The Boston Marathon is less than 15 weeks away.
I have not run much more than 6 miles in any single run for the last 5 months, no more than 20 miles total in any given week.
My last run was 2 weeks ago. It was a 30 minute run and it hurt the whole time, leaving me in a considerable amount of pain afterwards.
It was hugely disappointing and made me feel pretty awful. Not exactly the kinds of feelings I run for.
On that day I decided that I would not even attempt to run again until I could walk without any pain – at all – in my left foot. I have no idea when that will be.
And I put the whole Boston thing up on a shelf. It just could not be a priority for me if I were going to make my health, and my happiness, a priority.
Over the last two weeks, I have focused my energy on healing my foot by doing all the little things (and the big things) that I know to do. I have moved in ways that felt good and right for me – swimming, spinning, strength workouts, yoga and Pilates. I have seen Dr. Jason twice a week for active release technique and graston therapies as well as evaluations of my neuromuscular patterns, my foot dexterity and my strength. I do my physical therapy exercises and toe yoga, roll things out on the foam roller, massage my foot and lower leg and spend time with my little ultrasound machine each and every day.
I am feeling better. I am getting better.
And I am believing that I am on the right path, finally. I don’t have any way of knowing how long this road to healing will be. I could feel better tomorrow. It could be months from now.
I have already decided what to do about Boston though. While I know that there is a possibility that my foot could heal in time for me to train for this race, and I’m an experienced enough marathoner to execute it intelligently and safely, I also know it wouldn’t be in my best interest long-term to do so.
I do not want to rush it or force it or risk setting myself back by training for it.
It just wouldn’t be worth it to me. I have grown to respect the distance and my body in new ways over the last several months.
What good is a lesson learned, especially the ones learned the hard way, if you don’t actually use that awareness in your life moving forward?
I have run the Boston Marathon three times. Twice I raced it and had incredible personal best times there. Once I went with the sole intention of running it to have fun and soak up the experience without any self-imposed pressures, leaving my Garmin at home on purpose to free me from any self-judgements on pace or time.
All three experiences were unique and awesome, and I am thankful for each one beyond measure.
I love the Boston Marathon.
This year, I am going to be in Boston in April for another, completely different type of experience. It will be the first ever marathon I sign up for that I do not toe the start line of. I am going there to support all of my incredible friends who are running it. To cheer my heart out and to have an amazing time doing so! One of my best friends and I are sharing a room and it will be her first Boston. I was with her in Chicago when she qualified in 2015, and I am so very thankful that I will be in Boston with her this year without my own race to worry about. I also have a wonderful client, who I have coached for the last two years, who will be running her first ever Boston. I feel especially honored and grateful to be there with and for her, too. One of my new and most cherished NC friends will be going to Boston for the first time, too. I LOVE sharing this journey with her, even though we aren’t running together at the moment. It will be indescribably special to support her, too.
And what’s more – I have never spectated Boston before, or any big marathon for that matter! I will get to see the elites race down Boylston Street. This is something that gets me all sorts of excited.
Completely free of any anxieties or worries about MY race, I will be able to bring my focus and energy to celebrate my friends and the incredibly magical race that is Boston.
Everything happens for a reason. I believe that with every ounce of my being. I am excited to go to Boston in April and to experience it in this new way.
Making this decision has freed my spirit in so many ways, and has given me a wonderful thing to look forward to. I absolutely believe it is going to help my healing, too.
Are you going to be in Boston this year, running or cheering? Have you ever made the decision not to run Boston or another big race you signed up for? I would love to hear from you in the comments!