This is hard to write. I’ve only talked to a few people about this. But, last Thursday was my last run. For now.
I have been in denial for a week. Typical stages of grieving. Bargaining with God to let me just run 3 miles and I will be okay and never eat donuts again I promise. I go back and forth between bargaining and denial.
Two weeks ago, my left foot hurt. It’s been 2 years since the derailment after the SLO Marathon, and a subsequent cast and boot. The drama of only swimming, and no running. And, I thought I was fine.
Last week, I had the long run (my last post), and then rested 4 days. During that week, I went to my orthopedic doctor. He took an x-ray of my feet, and said that, interestingly enough, my right foot has a broken and healed bone in it, and that it’s fine. But. He didn’t know about my left foot, and ordered an MRI.
He said the same thing to me as he said 2 years ago. Don’t run a marathon, Linda. You have 5 marathons under your belt. I think you’re good. Of course I ignored this. I will wait for the MRI, I said. He looked at me. And, he said…Would you like to have both of your feet in casts? I skipped out the door, not letting that one sink into my psyche.
I ran 4 miles on Thursday night. Happy. So happy, even though at Mile 2.5, my feet hurt. On Friday, trying to get some more miles in the bank, I was scheduled for 6. It was the most sluggish run I’d had in a while, save for the long run, which is always hard for me. I couldn’t do it. At mile 5.72, I stopped. Like Forrest Gump stopped. I cried. Because I knew. I knew I was done. I called 7 people to talk to someone. Bawling. No one answered, and I left no voicemails. I finally gave up, and made the call I should have made in the first place.
To my sponsor. And I was crying, because I knew I had to face the truth, that maybe at 55, I am just done. We talked. I cried. She talked. And then she made me promise. No running at all until the MRI. And I agreed, because I mostly will do anything she asks. Mostly. She is always right. She is not my coach. She doesn’t run. But, she knows my heart, and she knows that I will run when I shouldn’t…because I must.
I have posted nothing about running. I am walking. I am at the gym, lifting weights. I worked 11 hour shifts this week and it kept me busy, and between that and basketball, I didn’t have time to process. Today, I did the blood work the ortho wanted… to check my vitamin D, etc. I sat down for the first time today, and I just started to well up inside. I envision taking all my medals, and boxing them up, and putting them far far away. Because that’s how I am. All or nothing.
For now, the LAMarathon is on hold. Because that is also how I am. Hopeful. Always hopeful. I talked to my coach who agreed it is best to take care of myself, and to not worry about that bib. However, I was crushed at not being able to do LA.
And now, I hope. I hope I can run a 5k.
If you are new to this blog, you know that the last 5 years of running have saved me. Saved my life through a mad divorce in a small town, raising two boys singlehandedly, saving and losing and saving a house. It has been my salve when I was sad, and my intense joy during good times. I never have experienced what they call “The Runner’s High”. That’s because I love everything about running. The good, bad and the ugly. All of it.
I was on the back of a Harley last weekend, going from Modesto to Placer County. He knew what I was going through with this, and as we drove through Ripon, I started to cry. I looked around as we were going by the three exits, and I remember every mile I’ve put on these streets. I was so emotional, because these streets. They know everything. And, he was so sweet to me. Knew I was grieving. Just let me sob, then took me gambling. (It helped.) And, as soon as we got to Manteca, the tears stopped.
Then, I stopped feeling about it for awhile.
Like, all week…(except for those private snatches of conversation with people who knew.)
Saying goodbye. I’m not sure I can. So, for now. I wait.
And since I’m a believer in miracles, I’ll keep my shoes ready. Just in case.