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Failure Is Just Success Rounded Down - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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April 14th, 2007


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10:19 am - Failure Is Just Success Rounded Down
I JUST RAN FOURTEEN FUCKING MILES.

IN THE RAIN.

I BASICALLY JUST DID A HALF-MARATHON ALREADY.


That's what this post was supposed to say. That's what it was going to say. That's what it should have said, if I didn't suck.

I've developed an overuse injury.

Not long after I managed to run twelve miles all by myself without my feet so much as tingling, a miraculous feat that made me believe I could actually run a marathon successfully, I inexplicably found myself unable to run a fucking mile before my left shin started to hurt a lot a lot a lot. I'm talking, I had to limp during my walk breaks. I attributed it to the fact that I hadn't stretched properly, which I have to believe now was just a malicious coincidence because three days later, I did stretch properly and still experienced the searing shin pain during my six-mile run. I was only able to finish by taking copious breaks. I iced the shin afterward, hoping it would get better. It didn't. On Tuesday, I again could barely accomplish my two-mile maintenance run without being in crazy pain. The pain even radiated down into my ankle.

My coach thought it might be a stress fracture, so I went to the doctor, who listened to my symptoms and concluded that I basically had shin splints; if I had a stress fracture, it would hurt all the time and not just when I ran. Either way, the only cure was less cowbell. My coach still thought it might a stress fracture because when he had one, it only hurt when he ran. He told me to rest for a few days.

I knew that wouldn't help, though. I'd had a couple days rest in between my last three runs, and it still hurt. I knew there was no way in hell I could run fourteen miles today. I wouldn't even make it a mile before it started to hurt. It's just as well that I got horrendously lost on the way there and was a half hour late. Clearly, it was a sign.

It's not fucking fair. Hundreds of other people are out there running right now with no problem. Many of them, just like me, had never run before starting this program. Me? My fucking feet go numb. I dislocate my fucking shoulder, forcing me run in a sling, which may have thrown off my mechanics. And now I finally have shin pain that I can't just work through because it hurts too fucking much. Apparently, I'm not cut out for this. I'm just not good enough. My body truly is a blunderland.

My only recourse is to downgrade to running a half-marathon. Set the bar lower. Failure is just success rounded down.

And I hate it not just because I feel like a failure and a quitter and a loser and all that good stuff, but because I've raised $2,864 under the pretense that I was going to run a marathon. And now I appear to be physically incapable of fulfilling that promise. So I feel like a fraud and a cheat in addition! I can only meet you all halfway, at the least. I don't even want to think about what happens if I don't recover from this in time and can't even do that. I hope you don't want half your money back. It all belongs to the AIDS Foundation now. Suckers.

I finally had a good Veronica-style cry about it in the car.

At least I still get to run across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Current Mood: crushedcrushed
Current Music: Sufjan Stevens - He Woke Me Up Again

(47 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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[User Picture]
From:maka2000
Date:April 14th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
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*hugs you*

Don't feel guilty on my behalf for sure. I don't regret giving to the AIDS Foundation. You could also try walking parts of it if you wanted to.

I'm very sorry this happened when you were so excited for it.

At least I still get to run across the Golden Gate Bridge.

And that will be very cool!
[User Picture]
From:catatonia00
Date:April 14th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
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Hey don't beat yourself up over this. Your intentions were so there. Running a marathon, even a halfie is really no joke. Even I wouldn't even attempt to do that, considering I used to be an all around athlete before.

And it's not so much the actual running that drove me to donate, but seeing how much changes it brought upon you was what did it for me. Just so you know, you actually owe me a limerick as well, buster. And that doesn't require running, so do not fret.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 14th, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
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You get a limerick? Curses, I thought I'd caught all the limericks! I'll give you one soon enough.

how much changes it brought upon you was what did it for me
From a regular, comfortable lifestyle to a more frustrating, painful lifestyle?
[User Picture]
From:soleta_nf
Date:April 14th, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
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*hugs* You take care of yourself, you hear? Don't worry about us. You inspired us to donate to a good cause and in exchange have done your BEST to do what you CAN to participate in the marathon. That is good enough. There's nothing you can do if your body won't cooperate, and we certainly don't want you permanently damaging yourself out of misplaced guilt. There's absolutely no reason to feel guilty. You ARE doing what you said you would do, even if you run a half marathon, or run what you can and walk the rest of the way, or bypass the whole thing because you're on bedrest for killing yourself in the training (p.s. don't do that). Whatever you can do is great. You're trying your best, and that's ALL we want.

You go stretch and take care of yourself mister! Stop moping. You ROCK. You inspire us and are amazingly taking what has turned into a HUGE personal challenge and are pushing your body to the brink. You ARE running a marathon. It may not be the San Francisco one on that particular day, but for weeks now you having been putting your body to the limit and challenging yourself to do more than you ever thought you could. What's a marathon if not that?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 14th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
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You ARE running a marathon. It may not be the San Francisco one on that particular day, but for weeks now you having been putting your body to the limit and challenging yourself to do more than you ever thought you could. What's a marathon if not that?
*tears up*
[User Picture]
From:soundingsea
Date:April 14th, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)
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You tried. That's the only needful thing. You tried, you hurt, you made us all care enough to help others. That's the important part.
[User Picture]
From:tiggz
Date:April 14th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
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dude. you're running fourteen fucking miles! i don't think you should feel anything other than proud for doing that. i certainly don't feel shafted and i'm sure every other person who donated money won't either.

i think you're awesome. i could never run 14 miles. never. you should be proud for the things you can do, not disappointed about the things that you can't.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 14th, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
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I didn't run fourteen miles. I didn't run at all today.

