TITLE: One Year Later
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: March 04, 2012 9:34 AM
March 4, 2011, was a Friday like any other. I had fallen into
a comfortable weekly routine: easy 5-milers on Tuesday and
Thursday, a medium 7-miler on Wednesday, a hard 8 miles on the
indoor track on Friday, and 8 miles on Sunday. February had
been snowy and cold, which made my preferred 12-mile long run
on Sundays a bit too much. In place of those miles, I ran a
little faster on Fridays and looked forward to the coming spring
The morning was crisp and the roads clearer than they had been,
so I decided to run outdoors. I picked out my favorite 8-mile
an old friend
I had first met when we lived on the other side of town. It
passed by our new house, too, and so made the move with us.
It was an excellent run. Footing on hills and in curves is the
big challenge of running outdoors in winter, so I didn't worry
about pace. I breathed in the cold air, took in the old sights,
and felt my body reach equilibrium with the elements.
I did not know at the time, but this would be my last run.
A flu that had been going around hit me later that day, and I
was in bed sick for a few days. Then one morning, as I was
starting to feel better, I woke up with a sore knee. No big
deal, I thought; I'll take advantage of the extra day to be
sure I've really licked that flu.
The flu left, but the knee pain did not. It
I eventually went to see a specialist, who gave me
the bad news,
operated, gave me
some more bad news,
operated a second time.
Since then, I have been rehabbing, slowly adding time and effort
to my work-outs. But I have not run.
Two days ago, another first Friday of March, 52 weeks later, I
had my best post-running workout yet. I still have far to go.
The knee is still a little swollen, and it stiffens up after the
shortest bouts of inactivity. It feels funny. But I see light.
There are days when I still feel that old urge to lace up my
Asics GT-2100s and take off. I expect that summer bring plenty
more of those days. The long road to who-knows-where stretches
out before me as always, but I won't be exploring it on the run.