On Sunday, I went to a local 5K race. Some runners were wearing race numbers. Some were wearing jeans. I was one of the runners wearing jeans.
Yes, I am now officially injured. Perhaps I’ve been in denial about this for awhile.
At some point over the course of my training, I crossed the line from being healthy to being injured. As I reflect back upon exactly when this happened to me, I think it was earlier than later. All the signs were there — the stiffness and the pain. I just refused to listen to my body and acknowledge them. I wanted so badly to run this marathon and wouldn’t admit to myself that I now belong to that group of runners no runner wants to be part of, the group I had blogged about several months ago — “the injured ones.”
So, I can’t run this marathon.
When many of the non-runners around me learn how many people get injured from running, they often question why anyone would want to participate in this sport. Since I have become injured myself, they’re even more curious about this and the questions have increased. This is why now more than ever before, I’m finding great comfort in being in the company of other runners since I feel they alone can fully understand me and why I still and always will love running.
While I can’t run this marathon, I still plan to come to it and cheer and support my friends–Kathy, Tara, Natalie, and Alice. They have trained for a long time and I am very excited for them.
If you should see me at the finish line at the New Jersey Marathon, I won’t be one of the runners wearing a race number. Instead, I’ll probably be one of the runners wearing jeans. That’s okay though, because I’m still a runner — and I’ll be back.