Back to normal

Hello strangers!

Yes, it has been a while… first my back-end broke (well, not my back-end, the back-end of the blog… the admin-y area… I’m not techy I don’t know how else to describe it, but my butt’s fine) for about a month.  Then work got crazy busy and I kept thinking “When things get back to normal, I’ll make time to write again”… now I’m disappointed to say it’s been ten weeks and three days since my last post (even a broken back-end can only excuse five of those weeks).  So it turns out, being manic with work is actually normal and I’m going to just have to find a way to make it all fit together.

So anyway, this whole deal about things getting back to normal got me thinking about the concept of “back to normal”.  I know it’s been a while since we spoke, and I don’t want to get to heavy on you all after so long, but I’m thinking we’ve been duped and that the concept is a crock.

If you had described the last five years of my life to me five years ago, well, for one thing, I wouldn’t have believed you.  For another thing, I would probably have run away and hid in a corner.  Because significant stuff has happened, angels have come and gone, relationships have shifted, jobs have changed, steps have been taken, no less than six different homes have been lived in.  It has been a half-decade of immense change and shock of all shocks I am 32 years old now – how the hell did that happen??

Now, if this had all happened over, say, six months and then the change had stopped and a routine been re-established, then I may well be able to get on board with back to normal.  But, as it happens, change just keeps on keeping on, sh*t gets realer and I submit to the universe over which I have no control (and, whenever I fantasise that I may have some control over what’s about to happen next, the funny bugger just changes it up again to remind me that, even though I am an only child, I am not in charge).

Take the Sydney Marathon for example, I’ve been training all year for it and I am fitter, stronger and able to run further than ever before in my life (even though the staggering age of 32 snuck up on me while I was happily floating along thinking I was still 17).  But, my calves, well – they’re not going to have a bar of it.  I’ve been massaging them, stretching them, wearing utterly ridiculous knee-high compression socks over them, running them hard, letting them rest, having them cupped, needled and charged with electricity (thank God for Allison!!), fed them muscle relaxants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and magnesium, downward dogged them, fed them fish (even though I’m a strict vegetarian), eggs, bananas (even though they’re still $10 a kilo) and protein powder, yelled at them and tried to hug them.

They still turn out like solid painful rocks as soon as I hit a 25km mark.  I have learned to run through that down here in lovely flat Melbourne, but the recovery is (um, how to put this) freakin’ painful.  So up there in hilly Sydney… I just don’t know.  And, it turns out, for my calves, tight is normal at this level of training.  A little like the woman who owns them; they just won’t let go and loosen up.

So we currently have a dilemma… drag the calves around the Sydney marathon course in a little over a week, with the full knowledge that the calves are at least 85 per cent guaranteed to tear – or – run a half marathon in Sydney and pump out a full one in Melbourne three weeks later, that will most certainly hurt, but, that is not as hilly and therefore much more unlikely to tear said calves.  (And if that’s not the longest sentence I’ve ever written or you’ve ever read then I don’t know what).

So there we have it… normal, as it would seem is (at least for this 5’4″ blonde wannabe marathon runner who lives in Melbourne) being insanely busy all the time, living in a constant state of flux, possessing calves that threaten to snap at any point and never knowing what’s coming next.

And that’s cool.

Because what’s normal anyway?  My normal’s probably different to your normal and my normal changes in space and time as does yours, so perhaps normal doesn’t exist at all.

Certainly getting back to normal doesn’t.  At least for me.

So I’ll keep you posted on Sydney and promise to stay in touch more often regardless of any degree of normality or abnormality in my life.

2 Responses to “Back to normal”
  1. Margaret says:

    Oh Suze, I wish I could give you advice but you have run many more miles than me – but I have torn my calf recently and it hurts and it puts you out for 6-8wks (I haven’t called your healing lady yet, I’m slack). I say run the Full Marathon. If you can run 25-30km, you should be able to just keep going another *gulp* 12-17km – I think? Do the run/walk thing, you can do it, you’re only racing yourself remember. You never know what you’re capable of until you front up to the challenge too. If you put it off, your calf may pop during the half and then you won’t be able to run the full.

    • I’m with you on that, but the recovery from the band strain has seen me training back at 15km so i think even a 30km without hills would snap it right now… there’s a good chance I’ll be half walking the half marathon to be honest… At the end of the day, I’ll see how I’m feeling when I’m up in Sydney on Sunday morning and I’ll run (hobble, crawl, drag) what feels right… These bodies should be more compliant with our personal goals shouldn’t they!!
      How did you tear your calf you poor thing? Sounds awful!! Do give Allison a call – she is now working Mon – Weds and Sat so it’s much easier to get an appointment.
      Let me know how your recovery goes – I can recommend walks in the sea water (really cold but very good for healing and reducing inflamation) and Lectric Soda baths (you can get the salts in either the laundry aisle or the bath aisle at the supermarket). Take care!

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  • My Marathons for Maddie in 2011

    Run for the Kids: 17 April - 14.38km
    Mothers' Day Classic: 8 May - 4km
    Run Melbourne: 17 July – half marathon
    Sandy Point Half: 21 August - half marathon
    Sydney Running Festival: 18 September – half marathon
    Melbourne Marathon: 9 October – marathon

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