Saturday, November 8, 2014

EUPHORIC RETURN

Euphoria, followed by intense sadness and bewilderment, overcame me on April 15, 2013,

I had crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon in a respectable time of 3:04, slightly over a 7-minute per mile pace. An hour later, a despicable act of cowardice inflicted pain and sadness on the entire running world.

In the weeks that followed, I had a difficult time grasping the motivation for such heinous acts, so like most runners, training miles served as my therapy.

In the middle of a laugh, 2 miles into a run with long-time training partner Randy Haas on the pleasant afternoon of May 7, just three weeks after Boston, my personal running world was shattered when my toe caught a seam in the sidewalk and I plummeted to the ground in an awkward manner. My leg locked in the shape of an 'L,' and it wasn't going anywhere. The white hot pain was blinding.

An MRI the next morning revealed two torn hamstring tendons. I opted against surgical repair, choosing what I hoped would be a quicker recovery as the tendons reattached, scarring in on their own.

That was 18 months ago.

Today, in a small way, I felt euphoric again.

For the first time since April 15, 2013, I was able to run a workout in double figures: a 10-miler. The pace was a modest 8:25 per mile, but when I finished my new Garmin 10 watch congratulated me on my personal best 5K, 10K, and my longest distance.

In reality, of course, these marks were far from personal bests, but my watch reinforced the subject of my latest book entitled "Personal Best." www.muldowneyrunning.com.

For ever runner, "personal best" is a relative term. In my book, I offer a road map, or recipe, if you wish, on ways of achieving one's personal best.

Today, given my current state of hamstring rehabilitation, I ran my personal best.

Ah, there's a long way to go. In the words of another writer, "Miles to go before I sleep," but, for the moment, the euphoria has returned.

                                                                       Boston 2013