Scratch n:  a point at the beginning of a project at which nothing has been done ahead of time (built from -)

For those of you who have been following my less than stellar 2013 race year, this post will make sense, for those of you who have not, I suggest a minimum of going back to blog post “Back in the Ring” and starting from there to catch you up with things.

On to “Scratch”:

I was very fortunate to be released well ahead of schedule by my neurosurgeon, with the limited ability to run and bike.  Earlier he had predicted March as my release date.  Having a healthy foundation proved to be to my advantage aiding in my speedy recovery.  I am still limited, and tire out easily.  I am expected to have a full release at some point in February.

Being an active and strong person this has been a humbling experience.  During recovery one of the hardest things I am dealing with are the daily living activity restrictions.  I was always the one who carried the case of copier paper in from the office supply, the 50lb bag of dog food, played sports with my son and carried him up the stairs at night.  That was the me everyone knew.  Recently I was doing the family grocery shopping and realized I could not finish as many of the things I could not lift into the cart.  Something that used to be so easy, a case of water bottles, I was forbidden to lift.

That day at he grocery store I had a close run-in with a “suspicious” person in the parking lot.  I had the sobering realization that had something happened, for the first time I would not be able to run away, or defend myself like I had been able to do in the past.  When I got home I sat in the car in the garage, and cried.

I am very well aware this new normal is still so much better than the intense and constant pain I was in pre-surgery.  I had no quality of life.  However, it still is very difficult mentally to deal with and accept. I still struggle with it daily.

In the days after being released I had an intense focus on doing as the surgeon instructed and slowly got back into running and biking.  Again, with limitations, but I will take some over none. I was not going to jeopardize my recovery.  I want to be the “strong Mommy” again as my son used to call me.

When I was released to run, I knew  I was no longer the athlete I once was.  I wasn’t even a glimmer.   I went back and looked through my training logs and found I was where I was in 2009 when I started officially training, from the beginning.  From scratch.

I read through those logs from 2009.  I saw one common thing staring out at me from the pages, I was HAPPY.  Truly and completely happy.  I enjoyed running.  It wasn’t about speed, or distance or time.  I was excited just to get up and run.   There was something refreshing about everything being new.  No expectations, no pressure.  It was all for the fun and joy of it.  Reading through the logs reminded me what this thing called “the run” was about.

2013 has been a tragic, trying, disappointing, and stressful year.  I regret to say there has not been a lot of joy in 2013.  Among all the things that happened, the most significant where having serious unexpected health problems and losing my Mom.  I found out who true friends were, I found out who supported me and who wanted to see me fail.  I also found out, most importantly, who I was, and what I wanted out of life.  A reboot of priorities you could say.

Am I the athlete I once was? No.  Will I ever be again? Only time will tell.  Am I going to plan a “comeback”?  I don’t know.  Am I going to plan a 2014 race calendar?  No. Do I have a renewed appreciation of the run?  Absolutely.    One thing I do know is this- I am a new runner/athlete again.  I am going to focus on what I can do, not what I can’t.  I am going to rebuild myself, with patience, the finest “ingredients”, smile, and enjoy every step of the way-

from scratch.