I've been silent on the blog front for a few weeks because I've been doing a lot of thinking and if you follow my blog with any regularity you understand that thinking and blogging don't always occur simultaneously with me. What I've been thinking about is walking. Not ordinary walking as in walking across the grocery store parking lot, something I tend to do without much thought involved and do quite well, thank you very much, but walking as in training for a marathon walking.
The collective sum of all my thinking has led me to decide not to continue to pursue marathon training. At least not in the foreseeable future. My natural resistance to quit anything plus the vast wealth of electronic gear and quik-dri apparel I've accumlated over the past year intensified the mental ping-pong tournament going on in my brain but having made the decision I felt relieved and the relief confirmed the decision I arrived at was the best one for the time being.
The biggest con in my decision making was that after two solid months of recovery time, two months of physical therapy, and strength training work since January I continue to be plagued with problems in the same leg and foot that led to my DNF in the Portland Marathon last October and given that completing a full marathon seems doubtful at this point. I've already thrilled at the excitement and sense of accomplishment in crossing the finish line at a half-marathon and the starting line at a full-marathon, and with doubt looming over the possibility of reaching the ultimate goal of crossing a marathon finish line, I lack the motivation to make training the priority it would need to be.
With that said, it's the pros that ultimately helped me reach my decision; those being that all I had hoped to gain from walking, training for a marathon, and then entering a marathon have already been realized beyond my expectations. I had three hopes when I began; to gain physical and spiritual health, to find a new purpose, and to have something to do. I needed all three desperately and I needed them right now to keep one foot moving in front of the other following one of those ridiculously painful, "life at its snarliest" moments. In walking, first for no other purpose than to get out of the house and then walking to prepare for a marathon gave me all that. Walking in the rain cleansed me. Walking in the sun warmed me. Walking in the solitiude of early morning and the calm of closing twilight centered me. And walking fast and long re-energized me. As I said, I received all that I wanted and more.
The more I received was you, the people I've met along the way. The wonderfully amazing people I met last Spring at a Dave McGovern Racewalking Clinic, strangers when we gathered for the first time at the Friday night orientation dinner and now people I easily call my friends. And then there's you, the bloggers who walk, run, and joggle, who train for 5K Fun Runs and full-out marathons, who parent and love their families, who laugh easily and share honestly, and who offer encouragement and kindness to someone you've only met in words glowing from your monitor screen. Training for a marathon, if even only one marathon, gave me all that and I'm to-the-bone grateful.
Just in case you're wondering, I'm staying right here. Phatgirl will keep walking (for pleasure) and blogging away about everything and nothing, and you can be sure I'll be around to cheer you on. Keep sweating!