"Everything changed the day I understood that if I was to become a runner, I would have to run with the body I had." John Bingham, The Courage to Start
I read this quote in the blog of my friend Amy and it really struck me. I need to take it to heart and stop beating myself up every time I step on the scale. Amy will be part of my group at the Outer Banks in a couple of weeks running the full marathon, her very first! She inspires me. Amy learned to swim recently so she could compete in a triathlon and hasn’t let anything stop her. This is what I love about running, all the people overcoming their fears and getting out there even though they aren’t top athletes, even though they aren’t going to win, but just to be part of something and show they can do it.
We are all up against our own bodies. Maybe we carry a few extra pounds that slow us down, maybe we have nagging injuries, illnesses, or busy lives, but we get out there and run. Images like Paula Radcliffe sitting in the curb, head in hands, remind us this is not unique to amateurs, but we keep running. When we can’t run, we obsess about it.
I blew it last week. I’ve been doing too much speed work, desperate for the sub 54 10K that will give me the confidence to try to break 2 hours in the half marathon at OBX. “Desperate” is the problem. As I hurdled down the street, doing an 800 meter interval, I leaped off the curb and landed with a sickening pain in my calf. It was such a graceful leap. I was enjoying every moment of being airborne, planning to land with the precision of a ballet dancer in toe shoes, instead I nearly crumpled to the ground. 1 ½ weeks to the 10K, 2 ½ weeks to the half marathon, and I’m limping down the street trying to figure out who to call to pick me up. After a few minutes on the curb I started walking, bending my knees and finding a way to walk without pain. Once I got the walking down, and realized I still had over a mile to go, I tried a slow jog. I was able to very slowly plod home (turned out that jogging hurt less than walking) and won’t try running again until Saturday. If I can’t run Saturday, I won’t run at all for a week. It will be a long stressful week, but better a week than a month or a year.
So, I’m on a forced running vacation, but it won’t be forever.