I think I want to stop running. I think I need to stop running. It all started with a pain behind the knee two weeks ago. A week off from the run didn’t really help. In fact, it hurt. Literally.
Last Saturday the Kisa took me to my now very familiar bike path and let me loose. I told him I would run for two hours tops. One hour out. One hour back. Period. No hydration pack. No gels. No fanfare. Just two hours. Me. Myself. Moi. I didn’t even have a mileage goal, but if I were a betting woman I would have said most definitely under twelve. My goal pace for Vegas is 10:16. Duane’s death date. My right knee has been muttering obscenities for days and my left foot has recently started whispering equally nasty things. My confidence is starting to fall off the table, too. I wanted to take it easy out of respect for all things off kilter.
But the run! I have fallen in love with this bike path. I love, love, love everything about it. This time of year, it’s all about dodging rolling acorns, falling leaves, camouflaged sticks, slippery pine needles and other less anticipated landmines like dog sh!t. In the thick leaves owners are not so careful about picking up after their unfettered pooches. Sad to say, I let the runner ahead of me discover that (un)pleasantry. Sorry Chicky!
But, I love the light in late afternoon autumn. I love the way the colors dance on the path before me. When I’m not
thinking stressing about mileage and I just run for the sake of running something magical happens. I lose all sense of place and pace. I just run. My first mile was an easy 10:13. I was cold and stiff and my mind was a corpse. No matter what the plan, the first mile sucks. Always. But, as I warmed up I came alive and found myself at an easy cruising speed of 9:20. I say easy because I wasn’t thinking about it. I didn’t push. I didn’t tri. Heart, lungs, legs. Everyone was in agreement that this pace was perfect. I had no pains and I finished the run the prescribed two hours with a distance of 12.47. But, here comes the bad news. Fast forward a day. My knee wasn’t muttering anymore. It was outloud talking. Talking loudly, outloud. My foot wasn’t whispering, it was wailing. This, after twelve teeny tiny miles. What’s it going to be like after twenty never mind twenty six?
I got an email about options. I can drop down to a half for Vegas. Would it kill me to do so? Does it kill me to even consider it? Yes. And yes. I haven’t fought for fifteen weeks just to run half the distance. I haven’t put in nearly 300 miles just to quit now. Because that’s what it is. Quitting. But, if I want to be ready for 26 I need to quit something.
And so. I am quitting the rest of my training. At least the run part. This is the end. For the next three weeks I will continue the yoga and some of the strength training but for the sake of my knee and my sanity I’ll stop the run. Even if it kills me.