Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Red Wine and Chocolate

Oh, where HAVE I been, and what am I here to say?
(the red wine is gone - I just poured the last glass, and I could care less about the chocolate)

The world is a much bigger place than just me.

It's 5 and 1/2 weeks 'til Boston - the marathon of my dreams - and I'm having ITB issues. It's my own damn fault. It felt so good running so fast and far - until I ran my 17 miler and could barely walk by the end - literally. I should've known better. It's just like when you go out fast in a race, and you do it every damn time, and you know better. I got excited. And I guess I can still be excited at the thought that I conditioned myself to the point of maintaining a fast pace over a good distance. I'm capable of it. I proved it. Perhaps I needed to bottle it up and save it. I've run twice in the last two weeks - 3 miles each time. I'm done wallowing in my self-pity of injury and am in maintenance mode (icing, stretching, strength training up the ying-yang, swimming, arnica, glucosamine . . ) until Boston - then I'll reconvene with my brain and assess the situation.

I haven't wanted to blog. I haven't really wanted to talk about it or write about it at all. But then when I was at the gym there was this guy. Sometimes in life you need people to shake you out of your misery. This guy is always at the gym. He's probably around 75-80 years old. He always has on navy blue sweat pants and a white ribbed tank top. Sometimes he's on the bikes, sometimes lifting weights or on the rowing machine. He smiles and he talks to a few people, but he's fairly quiet. He's there to exercise. I doubt he's training for an ultra. I don't think he's into how sculpted his muscles are. I know he's not there for the social life. I'm pretty sure he's not breaking any records. But he's always there. He's there to take care of himself - to do what makes him happy.

I could write all night about how this little old man and my self-pity are connected, but I think it's as simple as my previous statement. The world is a bigger place than just me. In the long run, what's the big deal if I'm injured? I'm taking care of it, doing what I can. I can continue to do what makes me happy and healthy and move on. There is so much to be said of focusing outward instead of just focusing inward. And perhaps blogging about it doesn't just do something for me, maybe it will have an affect on somebody, somewhere else. The world is a bigger place.


afuntanilla said...

what a great post!! the thing i think is especially great is your noticing of HIM & your own self-reflection.

i don't think a lot of folks can even do THAT!

good luck with nursing the IT band.

you have a great attitude!

Bob said...

Yes it is, a vast and wonderful place. But within this vast place it is the smallest good deeds that make the largest impact.

My best to you with your ITB issues. I know you will do the right thing and pay forward any knowledge, or sympathy you garner.

Great post by the way.

JustRun said...

I know that it's only been through injury that I've only started to learn that I can let things be (when it comes to running) and still be okay. It doesn't surpise me that someone as experienced and insightful as you came to that conclusion now.
Good luck on the healing, if only for comfort's sake. :)

miss petite america said...

awesome post!

we've all been there and you're dealing with it very well!

E-Speed said...

It must be something about Boston! This is the first year in 3 years that I haven't had ITB problems right around now.

Hopefully you will be lucky like I was the past two years and the down time will leave you rested and the ITB won't even be an issue come Marathon Monday.

Joe said...

Take care of yourself. I hope you can still do Boston without having to inject a boat load of vitamin I. Meanwhile, keep swimming!

D said...

I have a calendar that was given to me with daily quotes. Two came to mind when reading your post:

1) When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another - Helen Keller

2) Encouragement is awesome. It has the actually change the course of another human being's day, week, or life. - Charles Swindoll

Sorry. You have a wonderful attitude.

Anne said...

I am sure you won't be the only injured runner at Boston. And there's still time for the ITB to heal -- though I also know how it weighs mentally on you.

As the others have said, you're good to remember where this fits into the greater world. Great attitude, you have. I do hope you'll someday write more about that man at the gym. He sounds like an interesting athlete.

IHateToast said...

it's okay to take a swim in the pool of self pity, as long as you know when to get out and towel off.

i like to think that i sunbake nude at the edge of the self pity pool.

Sarah said...

Yes, it's good to focus outward and not wallow in self-pity. But I think I'm guessing right that being healthy and being able to run makes you happy. And I hope you'll be able to enjoy all that at Boston!

Robb said...

I like your honesty here. I suggest you get as much rest as you can - follow my lead okay? Yeah...right.

The IT band will iron out. Not to worry. Be patient and hopeful.

Robin said...

You are so wise, to see the lessons of the older gentleman in the midst of your own hardship. I wish you the best in your Boston endeavor and hope you are healed up by then. Many of us have been there (I did not even make it to the start line of my first Ironman) and remember how difficult that can be emotionally. Hang in there, and here's my favorite Winston Churchill quote: "If you're going through hell, keep going."

Josh said...

There's that old proverb:

"When the student is ready the teacher will appear."

Through his actions, that little old man has lessons for all of us.

Do what you need to do for your ITB. Foam roll, stretch, ice, strengthen.

Good luck!

Kurt said...

ITB are the worse. With the short time to Boston, you know what you need to do to recover. Your a talented runner obviously from what I have read.

Toss the wine, give me the chocolate. I live for chocolate. Hmm, maybe that is why I can't lose my last 5 lbs?

Just12Finish said...

In one of the rare business books I've read (rare that I read it), Stephen Covey has this thing about all of us having a Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern.

They're concentric circles, and the trick is to get them roughly the same size, one inside the other, so you're only concerned with the things you can actually influence. Everything else is wasted effort. I've used this principle more times than I can count.

stephruns said...

5 weeks - better take it easy until the big day. I'm sure you're gonna rock boston!!!!!!