It’s been a crazy couple of months in the TFG household and there is about to be a big change coming…
2016 was a great year. I changed job roles to something more fulfilling, ran my first half marathon, continued my seemingly endless grind towards the higher level degree plan, and we successfully grew our net worth by about 39%.
But it’s not to say that I didn’t have my share of shortfalls either. I definitely didn’t read 12 books and sure as hell didn’t condition myself into become a perky and productive morning person.
But for some reason none of these failed goals were the most upsetting to me. Early last year I read multiple books on running. My favorite of which was Meb Keflezighi’s Run to Overcome. Over a 6 month time-period last year, my mindset had shifted from finishing my first half marathon to training and running for a marathon. 26.2 miles of running. 1 month earlier, I had run more than 13.1 miles once, maybe twice. I became infatuated with the idea of running a marathon. Late last summer I finally convinced the Mrs. that it was an attainable idea and my body could handle it. I took meticulous notes and read many different training plans. I planned out my runs daily, even to fit the schedule around my busy work weeks.
From Oct 1 to Dec 1 I ran over 140 miles. No world record, but for me a herculean number. My body hadn’t felt this great since high school. One Sunday in early December I was due to run 9 miles which was a relatively moderate run by this time in the cycle. I was a week away from a warm-up half marathon just about half way through my training for the big marathon day in late Feb (it would be next week actually). But after 1.5 miles, I realized something was wrong. I felt a strange twinge in my right knee. A new sensation that I hadn’t felt before. I didn’t have a good feeling from that moment, but I kept moving and hoped that I could shake it off. After 3 miles, I knew it wasn’t going to happen that day and I called it quits after 5.
Over the next week, I realized the warm up half-marathon wasn’t going to happen comfortably. I could run if that was the end goal, but the end goal was many, many long runs away so I abandoned that idea quickly. Over the next few weeks, I stretched, iced, rested and tried to walk and run a few times. But each time within a mile of starting running, that knee twinge feeling came back quickly and swiftly.
Eventually I abandoned the idea of running a marathon next week (late Feb 2017). I had just lost too much fitness and too much time to catch up and my knee was still feeling jacked up. My knee feels better for the most part the last week or two when I’ve gone on some short runs. So 50-60 day turn around time, for what probably is just a classic case of runner’s knee. I was pretty upset about this whole thing, especially in December into early January.
It’s this point at the story where I hope you are saying 1 of 2 things, either: 1) what’s the whole point of this story? or 2) dude, get a grip, you had a minor running injury setback and can’t run a planned marathon – BOOHOO.
Early last fall, my wife and I learned that we will bringing a baby boy into this world this coming summer. It was exciting to find out and admittedly we were both a little freaked out. Even when these things are planned, which it was, they can be overwhelming. Mainly that – we now recently have somewhat of a handle on taking care of ourselves. But being responsible for a small human in the form of baby monster that starts as some cells, grows in my wife’s stomach and you know the rest – that part of it is just mind-boggling to me. And probably always will be. Science.
So it’s important to know that the running injury happened after we found out we were having a baby. In what takes the cake as probably one of the more childish thoughts I’ve had in a long time, I was so focused on my injury that I forgot to back up and get a little perspective. There are many more important things than running a marathon. You know, for example, like having a happy & healthy baby.
I think everyone goes on a different journey in this time of their life. From going to finding out that you knocked someone up to being a father in 9 months is a big step and a big journey. I’m still discovering what that means. What I can say is the fact that I couldn’t run a marathon right now meant I spent much more time with my wife and unborn baby boy than I would have these last 60 days. But more than that maybe this experience and minor setback gave me a new perspective that was needed for the next chapter in our lives. I’m not a big believer in divine intervention, but maybe some things are meant to be. Or maybe I just needed an attitude adjustment. I feel as though my wife and I have never been closer. And I can definitely start to appreciate the idea that parents will do anything for their child.
Running a marathon is still on my list of goals, but it’s definitely not a priority. Running is a good mind exercise for me and a great time to think. Hopefully next time my mindset will be in a better place when I start the training journey.
Until next time – TFG