I have never been this prepared for a race. I have never been this anxious about a race.
Six or seven years ago, before I met my boyfriend, before I started running, I went to the doctor convinced I had somehow managed to break my jaw. Or dislocate it. Or that I had developed some horrible jaw cancer, and I was most assuredly dying. “See! I can’t even open my mouth all the way!” I told the nurse practitioner, the only one at the office who could see me that day. “Do you think it’s broken? Could I have dislocated it?… Is jaw cancer a thing?”
“You have strep.”
“No. No. I’ve had strep a bunch of times. My tonsils always look like that (gross.) My throat doesn’t even hurt. My jaw hurts.”
“You have strep. I’ll run a culture, but your tonsils are nearly touching. I’m surprised you can breathe.”
“I don’t have strep.”
“Here are the test results. You have strep. Take these massive horse pill antibiotics, and some steroids to reduce the swelling… because if you swell any more- you will die.”
So… maybe those aren’t direct quotes… but pretty close. Those steroids? They messed me up. I was on prednisolone for maybe a week. It made the swelling go down- and my jaw stopped hurting. It also made me eat everything that wasn’t nailed down. It also made me crazy.
I remember very clearly the sense of NEEDING to be doing something. Specifically cleaning. I started by vacuuming. And that led to scrubbing the ceiling. Then more vacuuming. And then I got a lady razor and shaved my couch. The whole thing. In fast little manic movements that terrified my roommate when she got home. The house had never been cleaner. I had never felt more restless.
That’s how I felt this morning. So I got to work tidying up and getting some laundry put away. It didn’t help. I showered and got ready. Still felt crazy. I headed to St. Charles to pick up my packet, and I felt a little calmer. My boyfriend, Josh, took me out for brunch, and I relaxed a little bit. We went to Costco, and I lost my damn mind again. I got all jumpy and panicky. So now I’m home. We’ve got beautiful prime ribeye cap steaks ready for a fancy pre race dinner. I have pickle juice in the freezer to make little pickle juice packets for my mid-race electrolyte needs. I know what I’m wearing. I know what I need to do to get ready tonight, and tomorrow morning, and I still feel so uneasy.
I fought it all morning, but I finally gave in and took a Xanax after telling Josh I felt like I was having a slow motion panic attack. I did a little easy beginner’s yoga. And now I’m just trying to relax. I think I’m going to paint my nails. It always makes me feel like I have my shit together when my nails are done, and they’re currently chipped.
Gross. My palms are sweaty. That’s new.