I had my MRI last Monday, and after what felt like months but was actually just a few days, I got the results on Thursday. Happily, the report contained the word "normal" a whopping ten times.
Needless to say, I was incredibly relieved. I had been feeling better since I wasn't running, but was still very nervous that there was more going on than the doctors had suspected, and I felt much better knowing that there wasn't.
I also got the ok to try a very gradual return to running, using a run/walk protocol to really ease back into it. So of course shortly after I got home from my appointment, I changed into my running gear and headed out.
I've completed three very short, slow run/walks since Thursday, and all have gone relatively well. I can't say that I feel 100%, and I still feel some discomfort and stiffness in my lower back and piriformis, but no pain.
And of course it's been incredible just to be able to get out and run. But at the same time, it's been incredibly frustrating to go run/walk for 30 minutes, with a total of only 16 minutes running, and to think about how a month ago a normal midweek run was 8 or 9 miles. Part of me is still reeling from the fact that I fell so far so fast.
I know I can't go back and change anything, and I'm trying not to dwell on it, but I'm also letting myself have those little moments of anger and frustration, because that's just where I am right now.
And acknowledging that doesn't discount the immense gratitude I have for the fact that, although it's only 16 minutes, that's way better than zero minutes.
Trying to go back to my word for the year. Embrace. I have to embrace the good and the bad that I'm experiencing right now, because it's the only way forward, and forward is where I need to go.
In addition to getting back to running, I also finally made it back to yoga last week, for the first time in a month. I probably could have gone sooner, but I was paranoid. Having a back injury freaked me out, and I was terrified that anything I did was going to cause debilitating and maybe even chronic pain. So I was extra cautious. But I missed yoga every bit as much as I missed running, and it felt so good just to walk into the studio.
I had myself a good cry in savasana, and I left there feeling like a completely different person. Running again brought me most of the way back to myself, and adding in yoga brought me all the way back. I felt like me again, and I felt like a fog had been lifted.
Which is not to say that my heart doesn't still ache a little when I read or hear something about Boston. Someone said something to me about how it was such a warm day, and going for a PR as I had planned to would have been very tough and potentially led to a huge disappointment - and I agree, but I still also feel like I would rather have had the opportunity to try and fail than to not get the chance to even try.
So yes, the disappointment of not being able to run on Patriot's Day still stings a bit, but the sting has dulled, and I know it will continue to do so.
And right now I just need to continue to work on righting my mind and my body so that when I'm ready physically, I can start to think about starting the chase all over again.
As much as I wish I could have reached my goal in Boston a few weeks ago, I'll be the first to admit that I love the thrill of the chase and the journey it involves just as much as reaching the destination.