Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Paradigm Shift

So, it's pretty much official - I am not running the 2013 London Marathon. As of this morning's torture session chiropractor appointment, with my still sore hip, the new diagnosis is bursitis with a side order of really crappy core strength and underlying mechanical problems, all of which combined comes down to one thing: I can not, at age 40, train for a marathon the way I did at 30.

This should come as no surprise to anyone (least of all me). As someone who has been active and athletic in some sort of organized (sometimes even obsessive) fashion since the age of 8, my self-image of my physical abilities has been pretty stable over the years. In my own mind's eye, I am a fit, athletic (if by no means fast at any sport aside from rowing), capable person. But if I am perfectly honest with myself, that is not what I am anymore. I am someone who used to train consistently, who used to commit to doing something active on a regular schedule, and that hasn't been the case since 2005, really.

There have certainly been times when I've entered a race or an event and trained consistently for it, but that training hasn't continued past the finish line. What this failed attempt to train for the marathon has made abundantly clear is that, if I want to be able to run next year, and I mean really run - not just finish - I need to spend the next 13 months addressing my mechanical issues (hello Pilates!) and being consistently active. The answer is to start training now for an event that's more then a year away. And that is a hard concept for me to wrap my head around. Hopefully, the habit of consistence will carry me through the post 2014-marathon recovery period and I'll keep going. This isn't about weight, or body image, or any of that crap. This is about the realization, at 40, that if I don't get a handle on this now, the able-bodiedness that I take for granted could slip away without my even realizing its happening.

So, tomorrow I'm going to swim. And next week I'll start riding again. When my hip is pain-free and the bursitis is gone, I'll start back with the running. And we'll see how it goes.

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