3am: Aches and Burns

I haven’t been to this place in a long time… Tonight is different….3am

Last year I found myself waking constantly in the dead of the night entirely consumed with an intense craving to run. Regardless that I may or may not have already ran three times before nightfall, I would step out of bed, lace up my Brooks, and hash it out with the pavement.

If I wasn’t running, I had a deep sense of burning in my heart to be out on the trails. I literally ached to move. It was so bad, that most nights it was all I could do not to constantly think about it, or talk about it. I found myself trying to explain the reckless behavior to Daniel, and the best I could think of was that I was simply in love with running.

…and then the Type B overtraining syndrome arrived at my doorstep to literally choke out any and all of my long lasting running love affair.

Running desire- gone.
Competitive streak- zilch.
3am pavement pounds- ha!

It’s been a solid 8 weeks of dealing with this, and I still wake up feeling like the day before was a 100 mile trail run.

But no matter how bad my body feels right now, no matter how much everything is screaming at me to stand still: All I want to do is break free.

I’ve been staring at the blinking digital clock over to my left for the past half hour, thinking of all the
minutes being wasted, and contemplating slipping into my shoes for just a tiny escape…

This excites me, and it scares me.

Excites me because my brain is inching back closer to the Ashley I used to know, which just so happens to be the very reason it scares me.

I’m so torn between being a woman that knows what’s best, and a woman that knows what she wants.

I can’t be someone that just straddles the line of indecision!

I guess I can be, because that’s seemingly what I am.. But I don’t want to be.

I haven’t had this urge to
run this hard in weeks, but I’m positive my body can’t handle it.

My legs are burning to fly. My mind wants miles and miles on untamed trail… and I hate that I can’t have it right now. I’m aching for it so bad, and I wish I wasn’t.

I know I’ll be “back in no time”. But I’m sick of this waiting game. I just wanna be back. I wanna be in love with running again. I want to be the insane girl that’s out running at 3am that has her own cops looking after her on her route. I want to hear my little girl shout for me to “keep going!” from my back for our 3rd trip up the mountain. I want to run until I cry.

I just kind of like that stuff about me. It makes me smile.

But the reality is that this running love isn’t normal, and it obviously did a serious number on my 25 going on 80 year old body.

So I want it, but I don’t.

I crave it, but I know better.

It makes no sense.

Tonight has been a brain trip.. And I’m fascinated by the fact that I cannot figure out how I work.

(And if you got confused reading this, just imagine the knots inside of my brain! Sorry… I don’t promise good stuff on this blog- just a running soul journey, so take it or leave it. ; ))


10 Replies to “3am: Aches and Burns”

  1. “But no matter how bad my body feels right now, no matter how much everything is screaming at me to stand still: All I want to do is break free.” As I read this – I could not help remember my experience last Saturday at a Stroll in Central Park. I did 25 miles “easy” and started to struggle and “all” I wanted to do was feel good and run- be free, have my feet and shins work normally….. I enjoy reading your blog, as you are much better and much more accomplished runner than I, I can relate to most everything you say.

    1. Thanks so much, Paul. I can totally relate to that feeling, obviously. And though it’s a terrible feeling to have, it does kind of feel good to know that its not abnormal! & I am not a “much more accomplished runner” at all! It is all relative. We are all working hard and tackling personal goals. It’s an accomplishment to be a runner- period no matter how far or fast any of us run. Thanks for reading. Great job on your PR at the 12 hr!

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