I had said that life was back to normal. And, in fact, life has been way better than normal. We have been on vacation in Duluth, Minneapolis, St. Paul and now La Crosse, WI living a sort of peaceful dreamlife. But every once in a while I get these panic moments, where, in a few seconds, my brain goes through denial, anger and acceptance. Actually, maybe I never get to acceptance. In fact I have this constant underlying feeling that my body is faulty. What I used to be so proud of is now my source of shame.
It is amazing how much of a woman's identity is created by her perception of her body. I used to think of myself as the athletic, healthy woman who also could be feminine at the right times. You know, and have healthy babies despite exercising what many consider to be an extreme amount.
But then this force of nature comes along and you realize once again you are powerless. The process of miscarriage seemed SO natural at the time, that is was easier to accept than I had expected. But then that sneaking feeling of "I'm an inadequate woman" makes it hard again. Maybe I am to some degree at fault, maybe it has nothing to do with me. And that is why no one woman should ever represent running in pregnancy. Or veganism in pregnancy. Or skydiving in pregnancy. Or truckdriving in pregnancy. Look at statistics and studies and your own beliefs of what is healthy. Don't look at me. Well, that being said, you're welcome to keep reading. It is our relationships with living people that are meaningful, afterall.
For four days after the race, we got "stuck" in Duluth, having forgot our passports to go to Thunder Bay. But we had abolutely no desire to leave, anyway. We enjoyed days of windless Lake Superior, sitting on the beach as if we were at the end of the world and watching the golden full moon rise. We stayed at the William S. Burrows Bed and Breakfast, where the two owners knew what had happened and treated us like their long lost children. There was amazing food, company, a piano, a view of Lake Superior. It was hard to deny being extremely happy and comfortable. Though I felt as though I nearly lost my entire blood volume over the course of a day and a half. They told me to come back to the hospital if a soaked a pad an hour and I was quite close to that. I actually never did go back for my ER follow-up. We decided they'd just repeat the beta-HCG and it would be going down and that would be that. Actually, I'm sure I would have learned something, but I'll never know what that was.
We ventured reluctantly into the big city of Minneapolis. I only say reluctantly because neither of us are really that fond of big cities. But once we were there, my sister immediately did our laundry and showered us with gifts. I felt totally inadequte and SR, like a typical European, was in awe of their view of the Minneapolis skyline. Why was I so concerned with this unborn baby when my sister, who I hadn't seen in nearly a year needed me in her own way to catch up? Well, we at least argued about music and shared our new favorites, as we always do. And it was fun.
My sister and her husband:
And here's the part some readers are scrolling down for: The next day we met Steve Q and Helen Lavin Helen Lavin for a run at Steve's fabled "Brickyard". I must point out that Lavin is pronounced like "lava" not "lake" by the way. Anyway, talk about four completely different and somewhat insane people getting together for a run. Actually Helen's not insane, she is just insanely successful at everything she does. And truly modest and funny and cute, but perhaps that's not news to anyone. In all reality Steve Q is not insane either, he gave us a very interesting tour of this steep hill by the Mississippi in St. Paul-Lilydale where bricks used to be made in the early 20th century. And fossils are still collected. Not that old, though, just about 1 million years. We saw the brick-making caves, but no fossils. He had a story about every path and every apple crab tree. He even shares his water, though very reluctantly. For those of you who don't read his blog, you may not appreciate the fact that he IS quite normal, and you probably should give his blog a read, or at least his description of our run, which differs slightly from mine and Helen's.
Maybe it was because it was hot or because I was really slow, but we didn't run that many hill repeats and the ones we ran weren't very fast. Maybe it was mostly because we had too much fun chatting. And that's why we spent most of the time at Jerabek's in St. Paul, eating kolochies and looking at fun old photos of Steve, including one where he took 5th in his age group in the Twin Cities Marathon. And one he had of me from Voyageur last year where I thought I looked fat. It made me feel better about how I look now. Anyway, Helen had also brought us two T-shirts from the Afton Trail race and Ultra Running magazine.
Jerabek's Bakery. You can probably figure out who everyone is.
The astute readers will see how sallow I am compared to the pictures from the race. When I am anemic, I tend to look like I have liver failure. Below is a seemlingly unrelated photo of SR grabbing a gray lion's balls.
And here's a happy mom, in her new Afton T-shirt, finally reunited with her little boy, who hasn't quite weened himself from nooks.
Running Song of the Day: Enemy Within by Frida Hyvönen