Instead, I picked it up a notch once I realized that the right knee was not going to be a problem. Ironically enough, it was the left knee that slowed me down. Running while hurt is nothing new to me, but it really feels like uncharted territories, as I am now older, heavier, and without testosterone. This is a much different experience than the glory days of 2008 when I could tear tendons and be right back out there running a sub 4 hour marathon 24 hours later.
A pleasant surprise has been what appears to be a positive switch to a tennis shoe, which is giving my torn right ligament some more support. Unhappy with the risk of blisters from the narrow sole of my new Asics GT 2000s, I decided to dig into the closet and pull out an unused pair of 2007 K-Swiss tennis shoes - left over from my glory days on the courts! (well not really - the glory days on the courts were 1992-93).
Compared to my long run two weeks ago, I generally had a tougher time dealing with both left knee muscles, and lower back pain. But my endurance levels were slightly better. Was never really burnt out or out of breath. The muscles above the left knee have been working extra hard over the past 14 months, ever since I tore my right ankle ligament - an injury that appears to be permanent.
While even I may think my goal of returning to the Boston Marathon in 2014, may seem extreme, I keep reminding myself that I always thought getting to Boston at all, was nothing but a silly dream, and yet I made it there twice! Making a comeback while older and heavier, is quite the challenge, knowing that I have been there before, gives me a sense of confidence. While I know it shouldn't bother me, I feel embarrassed to be so out of shape and overweight. Sitting in the Fieldhouse this weekend watching beautiful athletic young women play volleyball, made me realize the value of getting in shape and staying in shape. The confidence in these young athletes is beyond their years of maturity. I need to get back to that level, and I know I can do it!
I've talked quite a bit about labels and legacies lately. Well, Marathon Maniac and Boston Marathoner, are two labels that I wear proudly! However, the legacy is just getting started. As I tweeted out earlier today with this picture: Dear Boston, I am coming back for another one of these medals real real soon! Love Jennifer! #hopkinton2014