As with every training season, I got injured again this time. It was 4 weeks prior to marathon day and man, I was on it. I was hitting 7:45 pace for my 22 mile runs. I was peaking; at the top of my game. I was looking at another BQ for 2015 and a PR in the marathon. Then I fell and hurt my ribs. This is the type of injury you can’t just bounce back from. You can’t put ice on it and hope for the best. It took me fully out of commission for awhile. And I hated it. As each day went by, I realized that the likelihood of me seeing the starting line on 10/27 was not good. It took me a bit before I finally gave in and cancelled my hotel room. I’ll admit, I help out hope that I would wake up one day and feel 100% and be able to go out and do one last long run. But that day didn’t come. I felt as if I let everyone down, but most of all myself. The next few days I had to come to grips with not being able to compete this fall. My friends heard about it and they are saints to put up with me.
As marathon day came and went, I found myself reflecting on the past few weeks and how I wish I would’ve handled things differently. Here’s what I learned from this experience:
1. There will always be another race. It may not be the race you envisioned or the one all of your friends are doing; but there will be others, I promise.
2. Your life will not end because you can’t race. Get some fro-yo and slap on a smile.
3. Look at the down time as a time to refocus and pick up a new hobby; perhaps coin collecting (only a few injuries a year from that hobby).
4. Focus on making others a priority instead of running. I focused on others racing and how I can help them. I focused on making my friendships stronger, being a better girlfriend, sister, and daughter.
I feel for all runners who are on the injured list. I know what it’s like; it’s not pretty. It’s gonna be hard but you’re strong and you’ll get through this.