Exactly six months ago today—May 15, 2011—I sustained the worst injury of my running career. My plantaris tendon ruptured and took my medial gastroc and soleus muscles down in flames with it six miles into the Cleveland Half Marathon. If you didn't already know, I finished the race. "Did Not Finish" was not an option.
|Mile eleven, in excruciating pain, but so happy I got to see the Redhead!|
Following a diagnostic ultrasound in early June, I was ordered into Frankenboot. At least Redhead and I got to be miserable together, though my relationship with the boot was more of a short-term fling while hers was long-term and serious.
|It's the fashion statement of the summer! All the cool chicks have one.|
I embarked on physical therapy after I was released from Frankenboot purgatory. In mid-August I took my first running steps since the day I was injured three months earlier. I did the Run for the Rolls on August 27 and celebrated running one mile totally pain-free. I finished physical therapy at the end of September, turned loose into a Michigan fall. I have run three races since then: the Big House Big Heart in Ann Arbor, the Parkview Pumpkin Run (Columbia City, Indiana), and just this past weekend, the Ann Arbor Turkey Trot in Dexter. All three were 5Ks. All three exceeded 30 minutes. All three I ran with the Engineer. I'm slower than I have ever been.
The Redhead and I have made a habit over the past six weeks of walking together at a nearby park during the work week. We have watched trees clad in red and gold shed their leaves, gradually snowing in the path with drifts of brown which crunch beneath our feet. The forest unclothed, every twig and branch exposed, the dry and dirty smell of decaying leaves, the squirrels noisily rummaging on the ground, the birds in the bushes, the rumble of the freeway just hidden from view...Our lunchtime strolls at Lillie Park will continue until the weather makes it impossible to be outside. We have been fortunate thus far, but we know that winter is coming. (It snowed last Thursday.) On days when we are unable to meet, I walk by myself on a 2.5-mile loop starting at my office. It's not as pleasant as the trail through Lillie Park—it's primarily on the sidewalk next to a busy road—but it does have its own (albeit brief) woodsy charm.
|Cranbrook Park trail, short but scenic|
Finally, tomorrow evening I am going to sit in a movie theater for four hours and watch a rebroadcast of a Metropolitan Opera performance from a couple of weeks ago. The opera is one that is very dear to me: Mozart's Don Giovanni, in which I performed in 2008 and from which I can sing three arias. This is one of them.