It's Saturday afternoon. It’s sunny and beautiful and not too hot outside. It’s a perfect Chicago day to be out and about, enjoying the final moments of summer.
To be quite frank, I really don’t give a fuck. I think I will just lie in bed and write a blog and dose off with the hopes that the ability to walk eventually returns to my legs.
So… yeah… against the advice of running friends, blogging runners, and a physical therapist, I did the 18-mile run today.
I know. I may pay for choosing to go against conventional wisdom regarding my injury, but I weighed my options very carefully and decided, after two days of rest, that this run had to happen now… or never. And, I use the word “run” loosely. Very loosely.
First, my reasoning… In a week and a half, I am leaving for Europe. Awesome? Yes. But, unfortunately, this means I will miss the so-very-important 20-mile training run and the critical last few weeks of training. When I thought about my situation, I knew I had to get out there today, and I had to make it 18 miles on my feet – running, walking, tangoing, whatever. I can rest my IT band in Europe. I can rest for realz when I’m dead.
And besides, it’s an amazing day out there. I wanted to run.
So I did... for four miles until I started to “feel” my knee. At the hydration station I found a run/walk group similarly paced and decided to leave my people in favor of that one-minute walking break every five minutes. I gathered it would take some pressure off of my knee. I made it to mile 12 with the run/walk group. I walked/limped for about two miles back to the hydration station where I happened to catch my normal running buddies – Lindy and Meg. I went off with them certain that I would eventually – if not sooner – be walking again. I lost them fairly quickly, but attempted to run as much as possible through the next two miles of the course. I walked/limped the final two miles. One of the CES coaches was nice enough to hang back with me, and he (a total cutie) and I chatted about whether or not I should train for a triathlon next year (he’s the tri coach) and — oh right – my injury. He agreed that just being out here, on my feet for 18 miles, was extremely important if I was going to be mentally prepared for the race.
I truly believe I did the right thing. Even if I aggravated my injury, I have time to rest it. I am, though slowly and not so steadily, happy I finished the training “run.” And, I’ve appreciated everyone’s – on the blog and beyond – input as to how I can best manage my injury. The first goal is to make it to the start line of the marathon. The next goal is to make it to the finish line. I realize now that I am going to have to be at peace with whatever happens between those two lines. But that’s what this is all about… pushing and accepting limits. Humbling and truly inspiring all at once.