Sunday morning with the sun still below the horizon in downtown Houston the gun will fire and the sound of 30,000 feet striking the ground will start as runners fire out across the mat at the Chevron Houston marathon.
Or 29,998 feet anyway.
Our two feet will be just starting to mill around the house in Austin, TX.
The bad news is we are still on the shelf from a strained Achilles tendon as our training for the Houston marathon was just entering its final stage and into the taper.
The good news is we are close to being back to running. Very close.
I have regained the flexibility and a great deal of the strength on my left side.
I can now stand on my left foot only and balance with my right knee pulled up high to my chest like a runner would in a toe-off sprint position.
A week ago I could not balance on my left foot for more than a second.
I can now raise my entire body weight up onto my toes standing just on my left foot.
A week ago I could not.
There is no more “pain” in the Achilles or left foot area – I am close. Very close.
What remains now is the fear that I am not 100% and the residual doubt about how those first strides are going to feel. What taking on an incline is going to do to the area, am I going to aggravate the situation further or will I continue to move forward and back to full recovery without setbacks. The unknown is what is ahead of us.
Runners can’t stand the unknown.
As a group, I think we would rather try and fail then simply never find out – and that is what fuels runners on race day to test their limits.
On Sunday without me there, a 45-year-old runner from Virginia Beach is going to cross that start line and run the race of his life. His text to me said:
“I’m going for it. If I blow up, I blow up. Nothing to lose”.
Typically when I put a training plan together, in the footer of the document I will put an inspirational quote for me to look at every morning when I cross off my run, swim, bike ride, strength training session or rest day. I read the words and think about them for a moment, helping them build my confidence and focus day after day until race day.
For Run for Dom I had a quote from Steve Prefontaine, for Austin it was a quote from Dom, for Boston last year, Bill Bowerman.
As I put my training plan together for the Pocono Marathon on May 19th in Pennsylvania – I added a new author to the bottom of the page from Virginia Beach.
Steve Speirs – “I‘m going for it. If I blow up, I blow up. Nothing to lose.”
Exactly right Steve, my sentiments exactly. You do your thing on Sunday. I’ll follow suit on May 19th.
Knock ’em dead my friend, I would give just about anything to be there with you.