Sunday, March 22, 2009


A year ago, I was running up to 8 miles, had increased my speed, and was training for the first inaugural Marine Corps Half Marathon in Fredericksburg. I was cooking and incredibly proud of my achievements. I am a mom of 8 children. I homeschool. I can do it all! Pride doth go before a fall...

It all started with a way too familiar pang in my shin. It moved to a regular throb. Then came the "it hurts to walk and let's not even contemplate stairs."" No, really, Son, you do want to carry me up the stairs. I mean, come on, you pick me up and move me when I'm in your way, why can't you move me when I am in MY way?" Back to physical therapy I go... Yep, I have done this before, so apparently I am a slow learner. :)

So I call my friends at physical therapy...their first words to me were, "So here is my repeat offender!" I spend two months with my therapist who then decides to hand me over to another therapist...someone who says, "Oh! The injury is in your leg, but your real problem is in your hip!" Hmmm...they did have to move around a few times with 8 pregnancies.
The long trek back to running health took months that included my not running at all...In the midst of all of this, my son's health deteriorated, I started driving a few thousand miles a month to doctor appointments, and I had no time or emotional energy left to run...which means.. Yep, that 9 minute mile is gone. Long gone.

I read somewhere that the first nine runs are the hardest. If you make it through those first nine runs, you will be a runner for life. Really. I lace up my shoes, put on my cute little running skirt (that used to fit much looser!), and strap on my handy dandy Garmin that will tell me how fast I am zipping along...Did I say zipping? Hmmm...The only thing zipping along is the air as it leaves my gasping lungs. Up the dreaded hill I crawl, making the mistake of looking at that handy dandy Garmin and it suggests that I am zipping along at startling 12 and a half minutes per mile. Maybe I should walk, it would be faster! I stumble forward, thinking, "It will get better. It will get better. It will get better."

Here we are three weeks later. I actually conquered 3.9 miles on Wednesday at a zippy little pace of 11 minutes per mile. Not fast by any measure, but better than three weeks ago...and I didn't feel the to inspect my sanity at the half mile mark. It has been nine runs...and I am actually running! Not fast...and it certainly isn't pretty...and that cute little running skirt isn't nearly as loose as it used to be, but it's looser than it was three weeks ago. Maybe they were on to something? Nine runs core is stronger (thanks, Steve, the amazing physical therapist!), my leg isn't hurting, and...I'm running!

Ah, but have I learned my lesson? Will I stay injury free? Am I a really slow learner? Stay tuned....

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