I’m home with “runners knee” and it has me taking a long hard look at my behavior. I stopped running 12 years ago in favor of sports that don’t include running on pavement, but when I heard that some of our staff were planning to run in the annual Whale Run and Walk along the beach near Living Light, Dan and I decided to join them. Of course, we could have walked, since neither of us has been running for years. Or we could have chosen to run the 5K instead of the 10 K, but we decided to take the challenge and run the 10K (just over 6 miles) even though we only had a week to train. Crazy? Yeah, now that I look back on it – definitely foolish given the fact that I stopped running because my joints were starting to feel the jarring pavement. But, Dan and I both work out daily; we practice karate (I am a black belt three times over) and we often speed walk 8 miles on weekends in addition to our daily aerobic workouts. Still after our first 6K practice run, neither of us could walk downstairs without wincing! Then we went for a 7.5K run and my ankles started to hurt. That should have been a warning, but NO…I was determined to run that 10K and by god/goddess, I was going to do it (even though my knee was hurting when I got out of bed the morning of the race! )
So. because I always look for the lessons life offers (especially the painful ones) I’m looking into it. Sure, I can push my body and run 10K (did I say I did it?) but in order to run it, I had to ignore my body. There goes the pact I made with my mind and body years ago when I promised to listen to warnings that I was going down the wrong (unhealthy) path. So, basically, I let my pride rule me instead of listening to my body. I didn’t want to pull out when I had told everyone my goal was to run the whole thing and not walk any of it, even though I have not done that for 12 years. I am going to be 65 this year and maybe that is part of it. I want to make sure I don’t act my age and admit there are things I can’t do anymore.
Did I have fun? Yeah it was fun and I was proud I did it (there is that word again: PROUD) but was it worth it to ignore my body and push it beyond its limits? Was it worth it to give up my normal training routine, miss karate and miss my daily aerobic exercise due to a knee injury? Ask me once the pain is gone and I am working out again. It’s easy to say, “no it wasn’t worth it”, but once the pain is gone, the only memory will be that I trained for a 10K in a week and accomplished it. Foolish as it might have been, I guess my ego still rules because here I am writing about it! And fact is, there aren’t too many things I can’t do that I did when I was 30. Well, I won’t be competing in any karate tournaments, and I won’t be doing any ski racing, and 10K runs might be a thing of the past…but I feel great and maybe that’s why I didn’t doubt that I could run that 10K. And the truth is, other than the knee pain, I felt great after the race. So, yeah, I’m pretty PROUD that at 65 I can still run 10K. Who knows maybe I’ll do it again next year.