It’s been a few weeks since my injury and I haven’t seemed to be able to recover. I can go about five miles before debilitating pain sets in. It starts in my foot, travels to my toes and then up into my shin, eventually traveling along my IT band to my hip, where it likes to exude a leg-numbing pain. Man, it sucks. So I’m bummed. The marathon is about five weeks away and it’s looking like I’m likely not going to finish it, or run/walk it slow enough to officially DNF. I’m sick over it. Praying for a miracle.
Feels like I’m standing at the edge of a precipice. Scared to take a step back and start over. Terrified to move forward and slip off.
So what happened?
It’s been three weeks since I’ve run. I thought I had a handle on it and was in a good place. I did a 10K my last weekend running. I was just starting to learn how to breathe. Staying the course should have been a no-brainer. And yet, here I am, sitting on my sofa, typing away, wondering how three weeks have gone by so easily without me lacing up.
But they were busy weeks. (I don’t mind reasoning with myself.) Lots of change at work. Many early mornings and a few late nights. A five-day trip to Chicago. Mom visiting from out of town. Signing a new lease. Planning, packing, and purging for the move. But if I’m honest with myself, I can’t discount good old-fashioned laziness in just gearing up and getting out there on my part.
In all honestly, I’m scared to find out how much fitness I’ve lost in these past three weeks. Terrified in fact. I actually wonder if that’s what’s keeping me from restarting. The beginning was so hard.
Now I’m simply running out of time. CARA already kicked off their first long run last weekend. Although official training doesn’t start until mid-June, they’re running together now. And I’m sitting on the couch terrified to get started again.
If it wasn’t for the promise I made to my friends and family, I’d give up now while I’m ahead. Before I go through all of the pain, effort, time, and training to prepare myself to run 26.2 miles. Not to mention, I committed to raise $1,000 for the LUNGevity Foundation in honor (and memory) of my grandmother. Wait, that’s it. She’s the reason I’m doing this. Come to think of it, I couldn’t dream up a better reason to do this. This money will benefit others diagnosed and not-yet-diagnosed with lung cancer. It could be one of my charity dollars that helps find a cure. Now that’s inspiring.
So there it is. I’m still scared, but I have to get back to running. I need to do this. One way or another, I’ll find a way even if it’s only a mile. Tomorrow, I start again.
Photograph © Sherry Keating taken in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
– William Shakespeare
Self doubt is a troublesome thing. I felt it weighing on me while I struggled through my 2.5 miles this afternoon. How am I supposed to go 26 miles and 385 yards if I can’t jog three miles comfortably? I’m so screwed.
Reminding myself that this was just the first run, I listened to my breathing and then looked down at my new watch. I had no idea what it was telling me. Oh, wait, there’s the time. I’ve been running for 4:45? Four minutes and forty-five seconds? No way! Feels like 10. And that’s the way the run went. It was about 80 degrees with a high sky and hot sun. I tried to get my breathing into a rhythm but eventually I’d end up trying to control it too much and just feel winded.
My heels started bothering me so I tried adjusting to land mid-foot, but that just made me shuffle. I ignored the pain and eventually it became dull enough for me to forget about. Although four hours later, they both feel sore, along with the wicked bug bite I got on the back of my calf. I saw a very black insect there when I was stretching, swiped it away and noticed a hard bump with a black stinger, or maybe a leg or antenna, left in its spot. I tore into it with my finger nail and removed whatever was deposited there leaving a small but slightly bloody hole in my leg.
Leg muscles are sore already too. My IT bands are both tight and pissed. Rolling out on the, uh, roller thing, helped. It caused a weird skin irritation on my bare legs, brought tears to my eyes when it was under my hips, but all in all, I think we’ll end up friends. What have I gotten myself into?
My first blog post. The first step in getting to where I want to go. Well, not literally, the first step, more like a stand. Or a lean. A pose. A tip-toe? Anyway, 26.2 miles through the streets of Chicago is where the real goal begins, and ends.
Chicago. I’m so happy the marathon is in Chicago. My grandmother, Carole, grew up and lived there her whole life. I did too, until recently. Selfishly the route, for the most part, is flat. Good ole flat Chicago. For the most part. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I’m freaking out a little right now in fact just thinking about it. Pulse increasing, heart palpitating, heat rising up through my chest into my throat and face. I’m okay, I’m okay. Deep breath. It’s just a really long run. A really long run that six or seven people die while or after each year. But I’m okay.
After the terror subsides, I remember why I’m doing this and that makes me feel better. Good, in fact. I’m remembering and celebrating an amazing woman, for whom without, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. And I’m grateful and honored to be so lucky.