I’m not even sure I love you. I tell you I do but I just sat down and wondered if that is how I truly feel or just something I think I should feel – by now. Before, I would say those words and only meant it once – while married. Since then, it has been a love for the person but was something I forgot over time. Time should not diminish it, right? That’s what I heard, read, see, and know. Does that mean I still love my ex? In some ways, I always will. But you…I am not quite sure. So, while I sat asking myself if I truly love you like I have told you plenty of times, I asked myself if I am happy. Not happy at this moment, or was happy yesterday, but happy with you overall. Am I? When I was single, I was happy. I had nothing to think about, deal with, or handle but me, myself, I, and my kids. You introduced something I thought I was ready for. Well, maybe I am but you introduced something negative. With you here, I am irritated more, frustrated, pissed off, and just down right unhappy with you at times. The only time I felt that way before was with work, my kids, my family, strangers, etc. All people I am used to and have grown accumstomed to so it never affected me. You introduce an extra dose of all of the above which I can’t seem to handle at times. Some times. Most of the time. It is funny how I try to even lie to myself. Right when I was about to start I told me to drop the mask and just admit why you are still here. You will be the perfect provider. There, I said it. Yes, I find you attractive but the world if filled with attractive men. Yes, I find your character & integrity totally awesome which is where my love sincerely rests – that I cannot lie about. Yes, I absolutely love spending time with you but it’s usually short lived & scheduled – on your time. Am I a task? Something to do Monday – Saturday? I ask you that often to which you laugh but I never can find the joke. From my perspective, I would have all my bills split in half with a man with stellar character & integrity & damn good genes. Why not? Where am I losing? How can I possibly lose? You will pay the mortgage and I’d help out with a portion saving money on my end. I would save on almost all my bills since my household would now be “our” household. You were raised to be the Head and provide and have done so quite well so I feel confident I can lay back and let you handle the affairs without worrying. I am tired of being the Head of the Household, the father & mother to kids I bear, and tired of living life alone sometimes. You satisfy all of my goals. You are the best investment I have made in a while – I just need to close the deal. Close the deal. That is where things get sticky because you actually say you love me. You say you want kids. You say you want to get married first. You say you see a lot of things with me while I see “savings” over your head. Is that right? Good? Will I even be happy? You know how some men complain that their wives never want sex? I can see that being me. Why? Because I complain about it now! You know how I complain that you work too much?
This was my first time running this race. I usually try to sign up for different races since the Chicagoland area has plenty to choose from and I think it’s kinda boring to do the same race, same course, same thing every year. Soldier Field was built to honor the men and women of the Armed Forces so it’s only fitting that their annual run in its 9th year annually takes place during Memorial Day weekend. It was pretty easy getting to the stadium; I took the Fullerton bus at about 4:32am to the Redline which took me to Roosevelt. It was about a mile walk to the Stadium….or maybe it just felt like it was a long walk. But, there were other runners walking with me so I was in good company.
The weather was awesomely cool. No sun, no heat, no humidity; all pluses for me! It seemed to take forever to start the race and each corral got its own starting shout-out so instead of my Blue corral starting at 6:40am, my 4th corral of the Blue corral started about 7:15am. While waiting, we felt drops of rain here and there and wondered if we’d get soaked way before the race even began. Rain is still better than humidity any day so I didn’t care….just start the race, please!
My mile splits:
Mile 1 – 09:17
Mile 2 – 08:55
Mile 3 – 08:49
Mile 4 – 08:45
Mile 5 – 08:59
Mile 6 – 08:58
Mile 7 – 09:04
Mile 8 – 09:06
Mile 9 – 09:15
Mile 10 – 09:04
As you can see, I started off well for my 1st mile which is very hard to do because the crowd rushes forward and you so wanna go with them, the excitement has built, the adrenaline is flowing, and your legs are fresh! I talk to myself more times during running than I ever do in regular everyday life. “Slow down, D”, “Feel your pace”, “Run YOUR race”, “Settle into this speed”, “Let them pass”, “Breathing cool…thighs hurting…time still on pace. Maintain it”, “Don’t look down…look up the incline”, “Ride the downhill”, etc. The hardest thing to do was find my pace, settle into it, and ignore the people who ran past me because I had to stay in my groove and finish my own race. I knew I’d “die” if I went out too fast but I also didn’t know at what per mile pace I could sustain for the entire race before my legs felt like giving from under me. Well, they wouldn’t give completely at first. They’d slow down slowly but surely ignoring my brain telling them to pick it back up. Then, my mile splits will increase instead of decreasing or remaining consistent.
