Two weeks ago today, I hobbled in from a 20 minute run in tears, knowing that Niagara was not going to happen.
Two weeks ago, I could hardly stop crying as I weighed the pros and cons of trying to run or dropping out.
Two weeks ago, I took down the training schedules and the 42.2 stickers that I had posted in my kitchen and at work because the sight of them was enough to cause another breakdown.
Two weeks ago, I was really really sad.
Two weeks ago, I could not imagine having the strength to go watch the Niagara Marathon.
One week ago, my ankle still hurt despite a week of not running.
One week ago I told my family what was going on and cried on the back deck while they listened to the story.
One week ago I had just had my first go at pool running and swimming lengths.
One week ago, I wanted to be as far away from Niagara Falls on October 23rd as I could get.
Today I can talk about the race without crying...well hardly crying anyway.
Today I can swim one kilometre.
Today I cycle three times a week and swim three times a week and my body feels great.
Today my ankle feels about 70% better and I can walk up and down stairs without pain.
Today I decided that I will be going to the race expo to pick up my package and my shirt (or coat or whatever we get). Because I got close enough to see the start line and I want my damn shirt! Even if I have to write "I almost ran this race" in permanent marker on it.
Today, for the first time, I think I might want to go watch the marathon and cheer on my friends who ARE running. Because even though my goal has been postponed, theirs has not. It's real. It's looming. It's exciting and terrifying. I know because I was close enough to feel it too.
They are my heroes. They overcame every challenge, climbed every hill and battled the worst heat and humidity that summer could throw at them.
Scully, my type 1 friend, did her runs on her own. All of them. She ran hundreds and hundreds of kilometres by herself with her diabetes paraphernalia, her cell phone and the heart of a lion.
Brian, my superhero, struggled in the heat. Struggled with self-doubt. Struggled with challenging run after challenging run. And won. Not only won but kicked ass. A few more days sir and you will be a marathoner.
Nancy and Christine worried about their pace. "Are we too slow?" they asked. "They're going to close down the race before we finish. This is hard. This is too hard." And yet here you are, mere days from the start line. You did it ladies!
Darlene and Mike. You did what you always do. You ran beautifully. You looked on the bright side. You were grateful for the runs that were wonderful and you learned from those that weren't. You made it look almost easy. You will be fabulous on race day.
I am proud of all of you.
I am proud to be your friends.
And I will be signing up to run all the way Around the Bay in 2012.
Who's with me??