Today, I Can Run… and I Will!
In 2008, after at least 20 surgeries, endless hours of therapy and enough pain pills to fill a house, I went for a walk on the Union Tow Path hardly daring to hope that I could run again.
Words from about twenty doctors played in my mind, “Running is definitely a thing of your past.” But words from one doctor played louder, “If you want to try running, go for it. Just make sure you listen to your body.”
After vacillating between excited and terrified to try… I picked up my feet and shuffled for 30 seconds or so.
I ran! I did it!! Slowly and painfully, but I run.
That began my slow journey back to an activity that I love and keeps me sane. Over the next year, I slow increased my running and my legs began to feel better. In April 2009, along with many friends, I ran my first post-accident race. I did 4.6 miles as part of a relay team at the Garden Spot Village Marathon.
April 4, 2010… I ran 6 miles as part of a relay team at the Garden Spot Village Marathon.
April 10, 2011… I ran the half-marathon (13.1) at the Garden Spot Village Marathon.
March 31, 2012… I’m running 8.1 miles as part of a relay team at the Garden Spot Village Marathon.
I’m part of relay team again this year, because I ran a half-marathon five weeks ago and I don’t want to push my body too hard. One key thing I’ve learned over the past four years since I’ve returned to running is that doctor was right, I have to listen to my body.
So today the distance does not concern me (not like the almost-overwhelming thought of doing 26.2 miles on May 20th, but I’m not thinking about that today) but for the past few days the weather forecast was anything but pleasant. Temps around 40 with rain, soaking at times.
I’m generally optimistic, but with a forecast like that, what’s there to be optimistic about?!
Pain pills have not been part of my world for four years, but I still have pain and cold weather, especially rainy cold weather is not my friend. Every spot on my body that was injured (which were many!) cries and complains… and I’m a bundle of aches and pains.
Garden Spot puts on one of the best organized races and I love running there. But I was doing nothing but complaining yesterday, because the forecast discouraged me. Though I’m doing the third leg of the relay, I’ve organized two teams, so I want to be there at the start and finish for everyone… which means I could be there for four or five hours.
I was so frustrated with the forecast last evening, I had to remind myself of how far I’ve come and what I can do… so I made this picture.
And thankfully when I woke up this morning… the forecast is better, now there’s only chance of showers for an hour or so. So time to make oatmeal (the breakfast of champions!) and head to a race!
UPDATE AFTER THE RACE: Apparently this reflective post helped me. I focused on the positive, ie: what I have. Instead of the negative, ie: what all is not perfect today.
My planned 8.1 miles went well, though it rained lightly for about 30 minutes or so. I felt good when I finished, so I continued running and did the next leg (6 miles) with my friend for a total of 14. 1 miles.
That’s the longest distance I’ve ran since before the accident!!
I’m tired and my legs ache, but nothing is hurt or injured. I’m happy about that. And that gives me confidence for the full-marathon in May :)