I went to the Dr. office on Monday. He said the words that I’ve wanted to hear, “yes Eva, you can run”. He said lots of other words too, but I must admit that I wasn’t nearly as focused on them as I was on my clearance. Yes, there are more things to do with my “treatment plan” and yes, I’m not fully healed…cartiledge tears take time…but I can resume training. YES!
Next, I had to decide how much I wanted to push it on Saturday. It killed me to miss Segahunda after my injury, and I searched the internet to find another trail marathon. It was between a race in Philly or Mohican. I NEEDED to race. I was willing to travel, and I wanted hills, mud, roots, single track---the whole nine yards. Rog and I both had a couple DNS's that were bothering us. We both ultimately decided to run Mohican. He was doing the 50 miler and me the marathon.
The problem was, he was working his
subtle powers of
persuasion to get me to join him on the 50M. I said,”no”, but I was thinking about it. He brought in reinforcements. I said “no” to her...still thinking
about it. Then I went for a
run, and I said “no” for myself. I stopped thinking about it after that.
Yes, I could do the 50, and I was tempted, but this is not the time. I decided to actually put a few of my under-used common sense brain cells to work, and blast out the best marathon possible. It will be number 39-the age I was when I ran my first marathon.
Rog tried one more time—“you will love this course—you’ll be kicking yourself”.
Nope, I’m still good.
Roger, without your encouragement, I would not be half the runner that I am today, nor would I have ever crossed my first 100 mile distance. You challenge me to be my best, and I am forever grateful. Thank you.
I cut the course up into roughly thirds. The first third, I got in a single-track conga line with a pace I found manageable. It was fun and there were some amazing climbs. I was happy nothing was hurting more than Advil could take care of. I knew immediately it was going to be a good day.
The next third was my playground, and I understood exactly what Roger meant. There were rocks, roots, mud, river crossings, root walls to climb and a spectacular waterfall. I texted Rog that I loved the course. He knew I would.
The final third, things were feeling great, so I decided to go chicking. I passed EVERY runner that came into my line of vision…33 (Chara) in total. I was running strong, fast and with a purpose. I can’t remember the last time I opened up my stride like that and let loose.
I crossed the finish line utterly spent. I sat down on the grass and reflected how blessed I am to do something I love so much. My injury forced some rest on my over-trained muscles, and it brought me back to that euphoria that I feel when I hit single track. I most certainly could have done 50 miles—the hip was ready, but I didn’t feel like I had to prove anything to myself. Rather, I am confident that I'm healthy enough to run the rest of my race schedule. Sorry buddy, I'm not kicking myself, but I will be back next year.
So, in the end, I may have “only” run a marathon, but to me it was so much more.