So. I had a plan. A good plan. Maybe even a great plan.
Run a marathon.
No, wait. It gets better.
Run a marathon on October 10, 2010. 10-10-10.
Run a trail marathon in a national park on 10-10-10.
And I know I've only been running three days a week, but...
Three days a week got me ready for 13.1 miles this past May. Thirteen point one miles, after I was told my medical professionals that I wouldn't be running that far anymore. And it was good! It was fine! I ran. I remained fully mobile. Nothing swelled to the size of a watermellon. I proved those medical people wrong. Totally.
With that success behind me, I figured that three days a week would do just fine to get me ready for 26.2 miles, too. So I made a plan. A training plan. A secret plan. It involved extra hiking, extra biking, and three runs a week - the trail run, the medium-ish distance run, and the all-important long run. I thought I'd start at 10 miles, then add one mile each week, completing just one 20 mile run during training.
This was a good plan. It wouldn't help me break any land speed records, but it would get me to the finish line. And that was the goal.
June was great. I was running good, running strong. There were some days in there that felt almost like "the old days."
Then came July.
July was hard. July involved pain and limping and being told on multiple occasions by multiple people that they saw me running and "it didn't look good."
July made me cry.
Last week, I got back from the medium-ish distance run thinking something was a bit off. The next day, I got half mile into what was supposed to be a 15 mile run and stopped. Because my knee hurt. Not the left knee, not the one with the history of "issues." It was the right knee. The "good" knee. It hurt bad enough to make me stop. It hurt bad enough to make me turn around and walk back home, just a little bit teary (but refusing to cry).
Appoinments were already made with the New Chiropractor, and holy cow, did he put me through some paces. In a good way. For four days in a row. And I told him I had a 10k trail race planned for the weekend. I was all registered and everything. And he said I should be fine if I took it easy and got my knee on ice immediately afterward.
So I went. And I ran. Kind of.
I ran the longest 10k in the history of me. I had to walk a few times. Because it hurt.
And afterward, I got a talking to from UB (who takes me to all my races and supports me every step of the way) about making some changes. Like not running. He suspected that soon things besides my knees would start giving me trouble, if they weren't already. (They are.) He suggested bicycle racing. (Ohmygosh I don't like riding the bike.) He said a lot. And it was all true. And it was so much (too much) to think about. And I wanted to cry. But I didn't.
So I think my marathon plan is in ruins. And I feel more than a little lost about what to do now. And I'm standing at the drawing board, but it's just a big empty space.