A scuff of the heel against the concrete curb and I was off into a running gait...for only an instant. You know the situations where you trip and in an attempt to disguise the fact that you are clumsy, speed up to a run, looking around and hoping no one is watching. Well, this particular morning, I had done the same but I knew no one was watching because it was 4:30 am and the streets were deserted. Though I really wanted to keep running I knew better. My treatment plan prevented it.
I am on week four of my running abstinence and every time I go for a walk I experience the same temptation. If it wasn't for the fact that I had no pain when I ran, it would not be such a difficult tug on my conscience. The pain comes later when I am resting. A misalignment of the my right hip is impinging on nerves in my lower back causing pain in my back and numbness in my right leg. Neither condition is terribly painful; just an ever-present reminder that something is amiss. My physical therapist is a so-called expert in spine rehab so I guess he knows what he is talking about but his proclamation that I "stop running for a while" has caused me more than one moment of extreme consternation. "What if he doesn't know what he is talking about?" I ask myself. The answer keeps coming back that I need to rest and BE PATIENT! Being patient is definitely not one of my truest virtues but one I know I need to cultivate.
So, I press on and selfishly mourn every time I read about another runner training for an upcoming event. Not maligning their achievements but missing mine. The Albany Snickers Marathon, the Mercedes Marathon, the Nashville Rock-n-Roll Marathon; they're all out. If things continue to drag on, the Spring marathon season will be over and the next opportunity to race one will be in October. So, I really should be thankful. I should be thankful God has given me an opportunity to do something that brings so much satisfaction and joy. All you runners know the feeling. The experience of the run is nothing like anyone can describe. It is what pushes us all and what makes a mundane activity seem so exciting. It is what motivates us to run when we know we are way back in the pack and far from the pinnacle of recognition...except our own recognition. For we recognize the transformation in ourselves as we finish another race, log another long run, cover that unbelievable distance one more time. I miss the run. I hope I will find it again soon.