The Houston Marathon is in 11 days.
I still cannot walk without a limp. Running, which I attempted briefly on Tuesday is pretty much a joke at this point.
I was not able to make it two houses down the block before I had to shut it down, tuck tail and hobble back to the house.
To say that I am frustrated would be a colossal understatement. After more than 600 days of injury free running and racing we are officially injured. This is not just the traditional aches and pains associated with the marathon taper where your body begins to heal itself from all the intense training. I’ve been there before and have dealt with that.
This is completely different. Our left foot/Achilles tendon is tender, inflamed and cannot push off or flex the way it is meant to. Even walking right now is difficult. Sadly, there will be no marathon for us next Sunday.
There is a small part of me, the competitive side, that is still holding out hope that my body is able to heal itself and the pain will vanish just as quickly and unreasonably as it arrived. But with each passing morning when I open my eyes, flex my foot and it feels “perfect” – I realize when it hits the floor and I take my first step to the bathroom that another 24 hours has come and gone and nothing has changed.
From a fitness standpoint I am riding the TRI Bike up on the trainer to keep the legs moving and our cardio in decent shape. After missing the last 10 days or so of running, I am probably losing just enough fitness that we would be on the outside looking in at a sub 3 hour marathon next Sunday anyway.
But it is funny when something that you love to do is taken away from you. I just want to run right now.
A mile or 26.2 miles – fast or slow – it really doesn’t matter. I just want an opportunity to pin on that bib and try my best. There is only a handful of people on this planet that truly care how fast a race I ran down in Houston. But I know a lot more who would be disappointed in me if I didn’t show up to try.
Right now, 2013 is not exactly starting out the way that I had planned. I am holding off on looking at other races, trying to determine when and where I can “jump into another marathon” and try to run my time. Until I can run past the neighbor’s house down the block and not wince in pain with ever step – that is just pure folly.
But one day soon I am sure I will be able to. Runners get injured. That’s just the reality of our sport.
Runners also go a little bit crazy when they can’t run. That is another reality of our sport.
I’m trying my best to just keep it all in perspective. Not get too down. After all there are far worse tragedies in the world than me not getting a chance to run in a marathon next weekend.
Then I think of all the early mornings I dragged myself out of bed to run 10, 12, 16 miles before work. Run two-a-days on Tuesdays. Hill Repeat after hill repeat. Interval work, marathon pace runs and raced my ass off to prepare for next Sunday. All for naught. So blame me if you will for being a mixture of angry and frustrated right now.
Not breaking 3 hours I could live with. No shame in that, it is something that very few marathoners and especially 45-year-old marathoners ever do.
Not getting a chance to try? That one stings a little bit – I have to admit.
If things do not improve and we don’t make the trip down to Houston this year we’ll simply defer until next year and we will reload and go for it again I suppose. For those of you who will be racing next Sunday do me a favor and leave it all out there on the course. When the marathon starts to push you, push back. Don’t give an inch and remember how much you love to run. How grateful you are for the opportunity to be there. How lucky you are to be in that position with 6 miles or 4 miles or 2 miles to go.
Wish I was going to be there with you. Kick asphalt.