This afternoon I went for my first run since the Grandmaster 100K just over two weeks ago. In over ten years of distance running I don’t think I’ve ever gone that long between runs. Evan after the Veterans Memorial 150-miler in 2018, I was back running with the club just over a week later.
This time is different. I’m strictly enforcing my off season, with absolutely no future races signed up for or planned at the moment. I went out today not out of any sense of obligation, but because my body told me I’d been sitting around long enough. Which is exactly what I wanted to have happen.
I got onto the Border-to-Border Trail next to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti, and ran parts of it I’ve never been on before, mainly because I live west of Ann Arbor and don’t get out that way much. Except when my wife is in the hospital, which, unfortunately, she is at present.
Cancer and its treatment carry an increased risk of developing blood clots, and she developed an “extensive” one in her right leg, discovered when it became painful for her to walk. Her treatment is blood thinners, pain medication, and time, and she can come home once the pain is better managed. In the meantime she still has a lot of difficulty whenever she has to stand or walk somewhere. She didn’t begrudge my bringing along running clothes and going out during her nap, but she readily admitted envying my pain-free stride.
I started the run actively grateful to be able to do so. So many people have told me they used to run until this or that injury happened, or they’d “like to run” but don’t think they have it in them. Happened again just yesterday, when the server at the coffee bar noticed my Bonfyre Trail Fest hat and said her friend had run it, but she “wasn’t the type” to do long trail runs. I should have called BS on her and told her to try it one day. After all, when I started running I couldn’t do one mile without stopping.
I decided to run for an hour, just because, and got in about a 10K on a bright sunny afternoon. It felt so good going where the trail took me, with no pace, length, or particular training goal. Just out for a run. How glorious!
I really don’t have much to add to this post in terms of enduring wisdom or similar BS. Except, I suppose, for two little things you’ve no doubt heard countless times before: if you’ve always wanted to try something, do it, or at least start. Today. Don’t wait. You never know what will happen tomorrow. And if you can walk without pain, be grateful for it.