The Antelope Canyon Half Marathon is this Saturday. I've done about 200 miles of training. I am ready. I plan to run about a third of the race and walk the rest, in intervals.
After this race, I'm retiring from racing. This isn't to say I won't run ever again, but I probably won't race again. Not unless something changes.
I'm starting a new drug soon, in addition to the maintenance dose of the disease modifying drug I'm on. (Disease modifying drugs are preventative; they don't improve anything, but hopefully they keep the disease from getting worse.) The new drug helps some people with gait symptoms, so my walking and running may improve. But there's no way to know if you will benefit from the drug until you try it.
I've had so much fun running, and I've learned so much about myself because of running. At first I learned that I was capable of more than I thought. I ran two marathons and a bunch of shorter races. I learned that if I trained hard, I would get faster. I learned that not taking care of your body means you'll probably get injured. There is so much running has taught me, I'd be a fool to think I could write it all down.
In the last two years, the lessons have been tougher. I've learned that sometimes, no matter how hard you work or how much you want something, you might not get it. I won't say it's okay, because it's not okay. It sucks. But I'm making peace with it, and I think I'm a better person for having been through this.
I don't regret anything. Sometimes as a runner I was a little obsessive about time and miles. But later, when I couldn't go fast or far anymore, I was so glad that I'd indulged my athletic dreams and compulsions when I had the chance.
You never know how long you have to do something you want to do. Do it now.
I'll still run when I can, because I love the feeling of running. And when I can't, I'll do other things, like reading, knitting, playing music, and learning languages - stuff I already do anyway. I'll hang out with Maple more and bake cookies. I'll come cheer for you at your races.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for coming and reading my blog, and supporting my running journey. Your many kind words have made the journey sweeter.
You can find me on twitter at @seattleportia and on Instagram at @portia. See you around!
PS: If this new drug works, I reserve the right to change my mind about this whole retirement thing. ;)