I did that thing where I stay awake all night again. I was so stressed about my coursework that I stayed up until 4:30am to complete most of it, at which point I was relaxed enough to consider sleep, but decided there was no point. I had a brief moment of calm, and I sat on my bed and just let the dust inside my mind settle around me until I could see clearly.
If you read what happened last time I ran, then you’ll think I’m completely stupid for what I did next. If you understand what running does for me and how much I miss it, then you’ll also understand why. I took a chance on my body, the morning after it had plunged me into the early stages of acidosis.
I was up and out of the building before 7am. I stood outside the tiny supermarket next to my accommodation waiting for the staff to unlock the doors, wearing running trainers and running gear again. I was so dehydrated from the short walk that my mouth was dry. I bought a litre of drink and quickly drank an entire bottle. It was cold out. So cold that by the time I got to Mile End Park I was shivering. It was still dark. There was hardly anybody about, and I liked that, because there had been so many runners about on my previous attempt to run. I found my little patch of grass, I opened the timer on my phone, and I jogged much more lightly than before. 30 seconds at a time this time (10-20 seconds wrecked me last time but that was not going to stop me progressing with the running plan). I couldn’t help it. I needed to. I didn’t know what else to do. And sat here afterwards, I can’t think what on earth it was that was breaking me, because I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted. Most of my friends aren’t even awake yet, and I’m sat here at 7:30am with my hands feeling tight and like they’re burning as they slowly warm up and regain feeling.
After the first lap of 30 seconds, my vision went. I couldn’t see the huge numbers on the timer, and this presented an issue, because I then noticed that everything else was blurring, and the lag in my vision was much worse than normal. I decided this was probably mostly due to the almost acidosis situation that I’m stuck in. I decided I’d stop after five times. It didn’t kill me. It felt good. Every time I blinked my vision stayed black for a while afterwards, and I started to feel light headed, but not enough to alarm me this time. On the last lap I was running and my legs just gave out under me as everything went black. I managed not to hit the floor, but decided it was definitely time to stop. I felt my pulse, and it was stupidly fast, with random forceful beats between beats so faint I could barely feel them. As I walked home it hit me. There were huge gaps in time, every time I blinked, everything turned black for a while. I felt significantly lightheaded by the time I made it back to my floor of the building. I drifted along the corridor bumping into the walls, and fell straight onto my bed.
I’m feeling more and more like I’m going to pass out. I feel sick and I have a foggy headache. But I can handle today now. I can handle uni and work and going home and all of it. It doesn’t bother me like it did before I stepped outside. I no longer want to run until my heart explodes. I no longer want to bail on my own existence. Because for 150 seconds (ok add about 20 to that) I ran. That’s all it took. And it’s given me so much. My friends will be annoyed. They’ll call me an idiot. My mum would shout if I told her. But I left myself three hours before lectures this time, and I didn’t know how else to handle things.
Sometimes the things that are good for us are also bad for us, and sometimes we take the bad just so we can take advantage of the good. My body is rebelling now but it is going to rebel anyway… May as well enjoy something. May as well reclaim a piece of my life. So I ran. But I wasn’t running away. I was running towards something. I was running for change. The immediate change seems to be that I’ve outraged my body (but not to the same degree as last time). But it’s also transformed my emotional state rather brilliantly.
After my last run, I thought I’d never run again. The aftermath was horrible and terrifying to be honest. It was my body telling me no. But I’m the kind of person who gets up and tries again even when the odds look pretty hopeless. Odds mean nothing. They are often defied. I decided to carry on with my plan and increase the duration of running, I just cut the repeats. And I took a chance. I don’t know what I expected to happen. I am, for some reason, surprised to find myself sat here drifting towards unconsciousness, and yet at the same time I fully expected that and it’s just part of my running routine. Hopefully I won’t pass out in lectures today. I should probably ask someone to run with me in future, but I quite like the time to myself. When I’m running, my mind is quite a pleasant place to be for a change, and I like the room to just… Breathe.
The trees are starting to turn the rich colours of autumn as the seasons change. It was so cold I could see my breath, and my hands felt like two useless stumps on the ends of my arms because my fingers were so cold I couldn’t feel them or really move them. It was so, so cold. And it was so, so good. I love wrapping up warm and my heart doesn’t like the occasional yet intense heat of the few days of summer Britain experiences throughout the year. It was refreshing on so many levels. At one point I just stood there looking up the sky like a compete idiot, and suddenly the early morning sun shot light into the sky and a flash of orange appeared through a break in the clouds like the sky was on fire. I liked that. I’m forcing my body to let me be the person I want to be, to have awesome experiences like running before the sun comes up…
I have just as much to do as I did yesterday, but it isn’t breaking me any more. I’m not stressed. I’m super spaced out but it kinda feels ok. I also feel a little bit superhuman. Just a little bit.
I might go and sit in the library and try to get some work done before my lectures today.
There was no way but through.