Last week, I was in such a good place. Sunday, February 28, Sylvie and I went for an 18 mile run (that turned out to be 19). We tested our ability to drink and eat gummy bears and both felt strong at the end of the run. I've been running four days a week, with two cross training days and a day of rest. Then, out of the blue I was hit with upper back pain this past weekend. Once I figured out it wasn't my heart or lungs (not as young as I used to be), I thought I could keep running. Sunday was a 15 mile run, as we had planned to cut back for a week to recover. It wasn't a bad run once I loosened up, though my energy level was low. The weather, however was magnificent. We ran in shorts and felt much lighter and warmer. But Sunday night was painful, with half the night spent in a recliner. There's no way that I can run right now. It seems to be a muscle pull/tear on the right side of my back/chest wall – who knew such a thing could happen? Many thanks to the Newton-Wellesley team: doctor and Physical Therapy who saw me right away and are helping me back to form. I'll do some cardio on the Shipley Fitness Center bikes, stretch and rest for this week. No long run this weekend but I plan to be back in action again next Tuesday. Hopefully, I remember to cut back a little on meals this week – you really do eat more with this amount of running.
Thanks to all the people around the Hospital who stop me to recount a marathon experience or give me words of encouragement. Of course, a few tell me how glad they are that they ran the Marathon when they were 25 (and not at your age, they seem to imply) but I can take it. It's great to have the support. I remind friends outside the Hospital that we're running to benefit an important community program, the Vernon Cancer Center at Newton-Wellesley. I'll look forward to seeing that sign for inspiration on April 19.
This spring, I am trying to train “by the book,” taking a more scientific approach – Tom’s influence. In the past, because of my yearly high mileage base, I tended to wing it when it came to running marathons. I guess I am training smarter, we shall see. But, for me, it is a fine line: I like to keep it simple – it is the beauty and poetry of running – just put on my shoes and head out in the fresh air. I am a loner as a runner: I run best by myself, lost in my thoughts. And I don't like to bother with the fancy technology - the complicated watches, the heart monitors, the training logs, even the running jargon. What is nice though is to run for a cause, because running often feels like it is all about oneself. As Tom has mentioned, there are ups and downs, but for me, who loves to run, if I am out there in motion, it is a good day and I am glad to be alive.