What, you may ask, am I accepting? The short but unclear answer is The Inevitable. The short but with lots of unknowns answer is Giving Up on the Ultra for October 25.
I have not run in 2 1/2 weeks. Today I did one mile - on a track, so I would be sure the surface was best case scenario - and it ached the whole way. I could certainly have gone further. And 3-weeks-ago Phoebe definitely would have. But I have been in touch with my physical therapist - and my Grown Up Self - and knew that was just a big, fat, bad idea.
So, I pulled out of the Ghost Train Ultra. Even if my leg was 100% today running it was going to be truly excruciating at best, given that I have not been able to put in the hours and miles on the road that I really ought to. (Perhaps you have heard or can intuit that running 45 miles is a titch taxing and requires a bit of physical and mental preparation?) But knowing that even a slow, one miler was causing stress on my leg... Correction: a slow one miler after 2.5 weeks off PLUS tons of TLC in the form of foam rolling and stretching and icing and strengthening.... well, you would have to be as dumb as 4-weeks-ago Phoebe to think that was an OK plan.
I don't have a new plan right now. I don't even have a new PT appointment right now. Right now I have hotel reservations for the ultra and I plan to volunteer and cheer my ass off for the Badasses who are up to the challenge. My BRF, Lauren, will still give it a go for 30 miles and then she and I will think of something fun to drink, I mean DO, whenever I get off volunteer duty. I mean, it's basically now a girls weekend away without all the pesky chafing and blisters. Two of our pals are going for the full 100 miles so we will be there on Sunday to support them.
But of course I am sad and mad and frustrated. When I got the green light from PT and the surgeon to do this I kind of thought it was just going to happen. Not that I wasn't going to have to work my ass off for it and not that there would not be struggles along the way. Hard work and struggles are what this whole thing is about. I just thought that I would get to the starting line.
And now I'm not.
And so I'm sad.
BUT... I got a Facebook message today that took me back almost a year. It was from one of my Pay it (40)ward friends. My husband's cousin, Kristen, actually. And here is what it said:
Hi Phoebe! Just wanted to send you a note- and this is a really long time coming, but time slips away from me so easily with everything going on.... I wanted to let you know that I elected to use your pay it forward to become a Big Sister for the BBBS program. However, I knew that my company has been struggling financially for a long time now, and so I've been riding it out to see what would happen. Just didn't want to sign up with a child and then find out I have to move for a new job! Sure enough, we had a layoff on August 12. However, it looks like the local job opportunities are plentiful enough that I will end up staying here, so that's what I'll be doing! I can't think of anything that reminds me more of you than helping to nourish kids and their futures, so I've been very much looking forward to using your seed money there. Thanks again and sorry it wasn't more timely for your actual bday!! Have a great weekend
Yeah. Remember Pay it (40)ward?! I almost didn't either. Somehow I almost managed to forget about this big thing that I started planning last year and all of the great ideas and generous overtures people have made as part of The Plan. How timely that she wrote to me today. Partly because of my silly notion that running 40 miles for my 40th was not enough... And mostly because Kristen is a genuinely awesome human being, some kiddo in the greater Boston area is going to get some serious 1:1 time with a smart, successful, interesting, caring adult. Yay, Universe! I needed this today!
I also get to try to get into Boston on Monday. If the Universe is giving me any signs at all they are all pointing to a big fat "NO", but here's hoping that my qualifying time is enough. Last year's entrants had to qualify by a little over 2 minute faster than BQ and I qualified by 4:51 faster. I hope I hope I hope it's enough.
If you're a runner, I hope all of your body parts are treating you kinder than mine are treating me. Run on, dear friends! And run a few for me, please!