The past two weeks have not gone exactly as I imagined, although it is certainly an improvement from last year, as at least my bones all remain in one piece and I haven't found myself bursting into tears in public at any point. After the 21-mile fiasco, I quickly activated my 1-month BSC membership that Michelle graciously gave me last year, and my usual Cambridge/Somerville running routes have been replaced by the elliptical in the corner that looks down over the Singer sewing store in Davis Square. I haven't been a gym rat since college when it rained for 6 weeks straight during my final spring semester at Earlham, and I've had to re-train myself to not shamelessly stare at all the fascinating and totally bizarre workout behavior in my surroundings.
First, I'll share the good news: with the help of a physical trainer at Boston Sports Medicine, plus a lot of rest and cross training, I believe that my behind-the-knee issue is more or less on the mend. I did not feel ready to do last Saturday's 12-miler, so I did my best to simulate it on my elliptical in the corner, feeling oddly on display for all of Davis. I also hopped onto the treadmill for about 3 miles until I began to get telltale twinges, but overall I felt optimistic afterwards. For the rest of the week I followed a similar routine, gradually upping my treadmill mileage to the point where I felt comfortable heading to Kenmore yesterday morning for the final 8 mile "long" run. Mentally, I needed it. And it went well--I took it at a bit of a clip, and was very pleased that I hardly felt any semblance of pain. It was a gorgeous morning, and it was hard to believe that after two years of beginning and ending my long runs on Beacon Street, the next time I would be there will be during the race itself.
The slightly-less-good news is this: after spending yesterday afternoon doing light activity throwing the Aerobie on the sunny Boston Common, I was intensely sore in the legs (especially my calves). I woke up this morning and hobbled to the bathroom looking something like an arthritic pirate with two peg legs. I chalked it up to improper hydration and perhaps also some electrolyte imbalances, as, believe it or not, I was able to run in capris yesterday and not only did I not succumb to hypothermia, but I actually got HOT. Still, it is not reassuring to feel steamrolled after an 8-miler when I am expected to run over 3 times the distance in just over a week. I am pretty nervous, to be honest. Ironically, I was completely confident in my abilities last year, but I am a bit dubious this time around. I think it is going to be very hard, and I am trying to let go of any desires to finish the race in any specific time goal.
To wrap it up, this coming week will hold a few training runs before I spend next weekend relaxing with family as we honor the 4th anniversary of Nathaniel's death. I have received a great influx of donations over the past several days, and am so pleased to report that I am merely $201 from surpassing last year's total to fulfill this year's fundraising goal! I am still thinking about how I can thank my many donors for having such courage in me and my mission to support Samaritans. You all are truly awesome people.