Posted in meditation, running, uncategorized

My First Marathon

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This is a few years old, when I decided to run a marathon. If you zoom in you can see the notes from my kids that I stapled to my shirt. You might be able to make out what is written. Something along the lines of, you are a freaking nutter, but we love you, dad.

I am 200 metres from the finish line at this point and am beyond exhausted. Finishing was an emotional wallop, is all I can say, as I wolfed down bananas and protein bars, tears not far off. (the smell of bananas was a beacon of hope that the finish line was not far off)

I ran another marathon the following year, but had a slower time because I focused on enjoying the run (and the amazing vistas) and chatting with my fellow sufferers. I strongly urge you to exercise if you can, even if it is just a humble walk (and I love to those too). It is a form of meditation for me and has a way of putting things into place.

Next week is our fabled Sun Run which is a much saner 10K – I am bringing my teen son, as we have for the last 5 years to the run. Hope for sun – we’ve had a streak of sun for the past ten years on Sun Run day! Regardless, we will be there!

Posted in Uncategorized

Foot Notes

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I am trying to rehab a foot that has been overused, abused, and put through a blender on ‘puree’ setting. Blame it on my overzealous (cue the boasting) entry into full marathons the last two years. I have PLANTAR FASCIITIS. The pain is more or less constant, as I wrestle with alternatives to running and walking, my favourite modes of locomotion, next to scurrying. It’s been two months now with no improvement, but no disimprovement (opposite of improvement).

It is a comedy of errors, as I struggle with machinery and (ugh) swimming as alternatives to running. Now, I am told that swimming is bad for my foot, (because Trump) so I have to custom-make my swim stroke so that one leg drags behind me like a prehensile tail. I have ordered some doodads to make my swimming more ‘fun’. Some hand paddles, a waist belt to buoy my body so I can ‘water jog’, and a harpoon.

Water jogging in itself is a work in progress for me. As I simulate the land version of running in the water, one might say that I am REgressing as opposed to PROgressing. I swear that I am going backwards sometimes. (The life guard eyeing me nervously because the movement I made in the water was almost the same as the tradition of panicked churning that drowning men have made through the ages.)

Later, discouraged by how little water jogging was similar to land jogging (who knew), I started doing some actual lengths. Of course, I gravitated towards the ‘slow lane’, a cartoon depiction of some slow aquatic creature, a manatee, on the signage. I commenced my ‘front crawl’, or a parody of one. I saw a broken umbrella in a ditch once. My style was not dissimilar. After four or five . . . OK, who am I kidding, TWO OR THREE lengths, I stopped. My heart was in danger of exploding through my chest, like the nightmare hand puppet from Alien. I dimly heard some applauding. Four or five elderly Chinese ladies were cheering my efforts, with clapping, cheers and thumbs-up. It felt good and embarrassing at the same time. I took it as a sign – that I was a complete sad-O.

So discouraged was I, that at one point, I just decided to continue running, on the advice of, well, nobody. I just missed running so much. However, I came to my senses, and felt that I was doing more damage, so I quit that. I tape my foot, almost daily – it makes me feel like an athlete which, indeed, helps me psychologically. I try to tape it in public places, Starbucks, my child’s school library where I volunteer, and movie theatres. This way, I get the maximum traffic and can answer such queries as ‘how did you injure it’, ‘are you in a lot of pain’, and ‘are you barking mad’?

I hope to have this foot issue behind me by Spring when, once again, Vancouver streets, parks, and roads, will be clogged with Lulu lemon and Under Armour clad runners. Anyone else going through this or gone through? Tell me I’ll be running again!

And now, here’s a picture of a puppy. You’re welcome.

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