If there is one topic I have returned to a million times since the start of this blog, it has to be running.
As I've mentioned a time or eight, I have a very unhappy tendon in the back of my left knee. Day-to-day life is completely unaffected. Even after a vigorous workout, nothing much changes. But I attempt to run and I feel it tightening up to the point that I'm positive I would strain, sprain, or even tear it if I kept going (much like what I did to myself sometime in March). I also feel it when the weather turns. I can honestly tell when it's going to rain based on whether or not my hamstring tendon tightens up out of no where.
As luck would have it, I got injured just as the Chicago Marathon lottery opened up. And -- in a fitting turn of events -- I realized I had to drop out of it just as the lottery closed. I also had to downgrade my half-marathon to a five-miler (which worked out for the best because I was *not* used to running that early in the morning, making the run an incredibly daunting experience even without the injured tendon). And -- aside from a few light jogs with my husband around the neighborhood -- I have not been running.
This Wednesday, the Boston Half Marathon opens up for registration. It's a very slim window before it goes to lottery, as they only allow 8,000 runners to compete. I remember getting so pumped at the idea of doing the Boston Half Marathon last year, only to realize that it falls on the same day as the Chicago Marathon (aka Columbus Day). However, with that weekend suddenly freed up, part of me feels like this has to happen, especially since the Chicago Marathon was supposed to be somewhat a "last hurrah" in terms of pushing myself physically before going on to another stage in life.
October is three months away, and I know I still have the muscle strength in me to run a half marathon (given how quickly I started running 10-milers after taking the winter off, I'd say training back up my muscles is the least of my concerns). But the question is that tendon. It is downright impossible to gauge how it is without running distance and potentially injuring it. And I have been avoiding that because, the more it rests, the more likely it is to heal.
So what I'm going to do is take how I feel after my next jog and decide one of two things: either I'm going to dive headfirst and attempt to register during the narrow window of opportunity, or I'm going to sign up for the lottery and let fate decide if I'm going to run this year. Either way, I'm taking it on good faith that I'll be doing whatever it is that I'm supposed to do.
As a competitive person (and as someone who just weirdly loves to run), I have a hard time letting go of the idea that I'm literally out of the running. I would love to do the Boston Half Marathon as a bit of my last hurrah (especially since the Boston Marathon is a bitch to get into, even if under a charity). My last two attempts at a distance race have been failures (I had to pull out of a 16-miler in January and I had to downgrade to a 5-miler for the Boston Run to Remember), but I have faith that putting my name out there one last time is the right things to do.