Heartache comes in many forms. Nine months ago Amy and I signed up for the Walt Disney World Marathon and we had no idea what would be in store for us. While the year started off great, it slowly began to crumble, and we've been facing heartache after heartache during our entire training. But its been the running that has kept us together.
Running in 2015 started off very slow for me, which was not typical of other years. When we signed up for WDW we also signed up for a half marathon in Malibu which would fall at our halfway point in training. This was the first year in a few years I’ve not had any races early on in the year or any more races other than the two. I had race time blues, but I also embraced the break as I hadn’t really had one since I started racing back in 2011. I was still running to maintain and trying to tell myself it was enough.
Heartache comes in many forms. Amy’s marathon training started amazingly. She PR’d her half marathon and was doing great when suddenly she started to develop running injuries. From her hip to her calf to her knee, everything seemed to start breaking down. This has been very frustrating for Amy as she didn’t know what to do other than stretch, foam roll, and take days off. Her doctor told her she was only overtraining and nothing could be done other than rest. Mile after mile she has to stop and walk and the pain still doesn’t go away. But heartache comes in many forms. She lost her grandmother this year and a dear friend's little brother. Sadness and tears have accompanied her on her runs feeling the loss of loved ones, and the loss of her body's capability.
Heartache comes in many forms. I started dealing with the loss of my marriage during marathon training. I became very unmotivated and didn’t train like I had hoped and planned. I found myself overwhelmed with emotion on many of my long runs and would have to stop and have a cry mid run. As much as crying while running sucks, it can be very therapeutic. I remember doing my 17 mile run and I got to mile 14 when out of nowhere I started to cry. I moved off the running path and sat on a big boulder and cried and laughed and cried and laughed until I pulled myself together and told myself to finish my last three miles. Something positive came over me those last three miles and I smiled almost the entire way.
Heartache comes in many forms. On the week of my 18 miler I found out I lost my job. My new job that I loved. My motivation to continue training went out the window. On the very next day after losing my job Amy called me crying because she was trying to run her first long run in over a week, 16 miles, but as she rounded 10 miles her knee seized up and started to really hurt. We both cried on the phone and talked each other off a ledge and pledged that this marathon is strictly going to be fun and nothing more. We will not do it for time and we will not kill ourselves physically and mentally. We’ve had a year of heartache and we need time to heal. Our hearts are in this race, but our bodies and minds aren’t. We vowed to run this race together, which is something we have never done before and have fun every mile. We'll run when we can and we'll walk when we need to. We'll pull over and take silly pictures, with and without characters and have a true Disney race experience. I'm really looking forward to it. Sure, I wanted to do well on this marathon and sure I wanted to prove to myself that I could do better than when I ran the L.A. Marathon in 2013, especially with everything that has happened this year as proof to myself that I am strong and fierce, but with everything that has been dealt to me this year, it is more important to run this race WITH my partner, MY Betty.
And so we’ll run and walk and laugh and cry together. Because in the end, running brought us together, and running is getting us through our heartaches of 2015.