Miles run from 12/9/09 - 11/30/10: 0.
Today, I ran for the first time since December 9, 2009. I'm healthy for the first time in a year. Knee is great...foot is a thing of the past. I no longer have to limp. Aside from running, I can soon hike, ski, fence, ride, and be me. I couldn't ask for a better birthday present. (.4 miles)
Thursday: Ran again (.75 mile)
Friday: 30 miles on the bike
Saturday: Ran and lifted. (1 mile)
Right before thanksgiving, 2009:
UVM T&F Green and Gold meet (time trial/make the team): I run 1:26 in the 600, and make the indoor roster. Right after this race, I feel a strange pain in my foot. It hurts when I land (when running). I train through it until winter break, hoping it will go away. It doesn't. It continues to hurt to run and/or walk for a long time through the summer, and into the new year (9 months). In that time, I have 3 x-rays, an MRI, and get orthotics for a mysterious foot ailment that I do not know the cause of. I cross train as best I can, and pick up swimming to fill in the dearth of competition. Earlier in 2009 I had posted something on the USA Pentathlon website, and never received a response. On 1/1/10, Margaux Isaksen facebooks me, renewing my interest in Pentathlon. That whole thing is a different story for another time.
I ask Coach Belfield what I should do about my foot. It's been 9 months, I haven't done anything to aggravate it, and it's still bothering me. Coach gives me a book called "To Be or Not To Be...Pain-Free The Mindbody Syndrome." I read it. My foot hasn't hurt me since. What's up with that? I know, right?
Ever gotten a headache when stressed? Well it turns out that I essentially get headaches in my foot. I think the foot pain started out physical, but since running is such a huge part of my life, in my lack of running, I began to dwell on my injury, and even though it was physically fine, my brain made it continue to hurt. This may sound crazy, but I assure you, it's valid. After reading the book several times in about two months, my foot pain became increasingly rare. At one point, it hurt significantly during an exam, but as soon as I convinced myself that there was no physical reason for the pain, it ceased its bickering. Thank you Coach Belfield.
August 2010: I tear my Meniscus (fencing I think?)
Surgery on 9/30, Chris from UVM Athletic Training has me do a ton of PT, and finally start running again on 11/30. I had been limping for so long that the muscle in my left leg was pretty weak, but it's getting a lot better now. Running feels great, and I can ride the bike for extended periods of time. Thank you Chris.
What got me through a year of not running: knowing that I would be able to run again. I wrote some journal-esque that I think is on my old computer. I'll post that later, but the gist of it is that running and competing, even with myself, is what I live for, and neither nothing nor no one, not even myself, can take that identity away from me. If I can go a year without running, and still be as dedicated to it as I was a year ago, I can do anything. This past year has made me realize how focused I really am. One could say that the only thing harder than running is not running. If I can take a year of that, I can and will take years of training to get where I want to go. Even if I pull a Tim Morehouse, I will get to 10,000 hours, and I will make it.
Who has helped me keep the faith, whether you know it or not, in no particular order and not limited to:
Michael Phelps (not really what he did in Beijing, but what he did to get there)
Always Steve Pre
Call me zealous, call me crazy, but I've found what I want to do with my life.
Day in day out, lay the life aside.
Worth it? All of it…run, fence, swim, shoot, and ride.
Dedication never a part-time mindset,
yet a lifestyle I'll never once forget.
While the road to the top may be long,
life is short. Have I doubt, may my past prove me wrong.
Look at Bill? Please…look at me,
all these things that I've done, and what you're about to see.
I don't give less than my best; to give everything I see fit.
Don't tell me what I can't do, because I will never once sacrifice the gift.