clue that this run was going to require patience but dummy me I totally thought this new piece of equipment would make the run better somehow. Filling the pack was easy and it fits great.  I really thought I was going to be too fat for it but it is fairly adjustable and I had plenty of room to spare. 

One of the things that is essential for a run for me is music.  The only time I don't need music is if I'm running with someone, otherwise music is a must.  I also use the Nike+ running app to track my miles and tell me my pace and distance as I run.  Along with those, I also an interval timer to help me stick to my Galloway running.  I know lots of people run/walk as their body tells them but my body always says let's sit on the couch and eat potato chips so I need the timer.

As is my custom, I start my interval timer and Nike.  Nike pulls music from my phone so I just zip up my belt and go.  Today for some reason I decided to turn off my WiFi, which I did not realize would affect my Nike app.  It was an outdoor run without any WiFi so why waste the battery power?  Well, that was a mistake.

I usually use a knock-off Flipbelt to hold my phone and keys as I run but today I had my new hydration pack!  So many pockets!  I was excited but it adds a complication, I can't just drop my phone into the pack, I have to put the phone in the pack and then strap the pack on.  Nike can be set to have a 9-second delay in beginning tracking on your run.  So I set myself up for a 9-second delay instead of my usual 3 and I quickly dropped my phone in the pack and off I go.  I put in my headphones and nothing.  I forgot to pull in the headphones in my rush to get going.  No biggy.  I stop the run.

Take 2 - I plug in the headphones.  I don't worry about restarting the timer.  I know the cues and I figured I was still in my warmup anyway.  Again I move quickly to put the phone in the pack and the pack on my back.  I can hear a cheer from the Nike app.  (If you don't use Nike+, you can add friends and those friends can be notified when you start a run and they can send you cheers along the way.)  Cool, so I'm good to go, I thought.  I run my first few intervals but I notice there is no music.  I knew I had gone about 1/2 miles bases on my intervals and yet no feedback from Nike.  FUCK!

So I stop and look.  Sure enough, Nike is on and is timing me but hasn't recorded any distance at all.  So I stop the app again.  Great 1/2 mile not recorded, no music, and I notice the GPS is red, in other words, it can't find a GPS signal.  I'm in the middle of the woods.  I've run this trail several times before so I know it is usually spotty there anyways.  I'm playing with the settings.  I need music.  I want to record my run.  What do I do?

Take 3 - I turn on the WiFi, suddenly red become green.  Okay, one thing is taken care of.  I look at all of the music settings within the app and I can see it has no music.  At some point, it lost access to my music files.  I'm not wasting more time.  I change the setting to no music and start Amazon music.  I have music. I have GPS.  I reset the timer.  I quickly start my run on Nike+.  I toss the phone in, again and again, the pack on my back.  Once I'm moving again, I put in my earphones and they are blasting!  I try to turn them down on the volume control on the earphones but nothing.  No change.  What to do?  I can stop again and risk losing all of the working settings or just deal with it too loud and try to be a bit more aware of my surroundings since I can't hear anything but my own thoughts.  Fuck it, just keep moving.

After about 1/2 miles, I have a true conversation with myself.  I'm out here alone.  No one to talk to.  Haven't been on a run with anyone in over a month.  Without music, I'm too aware of being alone.  Now, I've been struggling with being alone.  I'm an introvert and shy to boot.  I like being alone unless I don't.  With my dad's surgery/cancer, new job, DH's new job, and lack of self-care due to injury, I have really needed to reach out and talk to a friend.  Someone who knows me and what is going on or at least doesn't mind hearing about what is going on.  I've ended up pretty friend-less of late.  Everyone I know is so busy.  This is when hanging out with non-losers is an issue.  They are all too busy for me, right now.  So alone I am which in my mind turns into I'm not good enough for anyone to take time for me.  I'm alone and I deserved to be alone.  I don't have friends because I'm awful.  You know the dialog.

That dialog tends to quiet down during my runs.  The longer the run, the quieter the dialog.  I recenter.  I find those good parts of me to focus on.  I thought maybe it was the running itself but after today, I think it is the music.  When I hear Brandon Flowers singing about the crossfire, I feel like someone understands me.  When I don't feel like fighting the demons inside of me, Lilli Lewis reminds me to breathe for just a moment.  If I can put two moments together then I can start moving toward putting 13 miles of moments together.  I'm not as alone when I run Fitz and the Tantrums in my ears.  Music soothes my soul.  It becomes the voice of reason when my own voice says stop fighting and just drown, no one will notice see so and so won't answer your text, see so and so never invite you to the movies and they just went, you're not worth anyone's time so just accept it and disappear. 

I won't disappear.  I think I'm finally in a headspace where I have accepted that I'm great at helping people move on from me and that that means that yes I am alone.  People move in and out of my life pretty quickly and that isn't actually a bad thing.  It is hard to accept that I have let people get to know me and then they drop me but I would rather hurt than be numb.  Right now I'm in a hurt season.  Nothing to really do but breathe, run, and blog.  Oh and let Lilli keep me moving forward.