90 Days to the Mount Desert Island Marathon.
Reindert and I had a heart to heart on Sunday. After the stress of the day spent in the Emergency Room and the realisation that this pain in my side is more than a muscle strain, I'd been working out what to say to him. The words came more easily than I thought.
At the end of May I cruised throught the Williamstown Half Marathon - well - I did my best time and came out really well. A week later I'd nearly torn my calf muscle, putting me six weeks behind my training schedule - and now this. It hurts to walk. Joy.
We had a pleasant afternoon. On hearing that there was a place near Hanging Rock that was somewhat magical, where you could roll your car uphill - something to do with magnetic forces or anti gravity - Reindert was sold and we made the return trip to the rock to hunt out this place.
It was truly amazing. Your set your car into neutral at this one point in the road - and sure enough - it rolls uphill! We tried it four or five times. Reindert's engineering brain was about to explode. "It has to do something with magenetics. I reckon if you were in a horse and cart it wouldn't work." he explained to me.
"Why can't some things just be left unexplained?" I asked in return.
"Because everything needs an explanation. It's science."
"Spiritual Agnostic, thank you."
The lovely German doctor at St Vinnies had remarked on my notes that as a religion I'd put down Agnostic.
"Why did you put that down?" he had asked me.
"They asked. I'm not a Christian. I'm not an atheist, as I sort of believe in God. I'd put down Freemason if I wasn't in a Catholic hospital. Kabbalistic Wiccan just sounds wanky. I was tempted to put Jedi down just out of spite."
"We get lots of Jedis here." he smiled back.
If I had put down Jedi as my religion and things got messy it turns out they would have called upon some guy in Preston who turns up in robes and talks to you in the language of Tatouine to adminster last rites. Hmmm.
Back to rolling cars uphill. We finished our trip, happy that we'd found this freak of nature place.
On the way back, after a lovely coffee in Woodend we started talking about the marathon.
"I'm all in a quandry."
"About what?" he asked.
"The marathon. At the end of May I was travelling well. Then came the calf - and now this. I can barely walk without pain, let alone run. I just thought I'd done a groin muscle for a bit."
"You walk alright."
"It hurts. I doesn't hurt too bad, but it hurts. And I'm not going to whine about it. But I can't run at the moment. I can't train. It shits me."
"I can imagine."
"I don't know how long this will be going on for."
"And the marathon is three months away. I don't know what to do. It feels like I've put most of this year into getting myself ready for this only to fall over now."
"I've been thinking about this too."
"Yep - and you have three choices. Run - and see how you go. Run/walk, and see how you go. Or bail. And there is no dishonour in bailing after a bit in your situation."
"That's how I see the options."
"And what do you think?"
"See how I travel over the next week or so and go for the Run / Walk / Bail option. I'm not a piker, but to run a whole marathon in October is lunacy.Walking is an option - and I'm still considering contacting the organisers and starting with the walkers and then see what happens."
"Then I think you're doing the right thing."
So, it comes down to wait and see. Wait and see if I can't run at all, run a bit of it, or if I'm lucky, be able to get back into training soon and complete the 42.2 kms, albeit at a run/walk pace.
Never would I have guessed that in two years I've transformed from this occassionally gyming slob to this running person. Somebody who misses the joy of movement as I traipse around the streets, somewhat red faced, but free.
I saw a doctor at my regular practice today - asked her to check up on all the results and the ultrasound pictures from Tuesday, half comforted by the fact that no matter which way I go, getting to the bottom of this will take a few weeks, not just days. She said to take it easy - and no running until the pain had gone.
So, I am without running for a while. What shall I do?
Finish that Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment?
Finish that Greek Travel writing job.
Get into Pump class again?
Ponder my five weeks abroad in October.
There is plenty to do. I just know I'd prefer to be out on the Yarra path - training my body, puffing away, adoring the feeling of achievement and freedom.