I've been working through a major running injury for the last two years. Doctors and physios might not think it's serious but in my mind it's real pain, like nothing I've ever felt and it has taken away one of my beloved possessions. So, that's worthy of 'serious' status to me.
The injury happened before, during and after the '06 Chicago Marathon - since that time the longest race I've been able to run has been a 10km. But with the help of my friend Kirsten, she has referred me to an amazing new physio - one that is convinced that I will not only run a marathon again, but that I'll run a half marathon by Sept. Trust me folks, this is big dreaming but I'm drinking the kool-aid.
After running a slow 5km race a couple of weekends ago, I'm working up to running a 10km race in May. The pain has not left - even with all the 'gadgets' in my sneaks - but it has definitely subsided.
So, this morning I adjusted my lift in my sneak (as I'm trying new positions for optimal comfort), tied up the sneaks and grabbed my 9-year running partner and her leash. We headed out the door for a 6.5 km run. If you only could have seen what I saw this morning. My foot felt great (80% of the run), Dawson was running next to me off her leash and it was so warm and there wasn't a cloud was in the sky.
Here it was again, I remember it so well, my sweet friend running and everything she gives back to me.
You see, as I've worked through this injury all of my focus has been on the way I land on my foot, so aside from the actual injury I've lost the freedom that comes with running. The carefree nature that allows you to just go, live in the moment and let your mind be free. Because I've had to pay attention to my right foot every time it hits the ground. This morning was the first time in a long time that running felt like the way it use to be for me. Free of thought and both Daws and I were taking it all in. We were running along Lake Ontario and as I was breathing in the sun and it's reflection off the water, loving the happy faces of others running past me saying "Good Morning" and watching Daws stop to swim her brains out along side the trail. I let go of concentrating on my foot and was in that particular moment. I realized that by focusing on everything else surrounding me, I didn't focus on the targeted pain in my toe. A lesson for most things in my life.