Hello everyone! It’s been far too long, hasn’t it?
Between training and life in general, late summer and the fall were a pretty busy couple of months.
With the assistance of Sheila’s brother, we were finally able to get the commenting system fixed. We are now using Disqus to handle our comments. I’m sure that all of the spammers who are trying to sell counterfeit Louis Vuitton purses are disappointed!
As anyone who follows me on Instagram or Twitter is aware, I didn’t run the 2014 Towpath Marathon. My training was going very well until I stepped on Butters’ Nylabone and my foot and ankle went in two different directions. I didn’t think that I was hurt too badly until I headed down to the Rocky River Reservation and took 3 steps and screamed in pain.
I took a week off of running and didn’t think that it was prudent to jump right back into it with a 20 miler, which is the run that was on my training schedule for the week following my injury. I know that some marathon plans only take runners up to 18 miles, and while I had successfully done an 18 miler a week before my injury, my experience in the 2013 Northern Ohio Marathon had shown me that it is hard to complete a marathon when one’s longest training run goes up to 20 miles and I didn’t want to fathom how much more difficult running a marathon with a longest run of 18 miles would be.
I’ve been looking forward to doing the Towpath Marathon ever since I stood on the front porch of the Boston Store in 2012 and cheered on my stepmom and our friend Holly. I’ve trained hard on the Towpath, read many race recaps, and visualized myself running that last beautiful mile with the Lord of the Rings soundtrack blasting through my Yurbuds. The idea of a sub-par, half-baked, disappointing effort in which I dragged myself across the finish line didn’t sound like a great way to run a race I’ve wanted to do for years.
Because of that, I decided to take some time to heal up properly and to run in the Inland Trail Marathon on November 2, 2014 with the simple goal of setting a new marathon PR. The event takes place on the Inland Trail in Lorain County, which is a course very similar to the Towpath. The race supports a great cause—the Murray Ridge Center, which is a school for those with developmental disabilities—and I am looking forward to a nice and relaxed marathon amidst the fall leaves.
I did a 20 miler on the course a few weeks ago, and it went very well. Fortunately, God has healed my foot and ankle, and although I still get a twinge of discomfort every now and then, I had no pain during or after my 20 miler. Praise the Lord!
Although I was frustrated that I hurt myself by stepping on a dog toy, I was never mad at Butters in the slightest. After all, it wasn’t his fault! Towards the end of September, Butters suffered an injury of his own when he somehow managed to throw out his back. He was in a lot of pain and the vet recommended that he go on “doggy bed rest” for two weeks. It was hard not to play with him and to see him in pain, but he eventually healed fully and he once again has more energy than Sheila and me combined. Praise the Lord for His healing of Butters too! The vet said that he would have had to have an MRI and\or surgery if the condition did not improve in order to ensure that he didn’t wind up paralyzed and that the bills would have been several thousand dollars. While Butters is worth every penny, the idea of spending a significant portion of our savings on a completely unforeseen surgery was a downer, and we are grateful that God healed our lil’ guy!
In the midst of all of this, we went to Boston in early October for the National Christian Legal Aid Summit. We had a great time seeing our good friend Jessica and Sheila’s cousin Amy and her beautiful daughter Julia.
While Sheila attended the conference, I went for a spectacular run along the Charles River. This was the first “long” outdoor run that I had done since my injury, and it was a fantastic experience. The Charles River Esplanade is an amazing place to run, and every runner who visits Boston needs to carve out some time for a run on this path.
Towards the end of my run, I ran past the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Seeing a spot that is filled with so much triumph and yet so much tragedy was overwhelming and inspiring. Will I ever qualify for the Boston Marathon? It’s definitely a goal of mine. I know it’s difficult, but so was training for a 5K, half marathon, and a full marathon and I managed to do each of those relatively successfully. I’d much rather try and ultimately be unsuccessful than wind up regretting that I had never seriously attempted to do so if I reach a point in my life when I cannot run. While I know that I definitely have a lot of work to do in order to make this a realistic possibility, I’m excited to see if I can do it!
I look forward to posting more regularly in the future. Although I’ve mentioned it off and on, I’ve never really written about my weight loss journey as extensively as I would have liked, and I plan to dedicate a significant portion of my offseason posting to chronicling that topic and hopefully providing some useful tips to those who are looking to reach a healthy weight. Of course, I’ve already started planning my 2015 race calendar, and the 2015 Towpath Marathon is already on the list. I hope you’ll keep on reading!