November 01, 2010

Duct Tape: Six Days to Stone Cat

This Saturday is the Stone Cat Trail Marathon. Hmmm. After about two months of NO cardiovascular exercise at my doctors’ orders (yes, several doctors), last week I was cleared by one doctor to start exercising again. 
 The trail marathon is six days away.  
What do I do? 
Well, I’ll show up and check in, pin on my number and start out with everyone else.  But I will walk versus run/walk or run, that’s what. Sounds like a plan.
My orthopedic doctor said that I could “gradually start exercising again.” So I'm going to try to walk a marathon after two months off? I'm not one to start out too gradually, I guess. He added—more joy to my ears— “You might even run a little, Emily, and see how that feels.” 
Dave's Barn Restoration Project
New bones, added strength, a hopeful and positive metaphor

My big-candy-apple-pie-in-the-sky goal is to finish my marathon pain free and by only WALKING.  Keeping the long-term health picture in mind, I’ll try to complete one lap and assess my “situation.” If that works, I’ll attempt another lap and hope to walk it in before it’s dark. This seems both within and out of reach because my mind is willing but my body is endurance weak (and in pain).
"Who is?"
Taped to a public bathroom paper towel dispenser. 
Another (funny) metaphor for my endurance fitness. 
Obviously, I have no specific time goal; the 13-hour time limit should not pose an issue with the 50-miler folks out there, too.  If I don’t finish at least I tried. No matter what, I can't wait to see, cheer on and high five my T.U.G. peeps in the marathon and the 50! 
I'll bring Windex (and Duct Tape).
Just in case THEY need any fixing.

Curious about what the heck is going on? Me, too.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure and neither are my doctors. After a litany of tests, x-rays and two MRIs, my next stop is Mass. General to a specialist. After reviewing the scans one doctor said, “You are pretty hard on your body.”  Yup.  Time to baby this mortal machine and heal the numbness (left shoulder to toes—knees and toes, head shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes), cervical and lumbar spine macrame, and right calf clicking, ticking, tocking. Of course my old pal PF comes calling, too. To add insult to injury, I sprained my toe slack lining in early October. That ensured my rest for another month. Funny thing is that my spirits are up. I've been down (not running) before and know that in time, I'll be back. Hopefully in time for some snow shoe events.

What have I been doing instead?

Light hiking, some core work, daily stretching, helping Dave restore his barn, hauling fire wood, learning how to heat with a wood stove, baking bread, teaching, art, appreciating basic health and health insurance, and being comfortable with uncertainty.