I had a plan. I had a spreadsheet. I’d prepared a schedule with the right balance of strength and speed, rest and rigor. It was perfect. By the day of the marathon, I’d be the strongest I’ve ever been.
Life never works out so nicely. Excluded from my spreadsheet was a root canal, a strained ankle, and any number of other personal distractions. The ankle injury in particular set me back, and I lost a good month while I recovered.
I rested, I iced, I compressed, I elevated (the RICE method: live it, love it), but life just went on without me. My spreadsheet stopped being a helpful training tool and became a daily reminder of how far behind I’d fallen.
Whenever we experience something painful — heartache, homesickness, illness — we’re told to give it time.
Time cures all things.
Time heals all wounds.
Time makes you bolder.
But time takes time. The world didn’t stop and wait for me to get better. The race organizers didn’t offer to delay the marathon because I wasn’t ready.
I’ve done my best heal smartly, but time is not on my side. The marathon is in three weeks, and I’m where I should have been a month ago. I could waste these next three weeks worrying about how my training should have gone, how far I should have run, and how fast I should be going. Instead, I choose to spend the next three weeks being grateful for a (mostly) healthy body and doing everything I can to cross the finish line.
I won’t be the fastest runner at the race; I won’t even be the fastest version of myself. I can’t control what’s happened, but I can make the best of where I am.
I’m getting stronger by the day, and I’ll be as ready as possible.