Understand that I love traveling, and racing, and training, but put it all together and mix it with full-time work, an empty refrigerator, outdoor plants that need to be watered daily, a house that begs to be cleaned, construction barricades that I swear to god are multiplying around our house every single day, and just balancing life with work with play with love, well, it gets me grumpy from time to time.
This is one transition that I have not yet mastered – the transition from super disgruntled daily life as evil museum minion to superhero dreamy life as sporty driven athlete where I spend an entire weekend doing what I love, surrounded by people that I like, and being very far far away from the evil grips of Illinois.
One day I will master this transition with the ease of a flawless flying dismount safely across the transition line between athletic dream and daily nightmare life. But until then, returning to daily life will not be an easy or smooth transition.
Each Monday, I shift gears painfully back to desk slave, sit down, and scowl for the next 5 days. Most often, this occurs the week after racing. Since I race every few weeks in the summer, last year my co-workers – finally - started to notice this pattern.
Proof came as one day I arrived at work, to find this picture on my door:
The resemblance is striking, eh?
There it was, scotchtaped to my door, a little sign with the name LIZ and an arrow pointing to the grumpy grumbly bunny. Of course, the other three happy, playful bunnies had signs and arrows containing each of my co-workers names.
Actually the cover of a children's book, on my door it became a sign warning others to simply stay away, very very far away.
The grumble bunny has been in rare form this week. Trust me. Grumpy, tired, sore, and achy, I don’t want to do anything, talk to anyone, or go anywhere. Without working out, nothing has been actively lifting my mood. Sure, I rode a little Monday, swam Tuesday, but it’s not the same. Recovery is never easy, always takes too long, and leaves me antsy, aloof, combative, grumbly, rumbly, and ready to roar.
So last night I thought maybe my scheduled run would degrumpify my sinking mood. Although every inch of my legs was sore to the touch, I figured I would at least give it a try. 5 minutes and 34 seconds of painfully slow and arduous shuffling later, I stopped and walked 13 minutes back to the car.
Back at home later, Chris asked how my run went. I told him it went right into a walk. He then made what can only be described as the one major no-no never in a million years should it be said as one athlete married to another:
”My run felt great this morning.”
Now that – not the legs hurting, not the fact that it was 81 degrees in our house, or 89 degrees outside, or construction, or traffic, or no food in the house - no I can look past all of those things but that – THAT – comment went straight to the core. As in ,the core of the grumblebunny – actually scratch that and let’s just say the supergrumblybitch - that is also known as Liz. Let me pull out my cape, with a giant GB, tie it on, and fly back into the kitchen because now you’ve ticked me off and now we are going to have words.
“Now don’t do that,” I said, flinging my supergrumblybitch cape over my shoulder.
He claimed ignorance. Pretended he didn’t get it. But I knew that he knew that I knew what he was doing.
“You know what you’re doing,” I said. This is supergrumblybitch at her best – the old assigning blame to man when he probably has no idea what he just did wrong because his brain does not work the same way as yours and while he was probably just mechanically and factually reporting that he had a good run you took it as a giant pie of nanny-nanny-boo-boo in your face. And you’re in no mood for pie.
“What did I do?” he asked. At least he was curious and willing to try to figure out why I was wearing a black cape with a giant GB on the back.
“That was a dig.” As in, dig into my sore hamstrings a little deeper, why don’t you – just strip me of a few striations to make it hurt even worse.
“No it wasn’t.” Do not lie to the supergrumblybitch directly in her face. DO NOT LIE. You have been warned.
“Yes it was.” If I keep insisting, he will eventually agree.
“No.” At this point, he was laughing, probably wondering how many more times we would go through this cycle of no I didn’t, yes you did.
“Yes.” I will not give this up. I WILL GET THE LAST WORD.
The conversation continued like that for a little while longer. And it could have gone on like that all night. For that is the super power of supergrumblybitch. Capable of prolonging senseless arguments all night long in a single bound.
At some point either Chris gave up or I went to bed. I don’t know. I think we both had enough of me for one night. When I woke up, he asked how I was feeling and I said I was still tired and sore. And instead of telling me he felt like brand new, he offered to massage my legs. Which was a very, very smart thing to say. Because it was still early, and this little bitchy bunny had not started grumbling yet.
Each day I will get less grumbly, my legs will feel better. But I have found that full recovery after a half-Ironman usually takes 10 days. So, husband – and others – tread lightly because we’ve still got a long, possibly bumpy grumbly way to go.