An Update from the (Previously) Injured Runner
Two significant anniversaries occur within seven days of each another: November 6 marked the three year anniversary of a friend's death, and November 14 will mark the sixth anniversary of the day I began an adventure that would forever alter my perspective and world view. This span of time provokes a more emotional response to most situations and I find myself reflecting a little more deeply. In other words, you've been warned.
In my work with patients and families, I often suggest that there is always room for hope. Sometimes, the outcome we're hoping for is no longer realistic; we must alter our original expectations when we are presented with a revised set of circumstances so we hope for a different, more meaningful outcome.
I am still injured? Is the way that I feel today as good as I should expect to feel? Should I explore a different outcome or be content with the progress that I've already made? I don't really have answers for these questions right now, but I am full of hope.
My first interaction with my friend Courtney was online, through her blog, in fall 2013; we have since met in real life and I look forward to seeing her very soon. She ran her first marathon in November of that year, the Richmond Marathon, and in her race recap she posted a picture of the blanket she received at the finish. I've been wanting one of those blankets for four years. [Courtney, if you read this, it is so amazing to see how much progress you've made since this first race; so proud of you.]
The Richmond Marathon was supposed to be my "goal" race this year; I wanted to train hard and set a new marathon PR, trying to inch closer to that unicorn (a Boston Marathon qualifying time). After my spring injury, I knew that would not be possible; hell, an orthopedic doctor told me, back in June, that I'd "be better off staying away from running; you should use it more like a cross training activity and find another sport for regular training like cycling or swimming." But I still want one of those blankets.
On Saturday, November 11, just one day shy of eight months from the race that illuminated my body's weaknesses and left me scrambling for answers, I'm going to get that f#*king blanket at the Richmond Half Marathon. That blanket is my hope for Saturday's race, among other things: have fun; don't lose a finger (it's going to be a little chilly in Richmond); stick with the plan; acknowledge and celebrate the extra work I've put in to strengthen my body and make this day possible.
After a three month break from running (June - August), I'd love nothing more to magically be in the shape I was in when I set my half marathon PR in December last year; however, my circumstances have changed and, in order to continue doing this thing that I love, I must alter my expectations...for now. There is always room for hope.