Monday, October 22, 2007

On Becoming A Runner

The results are in. The MRI confirmed that I tore ligaments in my ankle. Tomorrow's visit to the orthopedic surgeon should provide further insight as to how it will take to me to get back out there running.

While the past few days have been tough (laying on the couch and not exercising for four days are not my idea of fun), my family, friends and colleagues have all been tremendously supportive. The comments usually went something like this "To hurt your foot a week prior to consecutive marathon weekends, that's gotta be so tough on you!" or "I cannot believe you had to end your running streak". (The now infamous trail run Thursday night marked the 292nd consecutive day I tied up my shoes and went for a run).

But you know, I'm really not that upset. Yes, I'll miss the two marathons. Yes, I broke my streak (and did not achieve the minimal goal of 365). Yes, I will most likely have to miss Santa Barbara. But you know what, who cares?

This year, I have become a runner. In the past, I would always just focus on training for certain events. Or run when it was convenient. But this year was different. Running became a way of being, a way of life, as they say. Whether it was beautiful out and every step felt as easy as floating on air or whether the weather (or a treadmill) made running less desirable, it was still something I did every day.

The happiest times were not crossing finish lines or even setting a new PR.

The best times were those spent running with friends (most of them new to the magic of trails).

The best runs were those where I became one with nature, often emphasized by wildlife I would normally not encounter.

The best runs were those where I went on a new trail and learned something new about Georgia. Just recently, for example, I found a pretty sizable bamboo forest in the middle of Atlanta (seriously).

So, although I will not achieve all my goals for 2007, becoming a runner was much more than I could have ever asked for.

See you out there soon!


Jean Pommier said...

Ouch, damned! Glad you are taking it easy and with the "true runner" philosophy (yes, you are a runner indeed!), but it doesn't look so good, good luck for the recovery and work with your surgeon.

292 consecutive runs, wow! I'm happy when I do 5 or 6, actually enjoying some rest days here and then.

Well, at least this should provide plenty of time to blog and work on the interview you told me about.

Take care and keep your positive spirit!


Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Great attitude, I'm sure your outlook will speed your physical healing as well.

Since my schedule has me doing almost all my training solo, I look forward to races for the social aspect as much as the adrenaline challenge.

runningtwig said...

I just found your blog through Scott D.'s blog - great interview with him! And good list!!

I'm glad I'm stumbled upon your blog - it's nice to read stories about other southern runners!

Addy said...

Wow...what a great additude! I need to get a bit of that rubbed off on me :D

292 is really really amazing and you should be so proud of that!

Good luck with getting healed up