The Fox River trails are normally my happy place; my place of peace.
But last weekend on my 20 miler, the Fox River Trails and I battled…big time. My once happy place of peace had been transformed in to 20 miles of hurt, mental heart ache, and blinding rain in my face. My knee felt like it was going to explode, and I felt my dreams of a sub 5 hour marathon dwindling nearly as fast as the tears and rain poured down my face.
I know we all need craptastic runs…all of our training runs can’t be effortless experiences of bliss. I know this…
But when you have been seriouslytraining for 10 weeks (I started a few weeks late, since I was already at the half marathon distance I researched and found this to be acceptable to jump in with full marathon training), I had hoped my 20 miler would at least go smoothly.
Without effort? Nope…but a strong run was all I wanted.
If you read my last post, you know there was nothing strong about this run, except for the determination I had to finish the miles.
So I took Sunday off, fighting the urge to run just a few recovery miles…heck who was I fooling? I was still limping. It wasn’t going to happen.
I did walk the streets of Chicago with my family on Monday, enjoying an awesome Labor day filled with shopping, walking, and site seeing in the world’s greatest city.
Back to work on Tuesday and I went back and forth with running…nope. Knee still had that ache, and I can’t afford to injure myself further this late in the game. So instead I enjoyed my first day of being able to pick up my daughter from the bus, helped her with homework, and cooked some amazing orange chicken with jalapeno peppers and rice pasta.
This week I am on the 4 am shift, and this shift always kicks my tail. I am a night owl by nature, and going to bed before 10 just doesn’t happen with busy household, chores, and kid’s homework…after work I was tired. My tummy is acting a little funny still (post run yucks), but I didn’t give myself an option. I changed immediately after work, and laced up my shoes.
I could’ve run in my neighborhood…but that would’ve been too easy.
No…I needed to revisit the river trails. We had to find peace…
So I parked my Jeep in downtown Geneva near the bike shop which is located adjacent to the river. I have parked my Jeep in the same spot for nearly 2 years, and have so many fond memories of this venue for running. I met my dear friend Carolyn here for the first time, I have run countless training runs starting and finishing on this trail solo, and my hubby and I had our first run date here.
I started out slow…(heck I finished slow for me), mindful of the twinge in my knee. But I ran…I stopped several times to embrace the beauty of these trails I have loved and wanted to “make up” with…I saw chipmunks, cranes, geese, and several more creatures that God placed on the path in strategic places knowing I would stop and snap a photo…these stops gave me just enough rest, but deep down I was at odds with this run knowing I never stop on a short run….ever. My goal was 5 miles, but I only managed 3.5 miles total.
But the river and I…well, we are starting to see eye to eye again.
My confidence of running a sub 5 hour marathon may be diminished…but in the end, I know I will finish this race, and finish it with pride.
The river will be running, right alongside me…and in the end, that peaceful bliss I get from running in my favorite place in the world is all that matters.