I mentioned in my past few posts how my left leg was bothering me and I wasn't really running. I didn't really run much for the better part of the last 3 weeks. 2 short runs and 2 attempts at running that ended in calf spasms and foot pains not to mention feeling of weakness, and burning sensations down the back of my butt and thigh. I opted for aquajogging which really just felt good. I saw 2 doctors. The first doctor thought it might be my iliopsoas muscle squeezing my sciatic nerve. I had a psoas release which did seem to help a bit. Then my back did start bothering me a bit, so I went and saw another doctor who has more experience with multiple medical situations. He felt that we should probably rule out something in my spine...including...Cancer. Oh God. My mother has back pain and some spinal stenosis, so I was thinking we should rule that out too? During this time of visiting with doctors and aquajogging I had extra time unplanned/unexpected time to think, and had a few cathartic moments as I mentioned in my last post. I had not planned on making any decisions regarding my reconstruction surgery until after the 50 miler. I was planning on having visions regarding what I should do DURING the race. Again, erratic, unplanned behavior and a resultant Pre-Mature Climax. Several days before the race, I had decided on my reconstruction plans, and had even scheduled the surgery for April 16th. I decided to save the scheduling of the MRI until after the race. At some point I had to begin to focus on making sure that I was standing there on the starting line, and that I would be able to complete what it was that I had started out to do.
Problem was....I had already finished.
I found myself standing there on the starting line, having already achieved my primary goals: Return to life, get healthy, and make some hard decisions. I still had one more thing to do though, and that was to complete this 50 miler.
After the first lap of this 3 laps x 16.7 miles race, I realized that I would indeed make it to the finish line. My leg and primarily my foot were bothering me, but nothing that a few bloody, then stubbed, toenails didn't end up masking. I stayed with my friend Lisa for about 30 miles.
I felt OK. Not great. Then the unexpected happened again. The Competetive Spirit Did NOT arrive this time. Only a feeling of contentment. (Peppered with severe pain due to repeatedly stubbing my currently bloody, previously Taxol....Toenail).
I felt happy. I was alone in the woods on a beautiful day.
I was thinking about my beautiful family and my wonderful life.
It just didn't seem important to me to kick anyone's ass at that point which is something very different for me, and even a bit "off the shelf", if you will. Like trying on a new pair of shoes. You "might" like it. Somewhere around mile 38 I remember beginning to think... "This is not really my thing". "I like Yoga". I also remember thinking that I should keep running so that I could get back to the finish line sooner rather than later, to see my husband and friends who would be waiting there for me.
|Tejas Trails Coach Joe Prusaitis|
Richie told me the day after the race that it was even slightly awkward for him when I crossed the finish line with people standing there cheering for a cancer survivor (me) who had just completed a 50 mile race and I was speaking very loudly..."This is not really my thing!" I just don't have the competetive spirit today!"
Funny the things one will say after running 50 miles.
Thank You to everyone who played a part in making this amazing weekend happen for me. (Jenn).
"One can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegrtion if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways." --Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril