So, today was my day to see some things for myself that others have been alluding to for some time. Emailing a stranger for advice really helped to crystallize some thoughts that had been milling about in my head for a bit now. This whole knee thing just made it all more immediate.
The knee is still odd. Not really swollen any more. Still achy, especially with odd movements. It could be the IT band. I worry it's something with the meniscus. I saw the acupuncturist yesterday and was given some things I can do, involving a great deal of pain to my pinkie finger, and I have a treatment for Monday. That should do something. I'm hoping to get a few treatments in and be able to run next week. And then I'll see what happens from there. It will most likely continue to involve the acupuncturist. And probably the chiropractor. And maybe someone specializing in sports medicine. Hopefully not surgery.
But today I emailed a stranger asking for advice about my life and what to do with it now. I got some good stuff in return. And this is what I've decided. I have to stop running so much. (Which is odd, because I've already thought that I cut back on running. But, I guess it wasn't enough.) And I need to start doing some other things instead. Namely, bike riding and hiking. It's not running. There's nothing that can ever be like running for me. But I have to make some changes. I have to. That's what I've learned this week. I am just NOT a person who can spend so much time sitting around. I need to be active. And if I want to be able to walk into my old age, I'll have to make some changes in my activity choices. I have to. That's the message in all of this.
And what that means is biking and hiking. I know that. That's what's right for me. Hubby is quietly happy about this because he'd like to be a bit more active, and these are activities I'll want someone along for. And that he enjoys. So he'll get to play, too. So much so that we're taking this weekend to get me a new bike (because we can't really share a bike like we have been if we intend to ride at the same time. He's not going to ride on the handlebars, after all.) and get us each some decent hiking boots (old running shoes have been fine for our purposes up to this point, but it's gonna get serious now). I'm still planning on running a few days a week. Most likely on the weekends. And I'm still hoping to hit my favorite races each year. I just won't be racing them. And that makes me sad.
So, this year will be hard for me. I know it will. I had to force myself not to cry just saying this stuff out loud this evening. I'm not a "natural runner." I had to work really hard to get to this place, where I can race and be kind of competitive (almost..... at least in the fantasy world in my head). It will be sooooooooooooooo hard for me to not do that. And maybe I won't be able to . It really, truly might be easier for me to just not run races at all. We'll see. I'm going to try. And it's looking like that's what I'll have to try next week. Just running. I might cry. I will most likely cry. But that's okay. Hubby will be there. I will call Best Friend. Someone will provide chocolate. It will be okay.
I will need to mourn this. I know that will sound stupid to many people. But to me, this will be a big, big loss. This is a huge part of my life; of who I am. It makes me sad to think it won't be there in the same way for me.
But at the same time, there's this happiness underneath it. I am excited about the prospect of something new. The thought of taking the bike out for some serious riding makes me a little giddy. The thought of some mega hiking (and there is some great hiking to be had around here) gives me a little chill. That's how I know this is right.
I'm doing the right thing. I know I am. So I'll mourn the loss, and start the next adventure.