Wednesday, February 20, 2008

40 days and 40 nights

I'm sure there's something significant about the whole 40 days and 40 nights of going through some deeply challenging experience, but I can't remember what it is.... Hhhm...

Well folks, here we are... 40 days and 40 nights of no running. The infection, turned blood poisoning has been dealt with. The inflammation remains, but it's better than infection. The antibiotics did exactly what they were supposed to and killed any and all bacteria they found, including the good stuff. The flu then decided to invade for a while and that kept me flat on my back for most of the weekend.

I'm up and at 'er now though... sniffling and hacking away. Oh, it's lotsa fun, lemme tell you.

What I can say, with a certain amount of certainty is that if you think taper madness is real, then I can assure you that 40 days and 40 nights of no running brings all kinds of visions, hallucinations, depression and dark, lonely nights.

A quick recap of life in the non-running zone:

1) I did get clearance from the ethics board to conduct my research, only to contact a few people who want no part of any interviews for my project. They all think it's a great idea and would love to read the results, but no one wants to "go on the record", even anonymously. This kind of screws my project. I've been freaking out. My supervisor has been away so we have not talked. I'm fairly disheartened.

2) Due to the frustrations and feeling like I'm banging my head against the wall, I have seriously been asking myself, "Who the heck needs a Ph.D. anyway?" Have been fantasizing about walking away from this program. (Can't run; can still walk!)

3) Have been wondering what it would be like to have a "normal" life - go out with friends on a semi-regular basis, have a job, date... you know... everyday stuff. Instead, I bury my head in academic articles about stuff that doesn't seem to matter much. And for some reason, I think it's worth it to do this?

4) While thinking about #2 and #3, I've tossed the entire theoretical framework of my thesis. It just doesn't work. I'm trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. And I'm failing. I have to find something new. In the academic realm, this is considered fairly "major stuff". I have yet to tell my supervisor about it.

5) Items 1-4 have me pretty much out of my mind. To compensate, I signed up to do a half marathon in April. (See race schedule side bar.) This is crazy. I'm haven't run in over a month. When will I run again? Who knows? Why did I sign up? I'm insane. Either that or I need to focus my hope on something - and this is it!

I miss running.



Backofpack said...

First, that is a lovely new profile picture!

Second, talk to your supervisor. Bounce your frustrations off a few people near and dear to the program and see if they have any super ideas. Talk to some others who have gone doctoral and find out if they experienced similar stuff. Don't give up! It's a hurdle, for sure, but you are made of tough stuff. You'll get through it.

And, most of all, yay for healing feet! And half marathons to give you hope!

robtherunner said...

You're not making a good case for continuing with higher education for a future doctoral student. I suppose if it were easy then everyone would be doing it. Well, probably not.

The half-marathon is a great idea. It brings hope even in times of despair.

Sarah said...

I feel your frustration on the not running. I've come to the conclusion that I'm physically addicted to endorphins, literally. And it sux not getting my proper fix! You didn't mention when you think you might be able to run. But I think the half in April is a great idea too!

As for the thesis...I think you'll feel a lot better and get some clarity once you can talk about it with your supervisor, rather than just have the issues churn around in you head.

Robb said...

Adding to your physical troubles...sounds like mental burnout - like you need some hot sunshine and sand. That would help eh?

Hang in there.

olga said...

Sarah, what a drag to be out for so long at no-will! I read your post on non-running book, and disagreed with this whole "cheaper" thing. When I run, all I need are shoes (ok, bra and shorts would be nice, but they are from my first year of running!). If I don't run, like one of my friend, I need those high-heel boots, pumps, whatnot, nice clothes, and will spend money to go out as in normal life people!!! Now I just hit the streets and trails for free:) Here you go!
As for signing up for half-marathon - that's what I do when I am frustrated. I find a race I want to do and sign up and make plans and dream...when the time comes, I decide if I am ready, and most of the time I make the trip:) Hang in there!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

you signed up for the half because running is the only thing you have control over (when you are not infected and/or slayed by the flu, of course). at least, that's why i sign up for races. it's the only thing i can control, accurately predict, put effort into and see a definite result.

being a high-school dropout, i have no comment on the higher eduction stuff, other than sometimes i wish i had been able to go to college and have those delimmas!

She Who Makes Waves said...

I sense your frustrations and I feel for you. It never rains but it pours but the sun will shine again for you. You do have determination to bring on the good and it shows by signing up for the Police Half Marathon. That's a positive step!