According to the globally-accepted epitome of brain power, doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Sorry, buddy, but on this one, you’re wrong. Albert Einstein never met my left ankle. One could easily say that I keep running and it’s still not healed, so why would I expect any different outcome, and therefore the man was correct. But I look at this on a more micro scale. The reality is that on any given day, whether I run or not seems to have no bearing on real or perceived pain. I run, it hurts. I run again, it feels better than before. I run yet again, it’s no longer swollen. I run again, it hurts. And just to add an exclamation point to that point of exclamation, here I sit with fifty miles on the legs in the past week, and at the moment, all feels fine. At the moment, at least.
What, you were expecting logic?
Doctor Foot Doctor said run on it, it’s under three months to Boston, and I’m still sucking wind and carrying more pounds than I hope to propel from Hopkinton to Boylston Street come April, so I continue to bet on the weakness of Herr Einstein’s theorem. But it’s now five months post-surgery, and I am dismayed. Not defeated (never!) but dismayed. Further, it’s four months post-clot, and I am admittedly wondering if my wind-sucking is simply lack-of-fitness-based, or whether in fact I’m down some lung capacity from that arterial traffic jam. But if that’s true, there’s nothing I can do about it other than work hard to build that capacity back to the extent possible. So, damn the nuclear warheads, full steam ahead!
Not to make it a trend, but this weekend we did it again, this time with less grunge but some serious wind, back onto the course, this time to the summit of Heartbreak Hill and back. The wind made our return a grind despite the downhill, and whether due to that or for whatever reason, once again, fourteen was the un-magic number. Again, the wheels fell off, this time so badly as to warrant a tourist stroll up a particularly sharp grade before slugging it back at a nearly embarrassing pace. Unfortunately, this did seem to constitute a trend, and not a good one, but hey, I now have two eighteens in, and it’s still January. Perhaps there’s still time to be ready for Boston.
I was a little less excited about this one than last year’s excursion where we watched him break the mile record. A sub-four mile has a cachet. The two-mile? Frankly, I hadn’t heard of anyone racing this distance since my First Lap days in high school. Back then, my goal was to break ten minutes, and I finally pulled it off – just once – and just by the skin of my teeth, with less than a second to spare. But Galen was shooting for something closer to eight. More or less unfathomable.
I’d thought that DDY had said the record was 8:07:42, and to me, it looked like it was going to be close. When he crossed the line and the clock read 8:07.43, I had a moment of agonizing disbelief. To miss it by a hundredth! When the scoreboard then reported the official time of 8:07.41, I had a moment of gleeful disbelief. To get it by a hundredth! As it turned out, our recollection of the previous record was off by two whole seconds. There was no doubt. He shattered it. And the fact that it happened ten feet from our noses made me rather glad that our sport doesn’t draw the big crowds.
So the formula appear to be that I run and it hurts, then I run and it doesn’t hurt, but I run, and it’s always in some way, shape or form, a good thing. And I expect that to happen pretty much every time. OK, perhaps I have to concede that Einstein was on to something.