AWOL

Sometimes it’s good to take a break. Sometimes you don’t have a choice. I had meant to post this two weeks ago, but life had other plans for me.

Up until ten days ago, I didn’t run much, but I did a lot of other fun stuff.

I ran a trail marathon and got injured. I stepped in a hole and fractured my third metatarsal. It happened at mile 3 and I continued on to the finish. I was more scared of the lightning during the race than I was of damaging my foot. Apparently I don’t even have to fall down to break something.

I went to the gym and tried to workout, but I hated it. I always hate working out at the gym. I did discover, however, that I LOVE the Stairmaster. I had to stay off my foot (or wear the Ugly Boot of Shame when I didn’t), so I watched a lot of movies and knitted. Yes, I am dorky enough to knit.

I had jury duty and got picked as a juror for the first time ever. It was only for two days  was a really interesting experience. Juror badge My daughter came home for a short visit, and my son and his girlfriend have been living with us until he’s needed at his new job site in Brazil. I’ve loved having the twenty-something energy in the house.

I signed up for two road marathons two months apart (a first): Marine Corps and Route 66.

I drove to Ohio and back for my husband’s uncle’s funeral. We drove 18 hours straight through, and I will never do that again. I love road trips, but I do have my limits. And we almost hit a deer at 12:30am on a dark Ohio country road at the end of those 18 hours of driving, which was not a fun experience. I got to drive through parts of the country I’ve never seen before, like Kentucky and a part of Missouri.

I went camping and hiking in Utah. I went on another road trip with my son and his girlfriend, this time to the opposite side of the country. The desert southwest, which I find beautiful, seemed amazingly brown and drab after the lush greeness of the Ohio Valley. That all changed once we got to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. They are spectacularly amazing.

I hiked a death-defying trail (Angel’s Landing) that I was too chicken to hike twenty years earlier. It was a great feeling to face my fears and do the hike. The view from the top was worth it, but the hike up was the best part.

Angel's Landing

At the top of Angel’s Landing. Under that left foot? Nothing but air, straight down, for 1,488 feet.

I was surprised to realize that I was still pretty strong on our hikes, despite being injured. I guess we don’t lose our conditioning as quickly as we think we will, and working out on the Stair Master really did help.

I discovered there’s no way around feeling the altitude at 8,000 feet, especially if you’re from North Texas, elevation 450. Even. Walking. Meant. I. Talked. Like. This.

Eventually, I returned to running. Coming back from an injury just plain sucks. I can’t say it any other way. It just takes time.

I’ve run two full weeks now since being given the green light by the doctor and it feels great to be back. I really missed running, especially with my friends. In all honesty, it was kind of nice to take a break, to change things up a bit, especially when it involved two road trips and spending time with my son and his girlfriend hiking in Utah.

Life really is good, my friends, and there is a lot of world out there to be played in and explored. In the meantime, it’s back to the hot, steamy, Texas asphalt for me.

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19 comments

  1. seetinarun

    Ugh – so sorry about your injury, and glad you’re back to running! Loved reading about your non-escapades over these past weeks. That picture is spectacular. Really loved seeing that you are signed up for the Marine Corps marathon – I’ll be there, too! It’s my first marathon, and I can’t wait.
    Be good to your foot!

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      I have heard only good things about Marine Corps. I am super excited and hope that it works out this year for me (next post will explain more). What an amazing first marathon that will be for you! Glad we’ll get to share it together!

  2. MikeW

    A wonderful photo on Angel’s Landing, and it’s so good to read your words again. Looking forward to future posts!

  3. Still a Runner

    Ouch re the metatarsal. So glad you’re back to running. It’s a long, slow mend for me with very low mileage and spending more time in the pool building on my limited swim skills. Glad to see you are signed up for Route 66, it’s one I have considered doing.

  4. Jenny Turnage

    We MUST find you a publisher ….. beautiful writing, Angela.
    But ….. your photo made me dizzy. I do have a serious fear of heights and all I could think of was how did you get up without teetering. Crawling, perhaps?

  5. Numberz Runner

    Hmmm…what’s more arduous? The 18-hour drive, or the 50k run?

    While you may not have been missing the mirage-inducing sweat-triggering asphalt of TX, I think it missed you. Or least the running community missed you…glad you’re back. And two weeks in already…nice!

  6. AndrewGills

    Urgh! Jury duty 😦 Yuck. I used to work in criminal prosecutions and can’t imagine anything worse than jury duty (other than being an actual witness in a trial). Angel’s Landing looks AMAZING!!!

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      YOU would absolutely LOVE Angel’s Landing. If you ever get the chance to come to the US and visit the American West (Utah, Wyoming, Montana, etc), just let me know and we’ll hit the road, Andrew. You would love it.

  7. Ja @Ja on the RUN

    OMG! I hope your foot is ok now. And wow congratulations, you still managed to finish the race even though you’re injured! That’s amazing! 🙂
    Sounds like your trip was a lot of fun except for the part that you almost hit a dear. I live in Ohio and almost hit a dear one time. That freaked the hell out of me. LOL!

  8. pwhent

    Wow – great photo of Angels Landing. What a backdrop. I don’t think I could go quite that close to the edge! Glad to hear you are back running.

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