So here I am, four days later, back in my apartment. It's sort of like the marathon never happened, as long as I don't try to take a step with my right foot. My body recovered surprisingly well from the race. If I were crazy, and were it not for my bum foot, I'd have been able to run today. But let it be known I don't WANT to run today. And I am not crazy. I'm just relishing in the fact that my body feels great.
My mind and fractured ego are also doing well. I've chalked it up to a bad race. A bad day. A bad race on a bad day with a bum foot. Not every race can go smoothly and you can only go on injury-free for so long. So I'm OK.
My mother, on the other hand. I've spent the better part of our conversations today talking her off a ledge. SLOW DOWN, she says. STOP BEING CRAZY. A potentially-fractured foot is the end for her. YOUR BODY'S GOING TO BE A DISASTER WHEN YOU'RE OLDER.
I see it as lucky. I've been running since I was 12, and at 27 am facing my very first real, potential injury. And it's not even that serious. Sure, I'll be sidelined for 6 weeks, but, really? It's winter. Darn.
Two marathons a year also don't feel like too much for me. I just sort of cruise through the year and my training. It just is what it is. It works for me. Obviously every marathon isn't perfect, but I feel good. I'm happy. My foot, not so much, but it happens.
How does one explain to a mama that running is OK?
I'll tell you what, you DON'T a day after THREE runners die during a half marathon in Detroit. First of all, I can't even believe it. THREE PEOPLE. In one race. On a cold, October day. It seems so bizarre. Secondly, my mom's now convinced running will absolutely kill me.
What causes people to drop dead during a race? There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason. Most often it's an unknown, existing heart condition. Would they have died otherwise?
I tried to comfort her by explaining the odds. Hundreds of thousands of people are running half marathons and marathons every year. And how many of them are dying? Certainly not hundreds of thousands of them.
It's probably an uphill battle - the discussion between a runner and a non-runner. I run because I can. The deaths don't frighten me. People die hunting, people die driving, people die during sex, people die in their sleep. People continue to do all of these things.
An injured foot doesn't scare me either. Hell, at this point I welcome the rest. It's a blip. A small detail in a long story about running.
I'll just continue sitting here with ice on my foot, watching TV. And I'll pat my mama on the head and call her silly.