I have been sadly negligent of this blog. I tried to get motivated to write about some of the things that have happened – but I haven’t had time, and perhaps haven’t always had motivation. But I have a new direction that I want to take with this blog – I’ll still probably cover fun things and vacations and such – but I want to mostly focus this blog on my journey – hopefully to redemption, but, if not, then at least to peace, understanding, and acceptance.
My friends know that I spent the better part of my spring and summer training for a marathon – training to qualify for the Boston marathon. It was a dream that I hatched in the spring of 2012. I made one attempt in January at the Walt Disney World marathon, and was 5 minutes too slow. This was my next try – September 8th at the Lehigh Valley Via Marathon.
My facebook friends also know that things went badly awry that day. I fell, was carted off the course, didn’t finish – much less qualify. I fractured my nose in three places, had a huge deep gash inside my mouth near the jawline, got stitches for a wound in my left knee, and had lacerations all over my face. So instead of a finisher’s medal, a BQ time, and the right to race in Boston – I got time in the hospital, medical bills I will need to pay, and a tough road to come back from.
I looked a mess – I went to work anyway that Tuesday and the rest of that week. I didn’t run at all. At the time, I was desperately holding on to the idea that I could rebound and try again at a marathon in early December. I so dearly wanted to have all that training count, to take advantage of the great shape I had gotten myself into, and not to have it all taken away. I needed to believe. I needed to believe that that freak accident had not just taken all of that away from me.
So I tried – but last Friday, I came to the realization that it wasn’t going to happen, my body wasn’t going to make it. And I threw in the towel on a December marathon. I was devastated again – because the full loss finally hit me. All that training, all that fitness – wouldn’t matter – it won’t last. More importantly – in the weeks leading into the marathon – I felt like an athlete – strong and athletic. I have never felt that way in my life – I’ve always felt like the geek, not particularly athletic, not particularly strong or tough. And I loved it – I loved the way I felt, I loved the way I looked at my new lower weight, I loved being in such great shape.
And now I have doubt and fear and uncertainty. My calves have been really problematic recently which is what made me stop training – they were too painful to run several days, and I had to realize I wouldn’t be able to do the mileage I needed. And I have been running at a slower pace since the fall – in my base pace runs, it seemed I was naturally running half a minute a mile slower than I used to naturally run. And my running didn’t feel comfortable or smooth.
So I have doubt – I don’t know if I will have the courage to toe the line at another marathon. I don’t know if my body will be able to sustain the mileage needed for marathon training without breaking down like it is now. I don’t know if I’ll ever run as fast – why is my speed so much slower? Will I ever feel strong and athletic again?
Now – I don’t have a plan. I don’t know what’s next. Will I pick another marathon – and when? I’m out of the country for all of February helping out at the Sochi Olympics – so I’m unsure if I’ll be able to run at all during that period of time (running paths? facilities? will my schedule permit it?). And if I do zero running for that entire month – I don’t think I could get ready for a late June marathon – it’s 16 weeks, but I would be starting from a base of zero. It seems tricky to pick a marathon in July/August – because the heat would certainly act against my attempt to qualify. And if not then – the only option is early September to make the registration deadline for Boston – the only real option I see for that time period is Lehigh Valley – and I am fairly sure that I can’t toe that line as my next marathon, maybe ever.
Which means – maybe I have to give up my Boston goal another year – and try and qualify for Boston 2016. Which feels so far off – it almost doesn’t seem worth it – hard to think that far off right now.
So I was really down this past weekend. I’ve started to come around this week. And I thought that it would help me to share my story – to see where this journey takes me. Will I try again? When? Will I let go of my Boston dream? Will I regain the runner I used to be? I don’t know what I’ll do at this point or where I’ll go.
I know myself well enough to know that I’ll probably try again. I also know that there are a lot of ups and downs to come. This is my blog, this is my journey.