My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
Today was the day to pick up race kits for the Tarahumara 21K. Tomorrow’s race will be a game day decision for me. If I feel up to it, I will go and race, if I don’t, I won’t. I will also quit during the race if I feel I need to do so. As of tomorrow, four weeks will have officially passed since the break and three-hour operation to repair three phalanges on my right hand. Since the breaks were all dislocated, compound fractures that were close to my proximal knuckle joint, my hand is still very much a sore piece of useless flesh. Last night’s physiotherapy session nearly blew my mind the pain was so intense. The doctor has assigned me the meaner physiotherapist and she was overly thorough.
I am nonplussed that tomorrow’s 21K route has become a double out and back, which will have us running a cross-shaped course twice over. The fastest runners, most notably the Tarahumarans, will be lapping me as I struggle with a 7 min/km pace (I hope, as the flyer makes no mention of a cut off time). At least a double out and back guarantees I will be seeing some of the fastest long distance runners on the planet. However, it also means my strategy of sticking to the back of the pack to avoid being bumped and jostled is moot. There will be people flinging by me with the greatest of ease at all times, and so the odds of my ridiculously painful and injured hand getting hit or bumped are that much greater.
I still wonder if I am nuts for even considering this race, but my legs feel good, and I trained for eight weeks for this goal race before one moment of imbalance sent me on a crash course with the pavement. Living in a country where I don’t speak the language fluently has me in a state of isolation where I can’t trade injury stories with others at a run club of sorts. I find myself dearly missing my old Barrie Running Room club and those excellent Barrie Roadrunners. I sure could use some reassurances from fellow injured runners at a time like this. Anecdotes of the recovery of people with similar past injuries are especially soothing.