Many, many times, I have laced up my shoes, strapped on my watch, and hit the streets, trails or treadmill to log a few more miles. I would not consider myself a natural runner, but my body has endured five half marathons, four sprint triathlons, three legs of a 200-mile relay, and a number of 10k and 5k races. While gearing up for a marathon relay this spring, I was training on a treadmill when my knee suddenly gave out. Gripping the side rails, I offloaded my weight and hobbled away from the machine. The pain subsided, but my training came to a screeching halt. I hoped that a couple weeks of rest would allow me to run my portion of the race, but only three minutes into my run, the pain was a clear indication that I should swallow my pride and pass the baton to another runner.
Weeks later, the pain was still keeping me from going out for a quick jog. I made an appointment with a specialist and had an MRI of my knee. It was both a relief and a frustration to learn that there was no clear indication of what was causing the pain. I continued to train for this summer’s triathlon, but steered clear of any activities that would involve high-impact training. Once more, I choked back my desire to complete all three legs of the race and walked away once I crossed the bike finish.
Never before have I been truly limited by an injury. Through the spring and summer, there were moments of tears and questions as to whether or not I would be able to run as I had in the past. While I may not choose to train for more than a 10k race, my sunglasses bounce off the bridge of my nose as I smile through the last tenth mile of each run I have been able to complete this Fall. My heart rejoices when I consider the healing that has taken place in my body. Today, I am thankful for the ability to run!