Between mile 6 and 7, I sucked down a Gatorade Energy Gel I’d brought with me. I’d never taken one during a race but my quads were tightening, my splits slowing, and I was nowhere near the 50 yd line of the finish. I was honestly happy to use the gel because it’s kinda heavy so, hanging from my running belt, it was bouncing with each foot strike I took for the last 6 miles which is really really irritating. But, I blocked it out of my mind and focused on what was more important…a consistent pace. I ripped the top off the gel, placed it in my mouth for a small suck, pulled it back out, splashed some on my arm, put it back in my mouth, ignored the need to vomit (not at the taste of the gel), squeezed it all into my mouth mid-run still, and threw the empty pack on the ground. I don’t think I felt the slightest difference until I officially reached the 7 mile marker which was maybe 800 meters later. I didn’t stop not once during the race to get a cup of water or Gatorade from the aid stations. I wanted to see what my body could do esp since this was the first time I’d run a complete 10 mile course without stopping for a traffic light, cars, or pedestrians.
Occasionally, I passed some people and then some people passed me. The weather remained cool throughout but I was starting to feel the burn literally towards the end. As you can see from my mile splits, I first mile time became my 9th mile time which means I got faster, peaked, and then slowed back to where I began. Not sure how good that is but I definitely checked my breathing throughout….it was pretty strong and stable. That tells me my cardiovascular system can handle a faster pace or push but my legs weren’t feeling it. My legs, this time around, just weren’t up to par with my breathing. On the last mile, the spectators and race staff were shouting about how close to the finish we are but I didn’t believe. I knew we’d finish on the 50 so I wasn’t gonna push it until I was inside the stadium turf. I got to the last 800 meters and you’d think I’d be overjoyed but my thighs were still burning. The lady yelled out, “if you have any gas left now is the time to push it in”. I should have listened to her because right around the next 2 corners was the finish line. The most beautiful sight ever! Before I knew it, I was on grass, I saw the “FINISH” banner in front of me, and I saw the huge screen inside the stadium showing us running in. I even smiled, waved my hands overhead, and forgot all about the pain in the thighs. Instantly, my body was feeling high….until I stopped running. I crossed the time-sensor at the finish line, stopped my watch, and was still smiling when I felt my quads tighten and I said “owwww!”
Yayy, I’d finished and I’d finished in 1 hour and 30 minutes (unofficially) which is a PR for me so I had reason to be happy but I also wondered how much faster could I have gone. I have another 10 mile race I might sign up for in July so we shall see. This time though, I did a visually and physically painful walk tot he guy handing out water bottles, to the table with bags of after-race snacks, to the gear check to retrieve my running bag I’d brought with me, and to the blanket table to get my Soldier Field blanket which is blue. Blue?! Why not green, or, I don’t know…..navy and orange for the team’s colors!?!?! I took 2 pictures which I’ve posted here and had some comments. My cousin said, “that’s why you’re still skinny cause you run 10 miles in an hour!” Was I supposed to be fat by the age of 31? Thicke? Curvy? I feel like I didn’t meet some unspoken accepted standard for myself as I aged. Others just wanna know how I can run for so long. I don’t view the time or distance as a “long ass time” but as something I know my body responds well too. If I am feeling slow, out-of-shape, or like I’m putting on the pounds around my midsection…then I go run. When I run long I get better results. I am not one for running fast contrary to most thoughts related to black runners. I enjoy a slower pace that I can sustain for a longer period of time. I love the discipline, the strength, and mental battles I face doing something most think is purely physical. I run alone usually and enjoy it. There’s camaraderie & encouragement with a running group but imagine the tenacity that is required to be your own coach, cheerleader, critic, etc. I gain more than a good physical workout
Today I am grateful for Sister Time & good margaritas! Today we went to Killer Margaritas just because we hadn’t gone since….last Spring/Summer? They have some of the best & deliciously strong margaritas I wanted the Carne Asada but they were out of skirt steak (huh?!) so I ordered Pollo Azteca which is chicken (duh!) with grilled veggies served with rice & beans. I also ordered a large strawberry margarita, one sister ordered a lime margarita, and another sister ordered a jumbo banana margarita. One sister thought the drink was too strong to finish so I gladly took on that responsibility for her lol!
