My boyfriend was deployed this past Saturday for 8 months. Needless to say it’s been horribly painful. Although the half marathon on Sunday helped quite a bit, each day apart has felt worse, not better. I was originally planning to take a week off from running following the race. I figured I needed the rest especially since I ran a long distance without training.
I decided to hit the gym today and just do some upper body weights and maybe a little bit of light walking or bike. I did my weights and headed to the treadmill for a slow walk. I was feeling especially bad emotionally today. This is the longest we’ve gone without connecting with each other and it’s likely to be another few weeks before I first hear from him. It was hitting me hard, and I really felt discouraged.
I walked slowly for about a quarter mile. The emotions started tugging harder and harder at my heart, and I found myself upping the speed on the treadmill. At first I just thought I’d do a light jog, but I found the faster I went, the better I felt. I ended up doing four quarter mile sprints in a row at 6.0 – 6.5mph. It was such an incredible release. I was fighting back the tears as I ran, but it felt so good.
I could only do four sprints as my legs were still pretty tired from Sunday’s race, but it was an incredible cure for today’s serious emotional blues. I felt such a high and sense of release when I was done. I felt hopeful about my relationship and getting through the next 8 months.
I think running is going to be my salvation during his deployment. So far, in the past five days, it has been my only true source of happiness and relief from this agonizing separation. I really think it is a cure for anything, the endorphins it produces are so powerful.
If someone told me years ago I’d use running to heal emotional pain, I would have laughed and probably popped a Prozac. But now I know it will help me get through this. Although now I’m feeling sad again, I know I can just hop back on the treadmill and let it all out tomorrow. And with each passing day, the pain will get easier and then will come the joyous day that he returns. Until then, I’ll be clocking in the miles.