5 Mar

Hey everyone!

I am sorry to not have posted in such a long while, but I have a sad reason.  I injured my knee back in November with a nasty flare up of runners knee that, to this day, is still not fully recovered.  Not being able to do the thing I love most has left me immensely depressed, but after running a cautious, mildly painful mile on Sunday, hope has returned.

My bout of runner’s knee (I believe that’s my issue) has been atrocious to say the least, but I believe that after many blunders I have developed a semi-successful self recovery routine that I will share with you all.  I am still learning and researching the actual cause of my problem, and the more I learn the more it all makes sense.  Nevertheless, this process of waiting is trying and I have had more bad days than good ones.  Thankfully though, as I said above, I was able to (for the first time in over three months) run an easy mile at my gym.  It was definitely not painfree, but the fact that I could actually finish it was a HUGE step in the right direction.  I am hoping and praying that I will be running again fully, without pain, by the first day of summer.

Below is a journal entry you might enjoy.  


Journal, 5 March 2014
I’m sitting here on the sofa plugging away at my hasty, last minute preparations for a calculus exam awaiting me in a mere six hours.  I have been having a pretty darn good semester so far but not being able to run still is beyond difficult.  The pain in my knee doesn’t compare to the pain in my heart and my mind.  I think I can say that, after losing my mom a year and a half ago, running means more to me than almost anything else in life.  People come and go, they make you happy only to let you down, but running is such a pure thing.  I love God first, and running seems to be directly in second.  I know that this seems selfish, but putting people before it seems silly; I did that with my mom and it didn’t help at all.  Rather, running was the glue that held me together before and especially after August 2012.
I have been listening to a random mix of music tonight, and suddenly out of the blue a song came on that was one of my favorites to listen to in the fall of 2013 when out for my long runs.  I had so many mountaintop experiences, and each one was better than the previous.  I am nearly brought to tears just thinking of them.  The one that comes to mind, I will recount for you now:
It was a Sunday night, rainy, cold, and late.  I got off work at 6 I believe, and loafed around the house for a few hours.  I had a long run on my schedule just as I always had on Sundays.  I knew that I needed to run it, and I knew that I would probably enjoy if I could just get out on the roads.  However, I had run the roads around my house literally hundreds of times and as you can imagine, I knew them better probably than the engineers who planned them.  So I didn’t want to run out of my front door, but why not drive somewhere else?  That’s it!  I thought of a super cool place that I simply love to go to, out in the country, and plotted out a course on mapmyrun.  I forget the exact distance, but I believe it was somewhere around 18 miles.  I wrote the turns on my left fore-arm in a black sharpie scribble so that I could skip a map and just read the right’s and left’s when the time came.  It was a bit chilly so I wore my black Under Armor cold gear tights, my brooks Pure Flow kicks (my long distance shoe) and I believe some lightweight socks, probably a synthetic blend by Feetures.  For my top I wore some random tech tee over my Cold Gear mock, and atop all that, I donned my North Face Flashdry ultralight running jacket.  A light cap with build in LED’s and a decently bright handheld flashlight completed my gear, and the only thing left was a question of whether to listen to music or not.  I knew that it would be pretty quiet out there on the back roads so I thought a podcast would be a better choice.  I downloaded random episode from the Rich Roll podcast and headed out the door.  On the drive I put on an album by a fantastic Scottish producer that goes by the name “Blackmill.”  I chilled out to some beautiful melodic dubstep while speeding along to my destination.  I was a bit nervous as to where I parked; was it safe for my car?  Eh, screw it, I’ll be fine, I said to myself (and I was after all), and so I locked it up, carefully placed the key in my pocket and took off.  The roads were wet and I felt the light rain falling on my jacket, tapping my legs as they churned out a slow and grumbly start up the first incline.  At the top of the incline I made my first turn, a left, onto a relatively busy road and tucked myself safely in the shoulder.  I figured this was as good a time as any to “start the show,” so I popped in my buds and began listening to Rich Roll’s uber-chill voice.  His earlier episodes always had super long intros, but his voice is so relaxing, I didn’t think of skipping ahead to the interview in the episode and rather listened to the whole intro.  At last his special guest of the show came on, and the interview was engaging.  The miles were floating by and I almost mixed my next turn.  Oh yes, this one.  I was a little nervous in all honesty: it was a little dirt road leading up through thick trees, twisting and turning like a road would do in Ithaca.  I had heard crazy stories of people seeing skeletons here at night, and though they’re just silly, the setting was undeniably eerie.  I paused the podcast, stashed my earbuds so they wouldn’t make noise, and killed my lights.  There was just enough moon so that I could make out the road in front of me, and I wanted to at least be stealthy.  If some weirdos were holding a clandestine ritual in the woods I had the safety of being invisible.  After a quicker pace sped me up the road, I soon came out the other end.  I checked behind me, half expecting to see some ghoulish monster about to gobble me.  Of course, there was nothing but the faint shadow the moon cast behind me.  So, I checked my watch, it was about 10 pm now, and I continued the podcast.  Over the next hour the interview unfolded like a beautiful blossom on a cherry tree, and my run was just as nice.  It is amazing how much one can enjoy the scenery, even if it is rendered invisible by the night!  At last the podcast concluded, and I opted for quiet now; my legs were tiring and my breath was shorter.  I knew that the run was nearing an end and I wanted to soak up every bit of it.  I found myself running up a steep hill that didn’t seem to end.  Suddenly it flattened out, the trees next to me dissapeared, and I found myself at the crest of the hill overlooking miles upon miles of tidy farmland.  What a sight to behold!  I stopped my watch, turned off my lights, and drank in the soft moonlight.  After a nice pause, I started my engine back up and resumed the run, deep in thought and meditation.  The run finished, and I returned to my parked car, on a calm, euphoric high of utter bliss.  I forget what I was listening to on the ride home, but I will always remember that run as the of the best I ever had.
Now I sit here, typing away, and it is past one in the morning.  My heart aches in the same way it does when one is in love.  I dream daily of the moment when I can run again, and it feels real.  I am running along in perfect stride, without a trace of the pain that has weighed me down the last three months  Suddenly I stop, est my hands on my hips and let out small quiet sobs.  Can this really be happening?  Am I really running again?
Yes, that day I believe will be here sooner than I think, and come summer time, I will be running miles upon miles in the quiet zen of forest paths and country roads.  That day cannot come soon enough.
In the words of Killian Jornet, world-elite ultramarathoner, “Run or Die.”

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