This morning I felt a bit distressed not having been able to attempt my first 100M this summer, i.e., the Mohican. It has now been two months since I last ran (The Capon Valley 50K). The past several days I have been reflecting back on that race.
Well, the recovery regimen keeps bumping up in length and intensity. For example, we've added more strength exercises and bumped up the ankle weight to 5 lbs. Yesterday, I pitched the compression wrap and only took a couple Ibuprofen. Every day I feel stronger. This morning I walked a mile down by the river and felt fine. I then went to the gym and after my PT routine I did 20 minutes on the stationary bike! This is a big step in the right direction because I can now finally get in at least a semblance of a true cardio workout.
In a few hours, I will head to the pool in my quest to learn how to swim. Unfortunately, I still can't use my legs but I can use a pool buoy. The swim coach Beth Byron is outstanding and has the patience of Job :-)
It was wonderful to be out there at the start with the grey storm clouds, the wind blowing, and the rain trickling down my face. At that point in time, there would have been no other place I would have rather been. Dannielle Ripper and I started off together the first couple of miles before we parted company. The first aid station passed. Then another. Then another. I ended up bumping into Eric Ripper and we ran together for a considerable distance. The scenery was really nice and Eric and I were having such an enjoyable conversation that the miles just zipped on by. Finally, the sun broke free just about the time I knew I could finish ... it was quite emotional ... I felt overcome with gratitude for I knew that this would be the last race for many months.
I set no PR that day but I discovered that I am really blessed to have some good friends that have been and are a solid support system. I also realized that there is something about the heart of a long-distance runner. It does not matter how much pain, mentally or physically, you are in. It does not matter if the external forces of life have seemed to have conspired against you. When I am running I feel safe living only in the moment where time is measured only by my footfall. My mind becomes a blank palette and I focus occasionally only on the rhythm of my breathing. And all is right with the world after a good run ...
I patiently wait for that first mile back.