You knew. I knew. I felt it deep in my heart the second I picked up the phone to call the physical therapist and my orthopedist three weeks ago. But, I lived in optimism (denial?) for a few weeks. Today, the final stage of this process has begun.
I am bagging the Flora London Marathon. Bottom line: I’m injured for real, folks, and this hammie ain’t gonna be strong enough on April 26th to get me through 26.2 miles without further harm to body and soul.
You know. There are nine million dusty bits caught up in the emotional tornado, which scrape at my guts, now that I’ve made this decision. I’m not going to drag us through them all; many of them are in these comments here (you guys are super-insightful). As I told my physical therapist and orthopedist today, “My running is more important than this race.” Forget the fact that I’ve been anticipating this race for a full year.
As Mike (PT guy) left me after half an hour of painful therapy with wet heat on my butt, he rested his hand on my upper back and said, “You are a runner; you made the best decision.”
My orthopedist told me, after a second x-ray and a script for an MRI (finally! Friday at 7 AM), “Absolutely. Best not to risk further injury.”
Colleague, hasher and GMR relay runner JMK said, “I voted for you to not go.”
My boss, my hardass boss, got soft around the eyes when I told her I’d be in the office next week since I wasn’t going to London for my race. I could tell she sincerely felt bad when she said, TK, “You were out running in the freezing rain and dark while I was home watching American Idol and drinking wine!”
Husband, sweet Husband, let me sniffle and cry and go on about how not only was I disappointed in more ways than I could express, but I was also afraid of being a disappointment. What kind of athlete am I, a wuss-ass injury-prone weakling? And I told all these people who donated money I’d run a marathon for Dan! He smacked that insanity down right quick.
Tonight is my allotted night to let the disappointment flow. I called my folks, my brother. I called Dan and his wife to tell them about the anticlimactic development in my fundraising for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. This weekend I’ll start researching and laying the groundwork for Plan B. Planning always energizes me, so that will be a nice distraction, actually.
I’m allowed to use the elliptical and the bike at the gym, as long as I’m pain-free during & after. I sadly tucked Little G away again tonight, after waking him up yesterday for my 30-minute test drive. And so it goes! I am just one of many runners–of any distance–who have had to put their racing on hold as they recovered from an injury. I have begun to think that, while I would never wish this situation on any athlete, it is perhaps a runner’s rite of passage to get injured, recover, establish adaptive training programs to prevent further injury, and come back strong… stronger, even. Perhaps injuries are as much apart of being a runner as PRs are.
My recovery mantra: My running is more important than any one race.
Such drama. I’m ready for a very pedestrian Plan B, with no drama, just lots of workhorse PT, careful recovery, and training. Starting on Tuesday. Tonight, I’m drinking another bottle of red, tomorrow is Cousins’ Margaritas at Rosa Mexicano, and Friday night is my traditional Taper Feast with my best friend, her boyfriend and Husband (feast is still on even though the taper is obsolete). I raise my wine glass to you, dear readers, swift runners.