Running For Change

If you want to run forever, some times you can not run today – I will not be running in the 2014 marathon

Life is funny. Hardly anything seems to go as predicted or hoped for. On the other hand, if it has, then perhaps you have not taken too many risks. Me, I love risks and adventure. This journey of marathon has certainly been an adventure filled with risks. As I have learned in 2012 and 2013, you can plan for what you believe will happen but will then be faced with elements you had never imagined. The brutal heat of 2012 struck me down and then the terrible bombing of 2013 redefined what I take for granted in life. Well, the 2014 year has introduced me to an element of challenge that I would have never predicted would stand in the way of me and finally cross the finish line at the Boston marathon. That element is myself.
In January of this year, I once again twisted my left ankle and was unable to run for the better part of that month. At the same time, as I had mentioned in an earlier post, I started developing a lack of energy and drive to give my training 110%. I must admit, the second year of grieving over the loss of both my parents has been much more challenging than the first. It is real, it is official and it is now a deep cycle. Holidays, life experiences and seasons without this former pillar is very heavy. It is this weight that has occupied much of my mind and heart over the last several months. Because of this, it has been very challenging to train since I recovered from my ankle twist.
While I have been running every week and have been pushing myself as hard as I can, my thresh hold for maximum capacity has been far too limited by this occupation. I have skipped out on the gym too many times and strength conditioning, which is crucial, has fallen off the program. With out strong legs, other parts of your body will attempt to compensate for this deficit and this is how injuries develop. Recently, I hit a wall adorned with several small injuries on my left leg. My planters tendon is strained, my arch is collapsing and my hip joint and muscle tissue are profoundly sore and painful. I hit this wall after struggling through a 15 mile run on a tredmil at the gym, which is the longest distance I have completed so far. Once my physical therapist finished wrapping my left foot up in tape, I put my shoes on and walked out of my gym. On my way out the door, a good friend of mine who works at this location asked me if I had good news. My response was “yes and No”. This was my reply because while my therapist told me I just needed 5 days wroth of rest before I could run again, I knew that there was an important decision I needed to make.
If my leg was this strained after a 15 miler run on a tredmil (which is easier to run on than on actual earth), then what would happen in a marathon? If my body is starting to seriously destruct at 15 miles, then 26.2 miles will bring forth a whole different level of pain and destruction. I realized that because of how things have unfolded over the last several months, there is a decision that I need to make. It may not be one which I want, but it is one I need.
I will not be running in the Boston marathon. While this breaks my heart in many ways, quite possibly forcing myself to seriously injure myself and risk great damage will result in something that perhaps my heart can never recover from. A friend of mine on facebook recently posted that if you want to run forever, some times you can not run today. He has also found himself in the middle of an injury and hs been writing about his frustrations. I truly do want to run forever, and today, I can not run.
So how do I feel? More than anything, proud. However, at a very close second place, I feel sad. The marathon brings me very close to the presence of my parents, there is purpose in the marathon and it simply brings me great joy. Although this is breaking my heart, this experience has shown me that I need to be taking better care of myself, both physically and emotionally. Fortunately, I am now working on both of these with great motivation and energy. I am not giving up, I am simply slowing down.
So what do I do now? Well, aside from having an adult beverage and some junk food, I need to plan how I will enter the 2015 Boston marathon. On July 25th, I am planning to run in the Around the Lake Marathon in Wakefield, Mass. I will be resting over the next three weeks and will completely restart my training regiment, much of which will include serious strength conditioning and appropriate weight lifting. I will use this marathon to time qualify for 2015 and this should be very doable, as the course is a very flat 3-mile loop around a lake. Interestingly, the marathon starts at 9:00pm, so I will be running until about 1:15 or 1:30 in the morning.
Part of me has always wanted to take a step back and contribute to the marathon as a spectator. Quite honestly, I can not think of a better marathon to do such a thing. This is going to be an amazing day and thousands of people will be pouring their hearts out as they pound through the 26.2 mile trek. I will be along the sidelines shouting out and giving my love to them all as they run by and head towards the finish line. For many reasons, I will cry that day. I will close this post with two quotes from past entries.

“Fighting is not when you push something out of your way, fighting is when you accept something and face that entity.”

“I am going to keep doing the one thing I know how to do: moving forward.”

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