I'm sitting at a bus stop approximately 14 miles from my house. I have dirt smeared across my calves and salt extracting from my pores, but that doesn't bother me. All I can focus on is my knee, which is swollen and throbbing. At 10 miles into a planned 20 mile run with Jen and Holly my entire body felt good, but my knee digressed. What started as a dull ache became a sharp stab of pain with each step until, finally, I admitted defeat and stumbled to a stop. I told the girls to stick to the pirates code, they protested but I assured them I would survive. As they continued on without me, braided ponytails swinging neatly from side to side, I plopped onto this cement bus bench. I attempted to extend my knee and sucked my breath in sharply, waiting for the pain to subside, before calling Paul to come pick me up.
I wouldn't watch 3/4 of a movie, or return a book to the library after only reading half. Nobody likes a quitter, and as I hobbled over to climb into the car I looked longingly at the unfinished trail stretching toward home. I know I need to rest my knee, ice it, and slowly build my mileage back up. If I had limped through the rest of today's run, I would have no doubt sustained an actual injury and been completely unable to run the full marathon in Long Beach. Along with the nagging pain comes the self-doubt. How will I run 26.2 miles? It is so much further than I first estimated. My mind battles within, slinging comebacks at every complaint. Only .1% of the population finishes a marathon in their lifetime, and I am so close, there is no way I can stop now. I will finish the marathon... I will sell all of the tickets to the benefit I am throwing... I will pass my classes and transfer to a university... I will reach each and every goal I have set, and when I reach them, I will continue to set more.
*NEVER GIVE UP*