Here’s where the weird comes in.
Without an actual scheduled race, nay marathon, looming, my concern for my overall well being has gone completely out the window. For perspective, last year at this time, I was busily preparing for the Goofy Challenge (half marathon Saturday/full marathon Sunday). I was hitting long runs…back to back medium/long runs...and weekly runs in the dark of night. I ran across ice covered roads and sidewalks. Though I was officially “in training”, my primary concern during these runs was not to bust an ankle in a snow covered pothole. Or lose my footing on a patch of ice shattering my pelvis in so many Humpty Dumpty pieces. There was a lot of time and money tied up in those races. By God, even if I couldn’t run them as fast as I wanted, I was going to run them. “Crutching” a race sounded completely unappealing.
Fast forward to last evening, off I go as the sun disappears on the horizon and I’m left to discern between a patch of ice or a shadow from a tree. Could be either. I guess we’ll find out as soon as I plant one foot in the middle and….no, no I’m good. And repeat this every 25 steps or so. Did I decrease my speed? No. Was I concerned that I might jam my foot into a shadowy pothole and invert my knee in a hilariously cartoony fashion? Not really.
There’s no race on the schedule. One would think a general concern for my overall health and safety would still encourage a sense of caution. Apparently, now that I‘m obsessed with running, ALL things are tied to my next training plan and race. Even the threat of sudden, severe injury.
I ran only 3 1/3 miles last evening but, upon arriving back home, I distinctly remember thinking ‘whew, I didn’t break an ankle. Dodged a bullet there.' Absolutely no concern during the run. Caution thrown to the wind. Besides independent mobility, what is there to lose?
Now, I’m not going around licking door knobs clean at daycares or picking food out of my teeth* with a dollar bill I just got as change from Burger King, the bill that was used as payment from the car in front of me with the “My Parents Just Went To Romania and All I Got Was A Scorching Case of Tuberculosis” bumper sticker.** That would be stoopid (heavy Midwestern drawl, please).
No, I guess my attitude is that if something is going to happen, it better happen now. Break now or forever hold your peace. I’ll be married to another training plan soon enough.
Then, broken bones and malaria will matter to me again one day as that might impact my training. Until then, flock to me ye microscopic mites and tibia fissures for I stand with welcoming arms extended. Do your best. I do not have a care in the world.
At least, for the next 6 weeks.
* I use a library card from 1988 to pick my teeth. True story. Never been washed either.
** I did have some trouble breathing later after the run but I think it was a bit of cold weather asthma rather than tuberculosis.