So I took the week off. Slept in. Washed my running clothes and put them in the drawer. I didn't think about running and I didn't talk about running.
Not only did I not want to run, I didn't even feel guilty about it. That has never happened before. "What does that mean?" I wondered to myself. "Is this it?" "Am I done?" 31 years old, 5 marathons, and 6 halfs. Am I really finished?
Clearly, I was burnt out and wounded.
Thursday night, I was watching Project Runway (because that's what you do when you don't need to get up early to run) when Michelle, a contestant, said something that struck me. "And now the next step is to heal. And to regroup. And rejuvenate and get that inspiration to move forward." Now, of course, she's talking about creating a line for Fashion Week, but it occurred to me that's what I needed to do. I needed to heal. I needed to deal with what happened at Knoxville and move on.
I needed to run.
So Friday afternoon, I gave in and went out for an easy 2 miles. As my feet hit the pavement, I thought.Thought about those marathon miles when I wanted to quit. Thought about how hard it was to keep moving forward when all I wanted to do was stop. Thought about how I doubted myself, my training, and my sanity. And with each step, the load became a bit lighter. The frustration and the sadness lessened. The truth of the matter is I finished. I didn't stop when that was all I wanted to do. I need to be proud of that. I need to accept Knoxville for what it was and move on.
Later that evening, I ran a 5k with two friends. Two women who believed they would not be able to complete the distance. I watched them push past their limits and achieve their goal. If I hadn't been there, if I wasn't running, I would have missed it. I would have missed sharing that moment with them. That is why I run. That is why I will continue to run. So, thank you Austina and Kim for helping this runner heal and get her groove back.