One Step, One Mile, One Day

The past seven weeks have humbled me…being injured with two stress fractures and taking the necessary break from running and training for the NYC marathon has been a mental journey as well as a physical one (and by physical I mean healing and trying not to gain twenty pounds while sitting around like a worthless turd.)

I turn the music up

I got my records on

I shut the world outside until the lights come on

Not to get all religious on you (and as a lapsed Catholic, it’s not my thing ever), but I really feel that this reboot in my life came at just the right time…not that God reached out to me or anything (I don’t think that way and don’t believe that a deity would be intervening in my running schedule no matter what!), but rather that I just got lucky.

Did I just type that?  Do I feel lucky that my calcaneus and tibia cracked, knocking me out of my second marathon dream?

I do.

I was burned out and needed the break.  Maybe turning straight to marathon training after wrapping up the Heartland 39.3 Series and missing my time goal in the three races was too much.  Maybe I just got lazy :-).  Maybe I just needed a kick in the ass, because I had lost my focus and drive, and my training miles were empty.

Maybe the streets alight

Maybe the trees are gone

I feel my heart start beating to my favorite song

I did next to nothing these past weeks.  I took advantage of the time to work on other things, which I will share in upcoming posts, but that chance to redirect my energy isn’t the sole reason I sat on my butt (though I can’t deny that it was nice to not be chained to a fitness routine for awhile.)

Nope…I was scared.  I was scared to make things worse, and when I hopped on the Cybex Arc Trainer and felt mild pain after, I panicked and never got back on.

I pedaled on the low bike and couldn’t get my heart rate up (damn you, superior fitness attributable to years of running!) without upping the resistance to the point where I pressed down hard with my heel and felt pain.

I should have kept up, tried other things, attacked the weights.  But I didn’t.  I took the time to enjoy other interests, I tried to watch my calories (no damn easy feat after eating for 30+ mile weeks!), and I waited.

Meanwhile, I saw runners everywhere, and I felt like I’d been kicked out of the cool club.

Would it have been weird to drive by a runner yelling, “I can do that too!”?  Because I wanted to.  So.  Damn.  Much.

I saw the runners, and I missed the experience.  I craved so many of the things that I had so recently been cursing…prepping my playlist, charging my Garmin and Tech Adapt, gearing and fueling and hydrating…running, by myself, feeling the rhythm of my heartbeat and the synchronization of my steps and my breathing.

I found the drive and the love that I had been missing.

I watched the NYC marathon yesterday morning, and then laced up for my first mile since the first week of September (I went on a few long walks last week to test my pain level.)  It was a beautiful fall afternoon.

I ran one easy mile, not looking at my Garmin, just running with good relaxed form, and finished in a comfortable and pain-free 9:44.  I wandered into a Starbucks, treated myself to my usual nonfat-nowhip-justtwopumpsofsyrup-pleasedon’tthinkofmeashighmaintenance latte, and walked the mile home to stay loose and build up a bit more time on my feet.

It’s a slow start back to the me I want to be, and there might be setbacks, but I am ready for the climb and anxious for the ride.


And all the kids they dance

All the kids all night

‘Til Monday morning seems another life

I turn the music up

I’m on a roll this time

And heaven is in sight