Today I am grateful for finding this video on Facebook about Sexual Compatibility. I was up late talking on the phone when I came across one of my friends “liking” this video. This friend is married to another friend who is an Associate Pastor so I knew it was something Christian related. Well, it is definitely an interesting video and something I think is very strong in its message.
Today I am grateful for my older kids. Oh man I love babies! I love them because they are cute, cuddly, you can dress them, feed them, rock them, and they make cute sounds which I think are words in BabyLand. But then I love my older kids because they are old enough to have some responsibility which frees me up to do things I wanna do in my own life. My older kids can walk to school by themselves taking the little brother, get into the apartment with their own set of keys, call me from their pre-paid cell phones to let me know where they or if they made it to their destination safely, and have their own mini-lives. Both offer its own Pros and Cons but I can definitely appreciate the significance of both esp when it comes to being a single mom who wants to get back to doing things I used to do before the kids came along (running more, early morning fitness classes, etc.).
Today I am grateful that my sisters can cook! Feed me Feed me! We all made it to our grandmother’s funeral which is a miracle since it’s difficult to get all 5 girls out to the same event. But, today, my sister texted me to say she was cooking and if I wanted to come over. Always! I asked what she was cooking; true black southern cuisine which is something I rarely eat unless I’m at a family dinner or specifically seek out a Soul Food restaurant. So we went, ate, drank, I ate again, did girl-talk, laughed, and then I left because I had work the next morning and the kids had school. But, I did leave with a super full belly and 5 of those small bottles of airplane alcohol which is awesome!
Today I am grateful for knowing my peace of mind. My grandma’s funeral was today. She was a true follower of Jesus. Everyone who walked up to the mic shared a story about her giving them Christian Biblical advice about different things. I was sad all week about not having her here anymore but then I walked in and listened to the stories and realized how awesome it must be to know where she is right now. You know how you go to funerals and can probably guess where this person might be residing at that very moment? My sadness disappeared and I felt happy knowing she is not in pain anymore or that person whom I saw months before she passed; a stranger who looked nothing like my grandma. I honestly feel like she would have told me to stop crying, so I did. I honestly feel like she would have enjoyed her mini-church service because she loved church, so I am glad. I honestly feel like she would have wanted to share all she knows right now with me but I still have to finish living my life hoping I can be a little bit like her, so I keep trying. It gives me peace of mind to know she is ok and I don’t have to be sad anymore. I’ve never gone to a funeral and experienced that almost instant evaporation of my selfish need to have that person here instead of where they are; dead and gone from earth.
Today I am grateful for peace. No worries, no concerns, no headaches, no problems, no anxiety…just peace that things will be ok and that nothing I could ever plan to do will make a difference in how the chips may fall. Now, I am one of those people who like to stir the pot and be their own force of nature but then it’s times like this where it feels good to just let go and know that life will just fold as it is intended. Time to prepare for tomorrow…
Today I am grateful for honest communication & the end of midterm week. I had this huge molehill argument with Braxton which led to us talking about several things. Being honest has never been a hard thing to do but when you’re angry it’s easy to go tit for tat in trying to make a point and prove you are right. Things were resolved by bedtime so I am happy for little spats because it does bring clarity. Also, my midterm was tonight. I think I studied well, I remember the things I studied, and I have a clear understanding of the big picture (thus far). Out of 120 points, I calculate that I at least got a score of 105 based on which problem I was lost on and how many points he might deduct for a partial correct answer. That is about a 87 which is still a “B” so I’ll take it since I seem to be a “B” student anyways; from Kindergarten til now. Spring Break baby!
Today, I am grateful for studying earlier in the day instead of waiting until that evening because I was completely unable to focus after a little spat. I began looking over my study problems for my midterm exam around 10am. I actually took some time when I wasn’t busy with work or on the phone for work to work out these problems and do some samples ones from a previous homework assignment to make sure I had it. I went through 2 or 3 chapters of problems today, read through my notes taken while in class, and I was feeling pretty good! Until, I decided to take a little study break and someone who will remain nameless proceeded to irritate the hell outta me so I was bothered and unfocused after that. I tried to read but I couldn’t. Ugh! I knew this would happen. Silly stupid naive little rabbit, I am. **Sigh** but the party must go on so I gave up and went to bed…might as well try again tomorrow morning. But, those hours spent earlier in the day were worthwhile and a good investment of my time. Next time, I’ll keep my ass off the phone.