Older and Wiser

Stop me if you have heard this before…Twelve years ago, after training for three months, raising over 2000 pounds for a new playground for my children’s school and then discovering a crisscrossing stress fracture in my left tibia, I, being young and a little stupid, decided to run the marathon anyway. After six months of recovery with no running, I learned my lesson. Never run injured. Since that time, for the most part, I have lived up this this idea , but this year, a redemption year, I struggled. Six weeks ago, I started noticing a niggle in the heel of my foot. I iced it, I elevated it and I even compressed it but I didn’t truly believe it was an injury so I kept running. I ran two sixteen milers and an 18 miler before finally giving in and realizing it was something more than a niggle.

And finally, I rested. For the past three weeks I have been riding my trainer. I have not run. I have seen a doctor and received conflicting reports – Plantar Fasciitis, bone spur, stress fracture. After a definitive MRI, a stress fracture has been ruled out. I, having experienced PF for myself in the past know that this injury is not PF so, with the definitive hook showing on the x-ray, a bone spur seems to be the answer.

So I have been given the all clear, at least that’s what I wanted to hear.

The truth is that I have been given the “run and see how it feels”. Today I will do that. Today I will have to prove that I am truly older and wiser. Because going into this run I have set some ground rules. If it hurts when I start I will continue but only for a mile. If it eases I will continue. If it hurts after a mile I will take a few more days off and test it again.

Running is a huge part of my life. It brings me joy. It relieves stress. It helps me control my weight. But it is not everything. Running is part of who I am but it does not define me. I don’t have to run to be fit. I don’t have to run to stay healthy. But that doesn’t mean I will give it up. On the contrary it means that I will give it up for the short term in order to continue running for the long term. I want to run until they put me in that old pine box. I want to enjoy the feeling of the wind on my face and the ground beneath my feet for as long as possible so I am willing to take some time off. I am willing to miss my upcoming marathon if necessary. I am willing to be patient.

At least that is the plan. Today, I will work on being older and wiser.