Inch by inch, row by row

I never thought that recovering from an injury would be measured in feet and inches.

As a runner and a gardener, I should know it by now.

Nature has its own timetable. You need to let it happen in its own way. You can’t rush it.

You can’t pretend you’re in charge, and go running for hours. So my workouts are no longer five or ten or fifteen miles. They are much simpler. Can I run around the block without stopping? Can I run around the block — plus one more driveway? Plus two more driveways?

Day by day. Inch by inch. Foot by foot.

But those feet and inches add up. Today, I was thrilled to run 2 1/2 miles without stopping once.

That’s huge, compared to where I was a month ago.

Yes, sure, it might seem small in the scheme of things. After all, next Saturday is the Akron Marathon. I signed up for it months ago. I was going to use it as my last, long, slow training run for the Columbus Marathon next month.

I love the Akron Marathon. It’s scenic. It’s fun. It’s well-organized. Running through my old hometown, where I left my heart, gives me chills.

But I won’t be there. A marathon is not in my plans this year. Not even a half-marathon. Not even a 10K. Not when I’m recovering from in iliotibial band flare-up.

But that’s OK. I’m just happy to be running.

There will be marathons next year.

These day, my successes are marked in feet and inches.

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