Everything was going swimmingly — until the third 400-meter interval at the track, and then a twinge on the left edge of the left foot. I cut things short and took an easy day (frustrating), returned to the track the following day and had a fine workout with five timed miles (couldn’t be more pleased) and the next day six miles around the park – all good, until the next morning, walking home along the river, and now the left foot is hurting for real. At 4.25 miles I wave down a taxi. This aborted walk gets recorded in the training log as code red: injury. It might be a stress fracture. I might soon be thumping around in boot or wheeling about on a knee scooter. The Grid for June and July is threatened, and not to mention a trip out west I’d just started planning.
I take five days off, during which time I sink into a funk: sleep late, mope around, watch bad movies, find myself driving below the speed limit. Perhaps I should scrap all my plans to run and hike and go back to the corporate world and get a job, as I’m bored out of my mind. But then I come up with some contingency plans: renew gym membership and swim in the pool, sign up to go bird watching, get back to work on the job hunt, see the Doctor and get an x-ray…
Then an even better idea occurs: Try the foot out on a short bushwhack in the Catskills where the forest floor is covered in leaves and dirt, a soft and forgiving surface, not the relentless cement which made the foot hurt walking home in the city. And since force is proportional to speed, I can limit impact by moving very slowly, which would not be hard to do since bushwhacks in the Catskills are always slow — suppose I target a 0.5 MPH pace: how much damage could that do?
Halcott Mountain comes to mind: it’s just a little over a mile to the summit. An interesting strategy to clarify my situation. In one scenario, the bushwhack goes fine, the X-ray comes back negative, and we’re off to the races again with another June peak scratched off the list. In the other scenario, things don’t go so well – in which case, the summer’s screwed anyhow, so what’s the difference.
“Now bid me run,” says Ligarius in Julius Caesar, “and I will strive with things impossible, yea get the better of them.”
And so with a shout for my loyal page Odysseus the Labradoodle, I lower my visor, level my lance, and ride into battle, to strive with things impossible and perhaps pointless and possibly even ridiculous, but so be it, this is my war, and I shall not give up quite yet….
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