Not that I want to dwell on this much but I just had to write about it. I made a bad situation, much, much worse by attempting something I knew was a bad idea going into it.
It reminds me of this girl I dated right out of college. What was her name? Oh my god I can’t remem… Anne Marie. That was it, Anne Marie something or other. She was nice, a redhead. I have a thing for redheads. She was sweet and pretty and funny and we had a nice little thing going for about six months or so.
I wasn’t looking to get married anytime soon and neither was she. We were just enjoying the Southern California lifestyle of two young and energetic adults with the whole world ahead of us.
But by late January of that year, things had sort of run their course. The bloom was off the rose and we were starting to get on each others’ nerves. We began to bicker every once in a while and by the first week in February, it was pretty clear we were headed for a split. The only problem was that Valentine’s Day was right around the corner.
I had already bought gifts and made reservations, taken time off from work for a romantic get away weekend and none of it was refundable. I had to go through with it. I could handle it. How bad could it be?
Bad. In fact, worse than if I had just broken it off the day before Valentine’s Day and let her bash my headlights in with a baseball bat and carved the words “DOUCHE BAG” into the hood of my car.
Oh we had a lovely weekend away. The food at the restaurant was divine. Each and every one of the elaborate expressions of my innermost feelings for her went off without a hitch. I just didn’t mean any of it. But she didn’t know that. In fact, as it turns out, she was going to break up with me, but now after seeing how much I truly cared, she was even more committed to me than ever.
Great… Just great.
So the relationship dragged on far longer than it should have. The bickering continued well into April, until we both finally had just about enough and mutually called it quits.
How does this relate to me being in a cast you might ask. I’ll tell you.
I am an avid competitor. Every season (March through Sept.) I run a dozen or so road races (5K and 10K), half a dozen triathlons and one marathon. Oddly, the marathon actually comes toward the beginning of the season, but that’s good because it forces me to train early.
About a month ago I strained a tendon in my left leg up near the knee during a long training run. It was pretty tender and it took a week before I felt good enough to go back out and put some miles on it. I had about 3 weeks until the marathon and I just wanted to see how it was doing. Nothing crazy, just a road test.
So I went out and did a quick 3 miles. It hurt when I got home.
This should have been my “break it off with Anne Marie before Valentine’s Day” moment. I should have known right then and there that I was not going to be running the marathon this year if I wanted to compete in any other events all summer.
But… that’s not what I did. I had already been training for five months. I had already paid my entrance fee. I already had the freakin T-shirt for crying out loud. And you don’t get the nice shiny medal unless you actually cross the finish line. I wanted that shiny medal.
So I repeated the mistakes of my past and I rationalized a scenario where I could eat my cake and have it too. I stayed off the leg for almost three weeks (as if not running for a full three weeks right before a marathon is a good idea to begin with). I could actually walk with only a tiny amount of pain. An amount of pain I had convinced myself I could manage for the entire race. Sort of like getting through a weekend away with someone I didn’t really want to be with. I could handle it. How bad could it be?
Famous last words.
Suffice to say… it’s bad. 4-6 weeks in a cast and then physical therapy. I did not get the shiny medal for crossing the finish line. I made it to mile 6 and that was about 5.99 miles too far. My season has ended before it really ever got started.
I should have just kissed the entry fee good-bye and cheered my friends from the stands at the finish, while looking forward to next year.
I’ll know better next time. Or will I?