Fellow runners, it is time, once again, to bare our souls for Runfessions.
My biggest runfession this month is, of course, my disaster marathon. I won’t dredge up all of the awful details, but for those of you who haven’t read about it, you can find the awful details here.
I knew that I was undertrained for the race; I knew that I had hip issues; I knew that it would be a slow race. What I didn’t realize was how much damage I was doing to my hip by completing the race. I haven’t been able to run since the marathon. As in, I haven’t been able to run at all. Friends and family know that not running makes me a little bit, umm…let’s call it high strung. Maybe tightly wound. Not pleasant to be around. You get the picture.
I talked to Simon, the fitness director at our rec center, about it. Simon was once a professional runner under contract to Nike. When his career was cut short by injury, he came to the United States, willing to work any job – pizza delivery guy, trash man, whatever was available. He is so kind and so personable that when he got his current job at our local rec center, the entire community immediately fell in love with him.
Simon told me “No problem! You will do water running. I will set up your fitness schedule personally.” This lifted my spirits immediately. There is no one I know who is better than Simon to give advice to athletes, and I have the Marine Corps Marathon coming up in two months.
Unfortunately, I must runfess, water running hurt the ankle that I injured in a trail race in June. You can read about that here. Back to square one. Ugh! I am hoping for a miracle at this point. Did I learn my lesson by running the Tunnel Marathon on a sore hip? No, no! Of course not. I figure I can always walk the Marine Corps Marathon. There is a 7.5-hour time limit, which should be plenty of time for me to finish if I walk briskly.
I must runfess that my email inbox is getting pretty full. I get tons of emails advertising various races. Most runners do. I just delete emails from races I am not interested in, but there are several from races that I would really like to do. Some of them include discounts if I act by a certain time. The races are for late fall, winter, and even next spring.
I can’t delete the emails, because I would really like to do the races. I can’t sign up for the races, because I am injured and don’t know what my recovery timeline will look like. Right now, I am in racing limbo – not a pleasant place to be.
I have one final runfession that puts all of my other runfessions in perspective. Last weekend was a milestone anniversary for Bill and me. We are taking a trip to Italy next month to celebrate, but we wanted a little celebration on our actual anniversary, so we did a quick weekend at a bed and breakfast about an hour away from our home.
There was a birthday party going on at the bed and breakfast when we checked in. The guest of honor was a woman about my age who looked to be very trim and fit, with stylish short blond hair.
Her 30-year-old daughter was giving a toast to her mom. As part of the toast, after some glowing tributes, she said that she was trying to remember something that her mom had done wrong so she could rib her about it a little bit. She couldn’t think of anything. I remember thinking “Boy, if my kids were giving me a toast, they would have plenty of ammunition. I have made so many mistakes.”
The next morning at breakfast, I was talking to the birthday woman. She confided in me that she is battling a very aggressive form of cancer and was never expected to make it to this birthday. She was very proud of her daughter for giving the toast and so thankful for her friends and family who gathered to celebrate.
This made me feel ashamed for complaining about a sore hip and reminded me just how incredibly lucky I am to have the health, determination and financial ability to travel and run races, something I love to do. I have no right to whine. I resolved to do better.
Thank you for allowing me to runfess. I feel cleaner and lighter already. See you next month for September’s Runfessions.