15 months ago – almost to the day – I ran the London marathon. I had trained through a bitter British winter, through snow and sub zero temperatures, to suss out whether I could really do it. And to tick it off The Bucket List.
The recovery was painful. For two days, I couldn’t shower properly because I’d lost skin in unmentionable places. For two weeks, I couldn’t wear shoes. Six months later my toe nails grew back. And it took many more months for me to contemplate running further than the block.
It physically, emotionally and mentally battered me.
It also made me lose my love of running.
Running. The constant in my life that fills me with zing… that makes me feel mentally strong and physically purposeful. My air.
And when I run a lot, I write. I had stopped running. And, so, I stopped writing.
It’s taken me all this time to realise that in my later years running had crept into my life and became my glue. I know from my Can Too sessions that others feel the same.
The past few months I’ve been scattered. Something was missing. I’ve felt reluctant to settle. I stopped living in the present and was instead counting down the days till I could be somewhere else.
All that… astro-travelling… has exhausted me.
So I did something about it. I put my backpack away. Until recently, it had been sitting at the end of my bed, winking at me. Don’t get me wrong – it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped travelling. Far from it. It just means that I’ve told my brain to be here and not to be there. Off climbing Kilimanjaro. Or hiking through the Himalayas. Or…
And now I’m rediscovering my sport. I had forgotten how good it felt to run so hard that you have to clutch a wall and breathe. I had forgotten how good that ‘runner’s high’ is. And how it alters my body. I definitely don’t have a runner’s physique. Quite the opposite – bouncy bits that are compelled to burst out of my lycra. Bouncy bits that are frighteningly susceptible to chafe. Ohhh the chafe. I also wish I had a deer-like spring instead of a heavy tread.
What I do have is the love of it. And I do love it. I’ve lost fitness but I’m quickly gaining it.
This weekend, I’m running the 11km Sutherland to Surf. My first race since the marathon. I know that lining up at the start will flood my brain with marathon memories and that’s OK. It took me a long time to forget the pain and the recovery. But now, I not only remember that I crossed the finish line with a fist pump, but that it’s how I found my glue.
I’m running the half marathon through the Can Too program to raise money for cancer research. I hope you might pop a penny or two in my donation box: http://cantoobsrf2012.gofundraise.com.au/page/LodgeK