This weekend is the marathon I signed up for in April. I really appreciate all the money people donated to the Organization for Autism Research in order for me to run in it.
By late August, I was really loving the running---my ritual was to go by myself to the Canal Path and run with my favorite podcasts or with Spezzano and Sandy. There was usually haze over the canal, lots of sleepy ducks and geese, and just the feeling of being alone in the middle of the city. I really just loved that feeling.
On one of my longer runs on a Saturday, the air conditions were so perfect, and I was doing great improving my pace to under 8min miles.........and somewhere around mile 9 it started to feel like someone stuck a fork in the bottom outside corner of my right knee, right in the meaty part. It hurt, but not in a way that made me stop. So I kept going for the remainder (I think it was 14 miles---from lock 32 to the airport and back). Long story short-----I am quite certain I tore my meniscus that day. I took a week off, and then ran short distances for a week, with the pain during the next long weekend run stopping me. I could sort of walk, but certainly could not run after 8 miles (and had 4 miles to walk back to my car). I secretly hoped I could take a month off and focus on spinning and the elliptical to stay in good cardio shape---to then return to running and finish training. It didn't work. It doesn't hurt unless I run, but 3 miles into any run I become crippled again. And I'm sort of sad about that. I liked running (did I really say that?). I wanted to do the marathon, but mostly I'm unhappy about not being able to do the short fun runs I did last year---the Turkey Trot in Webster, the St. Patty's Day run downtown.
I also thought about all the money people donated for me to run ($500 total). I decided I would pay everyone back out of my pocket, and then I changed my mind. I can still go to DC and walk the 10K while Joe is running the marathon, and I feel weird about reimbursing people for money they donated to a really great cause (even though I know they only did it because of me running a marathon). So although I will pay anyone back who wants me to, I think my next action is to just contribute to the cause. I joined the Rochester Autism Council board of directors, so I'm going to be participating on several of the committees, and also going into group homes and volunteering my time to help teach people with autism about healthy living habits. I'm looking for a partner to help me with this---so let me know if you're interested :)
In the end, the whole thing didn't turn out to be about me running (or not), or about my knee. It's just about helping other people, and going with the flow.