Monday, Feb. 16, 2004
Dear Diary:

So I'm guessing that pulling out my uterus, smacking it on the kitchen table a few times and then reinserting it really won't solve this situation.

Still, a woman can fantasize, right?

Stop looking at me that way.

Remember when you were a little kid and there were those long summer nights and your parents would make you go to bed even though it was barely dark and you didn't want to go to sleep? 'Member?

So you'd lie there awake and maybe giggle with your sister or something and pretty soon it would get kind of raucous and one of your parents would go to the bottom of the stairs and yell: "If you don't go to sleep right this minute I'm Going To Come Up There ... " 'Member how you'd immediately quiet down because those kinds of open-ended threats left the punishment possibilities bottomless? 'Member?

Yeah, well, I'm at the point where I'm ready to yell at my uterus, "If you don't go to sleep right this minute I'm Going To Come Up There ..."

Welcome to the wonderful world of perimenopause.

Technically a woman can't really say she's menopausal until she's gone for a year without a visit from, uh, Aunt Flo. Until then, she's in the twilight zone of perimenopause. I have now been in perimenopause for several centuries. Oh, okay, maybe not quite that long, but it feels that long.

Every time I go a few months without a visit and start contemplating the idea that maybe it's finally time to pitch the feminine hygiene products, well, that would be the time when my uterus yells, "HA HA Just Kidding" and Aunt Flo comes to town.

So funny I forgot to laugh.

I am older than dirt. I do not want any more children. I do not want night sweats thermal incidents. I am ready for this to be over, to make the transition to the next stage in my life. But, apparently, my uterus is a stand-up comedienne who simply can't exit the stage gracefully. Yes, I am host to A Womb With A View of how this should be done and our schedules do not mesh.

Fine.

In other body bit related news, there have been no small titty picture sightings at my gym, so it looks as if we can close the titty loop. I'm not sure if Prince Charming understood the why behind it all, but it appears he got the gist of the situation.

The spousal unit, of course, is deeply, deeply disappointed by this turn of events because he simply loves watching me blow a gasket over this sort of issue. The man does have a cruel side, eh.

Today was the day it finally became clear to me why you almost never see training programs for runners that take more than eight weeks to complete. The reason for this is that only freaks could keep at something such as this for more than eight weeks.

I am already two days behind in the schedule for my eight week program. This is not because my aged carcass isn't up to the challenge, it's that my aged mind is not ready to face the discipline necessary to whip my aged carcass to do its bidding.

Take today, for instance. Today all I had to do was to run for 25 minutes. That's well under three miles and I can now push my body over four miles, and/or run 45 minutes straight so What's The Big Freakin' Deal?

The big freakin' deal seems to be that I am emotionally tired of pushing myself, of working through the discomfort necessary to make progress.

One of the guys I run with likes to say, "Pain is a sign you're stomping out weakness." Good Lord, how did I ever end up hanging out with freakish people like this? I was meant to sprawl on chaise lounges and eat chocolate bon bons. I was not meant to hang out with the sort of person who glories in stomping out weakness.

Clearly, A Mistake Has Been Made.

I have decided that when I finish the final step of this program Wednesday -- run a hour (and oh, man, don't think I'm not dreading that, because I am) -- then I'm going to take a week off. Yes, the treadmill and I are going to try a trial separation. I'm going to see other cardio equipment, and the treadmill will see other runners. I want to see if we can recapture the old spark.

Back before Christmas I went around to a lot of people at my gym and tried to convince them to sign up for the 10K run. I approached people I didn't know, many of them women who, at first glance, did not look like runners at all.

Today as I sat leafing through my running log, trying to use the progress it records to scrape up enough grit to get on that treadmill, one of the women I'd approached came up to me. She'd shut me down before Christmas, pooh poohed the thought of trying to run.

Today she said that she's been watching me over the last few months and now she wants to try the run herself. And that, gentle reader, is what got me off my buttal region and on the treadmill. Guilt. Because I knew that if I didn't run then she wouldn't either. So she did the mix of walking and running that begins the program and I put in my 25 minutes.

Oh, and do you want to know the really stupid part of this? When I was in the final minutes I looked at my heart rate monitor and a distance that used to drive my heart up to the range of 170+ beats per minute and leave me sweating like a sprinkler now wasn't pushing it out of the 150's.

Oh, and I was barely sweating.

ARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH.

When I began this project I was concerned about physical fatigue torpedoing my progress. I sure didn't foresee running full tilt into a granite wall of mental fatigue. Yep, it seems that once again I'm living proof of that old adage:

Strong back. Weak mind. *Sigh*.

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 140.87 miles. Ten percent there rubber duck.
Oh man. This is going to be hard
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

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