Hope Floats

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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 with a friend last weekend, going from Modesto to Placer County.  This friend 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.  PAnd, 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.

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2 Weeks Out

In two weeks, I’ll toe the line again for a half marathon.  The same race I’ve run so many times, and my comeback from last summer’s injury.  I’ve been patiently crossing off the workouts, and noticed today that there are so many S’s on this page.  A month ago, I had a 10 day illness that had me crazed from not being about to train.  Two days ago, I woke with a similar scratchy throat feeling.

So.  I’m 2 weeks out.  Only one more long run of 9 miles on Wednesday coming up, but I can’t shake that same feeling.  I could have done more.  I could have trained harder.  These thoughts are followed by the notion that you cannot go back.  You simply have to show up on race day with what you have.

The hay is in the barn, but it’s sort of wobbly, stacked funny.  I’m not sure if all the pistons will be firing correctly on that morning, but there is simply nothing to do about it now, except…go forward.  I’m excited, no matter how the race comes out, because last summer, I was begging the gods for just one more chance.  You have no idea how much you want to run…when you can’t.

Hay_Barn

panic at the disco.

Last Saturday, I ran 5 miles.  Ran/Walked my 3/1 recovery run.

It was the most amazing run.  Fun and exhilarating.

Reclaiming the other side of the tracks, so to speak.

Sunday I woke with a bruise on the top of my foot.

Right over the exact spot of my Summer injury.

I’m resting the foot, just lifting weights.

And several times a day, I’m looking at the thing…like

“Is this real?  Am I imagining things”

I ask my friends…does this look like a bruise to you?  Does it?

I have my doctor’s appointment in 10 days.  I plan on taking it easy.

Because now.  This just got real.  And you, if you’re planning on starting a run program?

Then.  This picture is for you.

acceptance.

 

I’m in a holding pattern.

In the last few weeks, I’ve become quiet to the issue of running or not running again.  My body is starting to forget that I used to run.  My running shoes are now gym shoes.  Going to the market shoes.  My clothing is tucked away…and I have slowly watched myself get out of running mode.

Losing running this Summer was devastating at first.  I’m not an overly fit person normally.  I found running at such a late stage of my life, that it was really not part of my persona.  But.  It is now.  I look longingly at people running in the heat…like a dog at the window wanting to go outside.

So, I tried not to gain too much weight (I think I’m at 7 pounds right now), and I tried to do the best I could at getting in exercise…and also became aware that I might not be able to run again.  Ever.  So, I’ve done a little grieving about it, and have gotten into acceptance.

In one week I go to the doctor.  If he says I can’t run, I will be okay.  I have enough of everything I’ve ever needed.  I have so far been blessed with 3 years of runs and races.  I have met friends that I have reconnected with, who don’t run anymore either, or have shifted away from that obsessive-compulsive behavior…who are more well-rounded.  They have shared with me ways they dealt with the shift of a new type of life…not one where every weekend is built around a race.

Still.  I am hoping for the best.  I am hoping I can run right out of the doctor’s office.  If not, I have accepted my limitations…and I’m okay with that.

we are close.

we are very very close.

after today.  there will be 15 days.

and on the 15th day when i close my eyes.

the next day.  that will be the day

i can go to the doctor and i can run.

or he can tell me i can run.

this absence of running has me abs0lutely smackered.

the treadmill is my new friend, and

even 60 minutes of straight cardio on 3 venues.

well.  it isn’t the same.

i have lifted.  i’m familiar with all the gym people.

but for me?  i have to run.  it’s in my soul.

i wanna play this game of water tag too 🙂

 

Treadmill Love. August. Day 2.

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I will have to admit.  When I see people running on the treadmill, I have often thought…gee, why would you want to get on that thing when you have the WHOLE outdoors at your disposal?  A few times, I have had to run on the treadmill.  I mean, like 2 times max.  I would rather run in the heat or the freezing rain than have to run in the same place over and over and over.  So, in 5 years of running, I may have used this machine in only dire straights.  At our gym, they have TVs hooked on them…so, add to the stabbiness of using the machine, I now get claustrophobia as well.

I was cleared on Monday to start walking on the treadmill.  I didn’t go to the gym.  I just avoided the thing altogether.  I just couldn’t bring myself to workout in this fashion.  Plus, by coincidence, my foot started to hurt.  Like my middle cuneiform was screaming…don’t DO that!  Don’t use that machine!  Wait until I’m all healed so that you can run like a proper athlete.

But.  Today.

I went to the gym, forcing myself to step on the machine.  It scared me.  Not for the reasons you think.  Not because I can’t use it, but because, I simply want to run.  I was afraid if I stepped on there, that I would just start running, and harm my chances of ever coming back.  I started at 2.5mph for 15 minutes.  I was so bored.

And then I thought…I better learn to love this thing.  This is my recovery, and there is no use hating the thing until I get back to running.

So.  I walked for .64 of a mile.  I burned 60 calories.  And, I will count my miles until August 27th, when I can hopefully HOPEFULLY run.