Today was declared a day of mourning in Virginia for the servicemen who were killed in the Afghanistan helicopter attack. So I didn't want the sun to set without getting out on the pavement and continuing my training in Chris' honor.
I started out with a one-mile walk, praying the whole time that the new shoes + fancy blister-fighting bandage would allow me to complete three miles without hobbling in the end (a la Wednesday, a la Sunday, a la every blasted day for months). Without fighting and destroying this latest enemy that is trying to sideline me, the half marathon seems simply impossible.
(Side note: I wear the right non-cotton socks. I've consulted two physical therapists. I went to the best running shoe guy I know. I've never had a blister problem before.)
Toward the end of the first mile, I could feel the fancy blister-fighting bandage shifting, which meant my foot was still rolling and causing friction. But I continued, breaking out into a run/walk for the next two miles. It was a beautiful night, and - discomfort aside - I was glad to be out there in the remaining few hours of the day.
With three miles completed, there was some hobbling as I made my way toward my apartment building. I was frustrated. All I could think was, "Well, I guess it's time to call on Physical Therapist No. 3," and how much I dreaded more speculation, more "try this," more "maybe you should just cross-train."
The sun was setting as I approached home, and - shoving aside my negative thoughts - I suddenly realized what song had been playing on my iPod for the past few minutes: Billy Joel's "Everybody has a Dream." My eyes swelled with tears, thinking of my last blog post and Chris' dreams of being a SEAL, thinking of my declaration to fight for my own dreams, thinking of the day I put the song on my playlist. It was my anthem for Marine Corps Marathon training. I listened to it at the end of each training run, determined to one day reach my dream of running 26.2 miles. That dream ended up being deferred.
Blisters and tight calves and being overweight are the enemies trying to stop me from my dream. I must not let them. Bring on Physical Therapist No. 3.
For history on this new goal, see "Honoring him."