Panic Stricken Strides
Dreadmilly Nervous Miles
On Friday morning I woke up early to sneak in my last longer run – a quick 8-miler. About 1.5 miles in my knee got a little tweaky. By mile 2 it was downright painful and by mile 3 I knew I had to call it a morning. The entire time I was panicking, imagining 26.2 miles of excruciating pain, imagining myself dropping out at mile 18 from crippling pain, disappointing my parents, my grandma, and all those who have followed my training, generally disappointing the ENTIRE WORLD…(I have a slight flair for the dramatic).
Anyway, I came home, iced it, hit up few message boards and found out that this is pretty normal in the final taper and it’s a phantom pain. No one knows why they’re there, but they are.
So I took the night and went to the Mouse House with the kids. Because nothing can reset your mood like an evening with 10,000 of your closest friends and smelly strangers, waiting in long lines to violently toss your body around twisted metal at the Happiest Place on Earth.
And it was exactly. what. I. Needed. We eeked out about 4 miles of walking (no knee pain) and I got what I really needed – to remember my kids laughter, their silly sense of humor. They tortured me on the ferris wheel (I’m petrified of heights), squealed with delight when they were tall enough to go on Indiana Jones for the first time, tango-ed through the crowds of people with me, but mostly by the end they just needed me.
As we were leaving the park, each one of them took their turn walking next to me while clinging to my waist, arms not letting go for the world and head resting on my hip. It’s the ultimate “mom” walk. Shuffling with 4 legs trying to stay untangled as a sleepy little boy wordlessly says, “I love you and even though I’m kind of a big kid now, I’m really tired, and I just need to lean on you for a moment.”
And that’s kind of how I have felt about my training. In the last few months I learned to really love those extra hours and miles, and during this taper period I don’t feel like I could run 15 if I had to and 26.2 seems impossible and like I’ll never be able to make it. But in 6 short days, I get to cling back on the waist of all those hours and miles and hold on for dear life as I get to finally lay it all out on the road.
And the good news – opened my knee up on the treadmill on Saturday (it was like 90 degrees out! ick…) and ran everything from a 9 minute mile to a 7:30 and all in between to see how it was and the knee seems to be cooperating. Yay!