While I Was Away
When I visit Twitter after a hiatus, the algorithm fills me in on what happened “while you were away.” On MuslimRunner, here is what happened:
February: A blizzard erupted halfway through the George Washington Birthday Marathon. Probably a passing storm, I thought. I reassured my friend, Meena (who I always end up with during inclement physical activities), “We got this. We are more than halfway done.” At that point, we looked like characters from a Disney movie in the arctic: our eyelashes and eyebrows turned white with snow and icicles formed at the places where hijab meets face. The snow came down harder, and race directors called game over. The early ending forced me towards safety and an early post-race party. I had a blast with Meena, the Hopkins Marathon Team, and new runner friends drinking hot cocoa and sharing stories.
March: It snowed a day before the Hat 50k, marking the first day of Spring. The snow coated the trails and added a comfortable extra cushion for the first several miles. A couple hours into the race, the sun came out, melted all the snow, and turned the dirt trails into mud slides. I learned that I am afraid of falling. I trudged along slowly and crawled on fours down the most menacing hills. So I did not make the cut off time to finish the race. After 17 miles, I joined a party of runners who also did not finish. We ate cookies victoriously.
April: After two consecutive DNF’s (“did not finish”), I became a beginner all over again. I struggled to find time to run in between work and life. I found it difficult to stay awake after Fajr to run with the sunrise. When I made it outside, I found the sun blazing and forgot how to dress and hydrate for the heat. I suffered side stitches and cramps.The work:pleasure ratio of running fell out of balance with the former outweighing the latter. In between the grind of work, I ran 1-3 days a week and felt humbled.
I am ready for new beginnings.