Separating the forest and the trees.

The past few weeks have been rough. I wish could fake it better and say that whilst side-lined from running I have focused on my goals of clean-eating and strength building. But I haven’t. The last two weeks, upon realizing that I wasn’t recovering quickly enough to prevent losing any training ground for Boston, I let my eating habits take a nose dive, and I got pretty lazy. Then I caught a cold. Not just any cold, but a can’t lie down without either choking on mucus when you fall asleep or coughing so much you have to sleep sitting up on the couch kind of cold. It’s been 10 days now and I still have a chest thumping cough. It’s a grand excuse to be a sloth. I have been working out, but only every few days, and at about 40% of my usual gusto.

My foot is recovering very slowly. I think perhaps because this injury is a rather cumulative one. I developed serious planters fasciitis over two years ago and it has never completely subsided (I have 3 different night splints, aka “boots” that I rotate and sleep in), because that injury when untreated for a long time I developed a small bone spur on the bottom of my right foot. Then, somewhere between miles 19 and 23 (I remember the moment, but the moments around it are a blur) during the Portland Marathon last year, I sprained my right ankle. Because of that injury I didn’t run at all between completing that race and beginning to train for the Boston Marathon. So, yes, I broke the golden rule of running (of training at all!), which is to increase your mileage (or workload) by increments of 10%. I went from ZERO miles per week to FIFTY within little over a month.

But it felt so good!

Until I couldn’t even walk, that is.

To run the Boston Marathon is on my list of life-time goals. And I have not wanted to give it up for anything. I have many goals, and right now my list of goals is growing so fast that I am overwhelmed and it’s hard to focus! I am a strong advocate for small goals, daily ones, as well as goals for individual workouts and projects. I think breaking larger goals into smaller milestones is of paramount importance. But sometimes, it’s a huge mistake to forget about the big picture.

Sometimes you have to step back, sit down, close your eyes, and think about the big goals. The goals that you feel silly calling goals, because you may never get there, but they make you grin to imagine. The dreams.

Although I want to run Boston, and I want to run it this year because I qualified at my first marathon attempt, my bigger (running) goals are to 1) run a marathon in 3hr15mins or less and 2) Win first place as an age-grouper in a 10k 3) run daily when I am 60 and 70. It is possible that by pushing through this injury and going to Boston this April, I will be sacrificing these bigger goals. So I will be sitting out.

Sometimes, courage is not to push through pain and hobble across a finish line, but to step away, start over from the beginning, and finish strong. Although I feel heartbroken rather than courageous, I am ready to set my eyes on some shiny new short-term goals.


5 responses to “Separating the forest and the trees.

  1. well said. Start over and finish strong. You will make your goal

  2. Annabelle, I know how tough of a decision that was to make, and I applaud you for making it. I hope that soon your burden will be lightened and you can refocus on goals large and small.

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