Well, to quote Elton John...I'm still standing.
I have no idea what week it is, by the way.
I have spent the last week doing my Physical Therapy exercises, stretching, ice-ing, and swimming. Then on Thursday I met Dr. Noland---a sports medicine doctor at KU. (Prince would call him "Dr. Everything'll Be Alright") Love, love, loved him. When I get really anxious and emotional, I sometimes start to cry, and I HATE this about myself. I was worried that I would walk into his office and the tears would immediately flow, "Please take away my leg pain. Give me a cortisone shot. Anything. Just HELP ME." But thankfully, that's not how our meeting went at all. Desperate Cori was present and accounted for, but somehow I pulled off charming and Type A, as opposed to "does she need a 'script for Xanax?" It's a fine balance, people.
First off, Dr. Noland is very friendly, and went out of his way to put me at ease. Then he nicely teased me because I brought a timeline of events for my injury, a list of questions, and a list of suggestions. (No, not arrogant at all, Cori, I told myself. You and Google are free to challenge all of Dr. Noland's medical training.) Before he even looked at my list, he laughingly said, "I can tell, you just want me to bust out a needle." I lit up like a Christmas tree at this, "Yes, yes, I do! How about some Cortisone?" He very kindly said, "No, not in your best interest." But he put me on a steroid dose pack to decrease my inflammation, got me reinstated in Physical Therapy, and then gave me a pep talk that was much needed. He said a lot of kind words, but here's what I walked away with:
"Your knee and your hip are in good shape. Mechanically, there is nothing wrong with you. You've definitely got an inflamed IT Band---and that will hurt. Cori, you are not going to hurt your knee by running, but your knee is going to hurt you. Run until you can't."
He went on say that he believes all runners possess a degree of insanity, and that he does not mean to keep running if I am limping. (At this point, strangely, his voice started to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher.....Wah Wa WaWaWah.....it turns out females can have selective hearing, too!) Everything else he said became my mantra to push on.
And so Friday morning I woke up at 4:30 am and ran 18 miles with the girls. I cried twice. Serious, serious pain. I would rather have a baby without drugs. But I want this SO badly. At this point I don't have a shut off short of physical collapse. I prayed for days that if it was not God's will for me to do this marathon He would tell me "no". And I told Him that I needed it to be a loud "NO!", not a "Hmm...did I hear Him right?" Well, since that moment, I have had sign after sign that it is okay for me to trust Him and proceed. So that's what I'm doing. I am not naive---this is not going to be easy for me. I may be the slowest person in Chicago after the pain kicks in, and I very well may finish alone. And I hate that. I have too much pride. Still. But I'd rather finish dead last than not finish at all.
I know that this marathon is not the most important thing in the world. It's just a hobby. I try to talk myself down everyday, so that I don't get thoroughly depressed if I can't finish. But I think about it a lot. I love this quote:
"It's not like somebody else can run a marathon for you. It's all you out there. Finishing means you can say, "There's not a lot I can't do." --------- Kenneth Feld
That pretty much sums it up for me.
So the crippled girl is rockin' on. :-)