"There's something deeply human about a relationship with anything that can offer you the greatest joy in your life and also the greatest sorrow or pain. Running grounds me toward that more viscerally perhaps than anything else. It's a reason why I keep doing it."
~ Devin Kelly
I have logged 1,041 miles since March. A lot of them slow. Some of them painful. And most of them alone. And I have loved every, single one of them. The good, the bad and the ugly. No joke. Back in February I was sidelined with acute plantar fasciitis and a marrow edema in my left heel. I had been planning to line up for Boston no matter how my foot was feeling. Then Boston and every other spring race was canceled. So, I took a full two weeks off and then slowly and gingerly eased myself back onto the road. I was going to PT twice a week right up until the virus hit which was helping a ton. Between the time off in February, the PT and the lack of hard training sessions, my foot began to cooperate with me again. Praise be. Those first couple months, when we were staying inside for the majority of each day, were painfully long and mentally straining. I know they were for most people and I'm guessing my situation was significantly more manageable than many others. But still. My girls were going to school virtually, my husband was working from home and I was no longer coaching because the high school track season was obviously canceled. It was a lot of intense family time with not a lot of outlets. One can only do so many puzzles before you start to lose your shit. Running was my saving grace. I'm sure it was for a lot of us. Hell, even my 15 year old daughter started running and she admittedly hates it but just needed something to break up her day. Seriously, though, I have never looked forward to lacing up and getting out the door more than I did during that stretch of time. Ever. In my life. Every run was a gift and I wasn't taking any of them for granted. It didn't matter how tired I was. Or if my foot ached. I didn't care. I was going. Usually, I got home and my mind was clear, my body was reenergized and I was ready to tackle anything. Well, almost anything. I couldn't help with Grace's algebra or Rosie's bio. How quickly we forget. In late May the country began to reopen a bit. Not that it changed much. But still, I ran. I ran with my daughter. I ran on trails. I did a virtual 50K. I did a virtual 50 miler. I just wanted to run, to be out there moving, and I had the time to do it. In June I got on the phone with my coach to map out a training plan for summer and fall. We knew racing for the rest of 2020 was likely not happening. But I wanted to train. I was ready to start working hard. And I wanted something to work towards. Understanding we are in a "wait and see" pattern with events for the rest of this year, we landed on the following goal: get fit, stay healthy and train for longer distances with the hope that I can line up for a 50 miler (or dare I say longer??) in 2021. Maybe even a few? I love the marathon. But after twenty five of them and some solid time to marinate in my thoughts as far as running goes I've come to realize that I'm ready to try something different. To scratch a new itch, as my coach likes to put it. To chase new goals and face new challenges. To go bigger. Which brings me to now. I'm running more miles. Trying different workouts. Taking less days off. And still, I am loving it. Every single mile. The good, the bad and the ugly. No joke. Same story. New chapter. Always running.
Listen to this:
Big Love - Louis the Child (feat. Earthgang)