Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Long Run

Last night I started having serious doubts about my ability to complete the DM marathon next month. Even though I had already decided I was going to have to walk a lot of it and take much longer than last year, I really wanted to do it. However, my body has been screaming at me... hips, knees, ankles. I had pretty much decided when I curled up to read a while last night that if I was lucky, I'd be able to do the half marathon.

I'd been reading The Long Run by Matt Long. I HIGHLY recommend the book - it is an awe inspiring story of a marathoner/Ironman NY fire fighter who was struck by a bus while biking and nearly lost his life. He received 68 units of blood in the first 40 hours following the accident and spent 5 months in the hospital. He had 40 surgeries in less than two years and has been in physical therapy since. Matt survived this horrific accident due to his high level of fitness and determination as an active runner and Ironman triathlete, both of which helped him in his recovery. During his physical therapy, just shy of 3 years after his accident he determined to do the NY marathon again. Prior to the accident he did the marathon in 3:13:56 qualifying for the Boston Marathon. While he was in therapy and training to do the NY marathon after his accident he had to do a lot of cross training and cut down on his actual running miles. He finished, but it took him 7:21:22. (scary - my FIRST one I finished in just under 7 hours and he did that after his accident. However, I have to remember he was in TOP shape before his accident and I'm far from top shape!)

As I was reading last night I thought, well, maybe I could try that... cross train and get my endurance up and maybe cut down on the walking and jogging and perhaps I can still do this. So, that is my plan. This morning I am heading to the gym and am going to bike and do the elliptical. I am planning on a 2 - 2 1/2 hour workout.

Two quotes hit me as I finished reading Matt Long's story last night: First: "I realized that the sooner I could do a marathon, the sooner I could feel like my old self." I think this is true for me as well. Running for me is not just a physical thing, it's an emotional and spiritual thing. It's something I need to do for my overall well being. The second quote was this: "What I needed to learn was that God worked on His own schedule." I need to learn this lesson in more than one way. I still recognize that this year might not be the year I do the marathon. I really want to... not only have I already registered and shelled the money out for it, but emotionally, spiritually, and physically I really feel like I need to do it. However, this might not be the year. If I have to, I will just do the half. The marathon will be there next year and the year after that and the year after that...

The second quote hit me for another reason too. I've had a hard time understanding some things in my life the past couple years. This week I received some news that caused me to question my life even more. (Here is not the place for that - if you want more information contact me) This quote served as a reminder to me that God is in control and His timing is not always the same as mine. I won't say I'm completely at peace with things, but God is working on my heart to bring me peace.

Off to the gym now....