I’m not good at “easing in.” I’m all-or-nothing, inertia personified. I don’t feel right unless I’m fully committed to whatever course of action I’ve picked. And yet I’m sitting here on the first day of June, 10 days from marathon training D-day, in limbo.

I’m four weeks out from Wildflower, two weeks out from the end of my total break. It’s been a surprisingly hard month — hard to stay patient and hard to get going again, a double-whammy that I probably should have seen coming.

And…I’m not better. I mean, I’m better, but I’m not fixed. That spot just above my ankle still feels like there are gremlins tugging on it from the inside, squeezing tight and not letting go.

So I’m stuck. I haven’t cheated on the plan; I haven’t run in a month, other than about 20 steps while trying on shoes. I did see another doctor for a second fourth opinion, and he spent all of two minutes poking at me, then said, “Well, if you’re not wincing, you must be fine” and “Some people just aren’t meant to run.” (ETA: He also seemed confused about why I would stop running and said he didn’t see a risk of further damage. I am not actually an idiot; I just play one on the internet.) I see my physical therapist again next week, and my podiatrist the week after that, but … so what, I guess, is what my attitude’s become. And it’s not a great attitude, I know that, but I’m having a hard time mustering anything else.

That’s not how I wanted to feel as the calendar clicked over to June.

I wanted to be excited about training for a marathon. My first marathon! The thing I’ve planned this whole silly year around! Instead, every time I think about it, I’m just … sad. That seems so silly and juvenile, written out like that. But yeah, that’s it. I’m sad. I’ve been trying to get on the bike and in the pool, to maintain any semblance of fitness — which, by the way, in two weeks off? total nosedive — but if they’re also pissing off my leg, then why bother with any of it?

Well, because, I guess, that’s what my identity is bound up in now. I didn’t realize it fully before this, and anyone who knew me five years ago — hell, two years ago — would find it hilarious that somehow I became someone who doesn’t know who she is if she’s not swimming and biking and running. But that’s who I’ve turned into, and I’m not ready to let go of that. Maybe it would be smarter to let go of it, but I’m not ready.

So the deal I’m making is this: If at any point I start to feel worse than I did when training for Wildflower, I’ll stop. And otherwise, I’m forging ahead. I’m doing it with a vague sense of dread, instead of the lightness and freshness I hoped the month off would bring, but I want to at least try.

If I’m not wincing, I must be fine. I mean, someone with a medical degree told me that, so it’s true, right?

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4 thoughts on “Limbo

  1. Beth says:

    OMG, the doctors out there are something else. Sorry you’re having such a rough time. I wish you magical leg healing juju and a fun marathon season!

    • kimretta says:

      Thank you! And yeah, I’m totally starting to be like, “is it ME? Is it something I SAID?” I’ve never been a “done with doctors” person before, but man, I am so done with doctors.

  2. Linda says:

    Above all else, commit to staying fit and remember all that you have accomplished in just this past two years. You’re a triathlete (twice!), a half-marathoner, and above all else, someone who knows what she needs and wants and how to achieve it. Doctors are smart…except when they’re not. Listen to your body, go with that plan and be proud! Good luck with all of this. We’ll be cheering you on, as always.

  3. Kristina says:

    I often wish that I were one of those people who had zero physical issues, but I believe that it helps me appreciate the activities in which I do participate.
    I hope that you can continue to train and to feel good about your activity while staying healthy. And other people might contradict me here, but I’m not sure that there is a quick “reset” button that will automatically give you the lightness and freshness. I hope that you’ll find it soon, however!

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