Monday, February 18, 2008


Those who have known me for a long time know that once upon a time, I was a runner. My freshman year in college I was goofing around in the first snow of the season in Grand Rapids, Michigan and broke my ankle. I wish I could say it was a simple fracture, but the truth was that I literally shattered the joint and couldn't even walk for longer than I can even believe. For years my ankle was weak and even with physical therapy, I was left with seriously curtailed range of motion. I really, in some aspects, have never been the same.

At the time of the accident, I was a pretty physically active person. I enjoyed running, riding my bike and skiing. After the accident, all of these things were very painful to me and usually ended up in further injury due to compensating for my less than perfect ankle. I really haven't run in any serious way since then. I have missed it all these years. When I think of who I am, part of who I think I am is a runner. I still think I am a runner. Today for a short time, I was a runner.

I am always afraid of breaking into a run because of the pain that it frequently involves. I have been busy with school and more out of shape than ever lately. Today at the gym, I was warmed up and walking at a good speed and with a steep incline and when I lowered the incline and upped the speed, I kind of thought, "Why not?" What was the worst thing that would happen. I might fall. I might not be able to handle the pace. The worst thing that did happen was that I immediately noticed the extra weight I have been carrying.

In a heartbeat, or a few hundred, I felt like a runner again. I immediately found my stride and my old running posture felt like a friend. I like the feeling of pushing myself further than I think I can go. I like crawling up into the far recesses of my brain to find that extra bit of strength to get me through. I am very good at moving through pain. I realized today that I can run again.

Two seconds after this realization, my dream of one day running a marathon also came springing back to life. I thought of Bubs' sad experience this past year, but I also thought of another friend's positive experience a few years ago. At 43, I am not ready to give up on my long held dream. I'm a girl who likes a project and a challenge. It's what I live for.

So here's the deal. I really want to run a marathon. It's early in the season and I do think I could be ready by next fall. The thought of seriously being a runner again makes me giddy. Keep in mind that I ran today in walking shoes and those suckers are heavy! I can do this. I want to do this. I'm not sure yet how I am going to balance this with school when it starts again, but I'm tired of being unhealthy and I desperately miss running. I'm putting this out there so that people will check in with me and make sure I'm not slacking. I want to bring back that part of who I am. I want to hear that gun go off. I want to run.


Echo said...

Go, T, Go!!!! You can do it! There's nothing like the feeling of runner's high? Except for maybe... Um... nevermind...

Gifted Typist said...

I did the same thing with my ankle about 20 yrs ago.I did it running.
That was 25 years ago.

Tried to run again, but always felt the pain.
So I took up swimming. Now I love that as much as I ever loved running.
And no pain.
Good luck

minijonb said...

You go!!! Have fun on your quest!

And I should be careful around here... sounds like the snow in Grand Rapids is very dangerous. I've been driving like an idiot through it all winter.

Johnny Yen said...

I used to love running. After my little spill on a motorcycle (a future post-- "The Stupidest Thing I Ever Did"), it's painful to run more than a couple of miles. Fortunately, I like bicycling even more than I like running.

Go for it!

lulu said...

Good for you! You ought to call Jane and rope her into the Marathon thing with you; she hasn't run one in a couple years.( I assume she is your friend with the positive experience?)

I was just talking about the 3-Day with one of my friends here. I would like to do that again someday. (With different shoes)

GETkristiLOVE said...

You should totally go for it. It will, at the very least, be fun and inspiring to train for it. And if that falls through, two words: ice hockey. :D

Tenacious S said...

Kristi-I am wee and somewhat uncoordinated. I think I'll stick with running.
Lu-Yes, you are thinking of the same person. We'll be discussing over dinner tomorrow.
Johnny-Can't wait for the post!
Minijonb-Welcome and be careful! GR wounded me for life in more ways than one.
Gifted-Thanks! Sorry we sport twin injuries. Not very fun.
Echo-Wherever the gutter is, that's right where I always find your mind wandering.

lulu said...

I love the visual of TenS playing ice hockey.

Hot Lemon said...

to quote The Fatman, "By gad, sir!"

gopher it, but know that it's perfectly 100% OK with me if you bugger the whole thing and just sit and eat a candy bar. Cuz that's x-actly what *I* would do.

Melinda June said...

Run, Ten S, run!