If I don't die, however, I'll be running fourteen miles at the end of June. The half-marathon is only thirteen, though. Which is a weird way to train, but hey.

You don't think you could run fourteen miles, but I never thought I could run/walk twelve miles until I did. It's all about the walking.
[User Picture]
From:electricmonk
Date:April 14th, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
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You know what? The first guy who ran a marathon dropped dead. That's what would disappoint me. Take care of yourself, Sunil.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 14th, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
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HA HA HA HA.

I love you, Mara.
[User Picture]
From:ryca
Date:April 14th, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
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When I did the Avon Three-Day Walk for Breast Cancer (60 miles - 20 each day - from San Jose to San Francisco), I ran into trouble on the second day. My ankle started clicking, and burning, and all sorts of other un-fun things, so I went to the first aid tent at lunch to see about getting a brace or some ice or something. They told me that I had acute tendonitis, and that if I didn't get in a van and driven to the campsite for the evening, they'd pull me from the walk completely the next day. So, feeling somewhat defeated, I skipped the last six miles of the day and went and rested.

You know what? It still counted. The money I raised still went towards helping women get earlier detection on breast cancer. I still walked a hell of a long way. I did something I never would have thought I could do, and I have that now, to hold with me.

I walked that third day, and I swear I thought it was going to kill me. My friend's sister got incredibly sick (dehydration, I believe) and needed an IV and a whole lot of medical attention. We were luckier; we were just in pain. And those last few miles? Up and down hills, through the Presidio? OUCH. By the last four, we looked at each other and said "You know, if we so much as slow down... we're not gonna make it. We gotta go for it." And we did. We power-walked our little feet off, practically running people off the road because we couldn't let ourselves slow down. I don't remember much about that part, except that it was sunny. I never would have made it without her. My boyfriend at the time drove up from LA to surprise me at the finish line, and I couldn't even stop to hug him.

My point (points?) is (are?) - do what you can, and focus on the good you are doing in the world, not the limitations that you're facing in the process. Treat your body well while you're in training. The day of The Big Event, you'll find strength you didn't know you have, but only if you don't use it all up now. There's a difference between toughening up/building stamina/etc and just plain *breaking yourself*. And if you need to, that Day, find someone who can be your strength and drag you along. Any single step you take that day will mean something, will count for something. And if you have to wobble along at a snail's pace, with braces and slings and straps all over your body, we'll all still be grateful that you're out doing it.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 14th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)
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By the last four, we looked at each other and said "You know, if we so much as slow down... we're not gonna make it. We gotta go for it." And we did. We power-walked our little feet off, practically running people off the road because we couldn't let ourselves slow down.
Oh man, I know how that is. It's the same thing with the run/walk thing. You feel fine when you're running, but as soon as you hit the walk EVERYTHING HURTS.

Thanks for sharing your experience. It helps. (And here I thought walking was so much easier!)
[User Picture]
From:etherealclarity
Date:April 14th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
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If you run 1 inch on marathon day, I will consider my money well spent.

:)

*hugs* ♥
[User Picture]
From:idreamofpeace
Date:April 14th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
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Don't get down on yourself! Shit happens. Have you thought about taking some Aleve half hour before running? It might make the pain less intense... I don't know. What you're doing is awesome. You've still raised the money and "even" running a half marathon is awesome.
[User Picture]
From:latropita
Date:April 14th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
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Aw, man, I am so sorry this keeps happening to you. I could never be disappointed about the results, though, because you got so passionate about this race and got all of us to feel the same way. That's more important than the actual finish line.
[User Picture]
From:incidentist
Date:April 14th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
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"I've raised $2,864 under the pretense that I was going to run a marathon."

Sure, that's the pretense, but I don't think that's the reason why anyone gave you money. You committed to working your ass off, to pushing your personal limits for no other reason than to advance a good cause (and not even a cause you've had any personal traumatic experience with), and that's pretty amazing. You've made good on that commitment, and you'll continue to make good, even if you don't get the MacGuffin. I've got a lot of respect for you for this whole saga, and all the orthopedic suckitude has only increased it.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:sabra_n
Date:April 14th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
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Dude! You're running fourteen miles. When I was little, I realized I was asthmatic and gave up on the idea of any sustained physical activity. You've had bizarre joint incidents and tingling where there shouldn't be tingling and lots and lots of pain and you're still running fourteen miles. You're awesome.

-blue
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 14th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
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I am not running fourteen miles. Not for a couple months, at least.
[User Picture]
From:iheartbridges
Date:April 14th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
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Ugh. Cow. This sucks. I wish I could make your shins / shoulder / feet / life better. But I cannot, except to give you hugs. That might help on the lattermost, right?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 14th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
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Yes. *hugs*
[User Picture]
From:glasseseater
Date:April 14th, 2007 10:58 pm (UTC)
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if there's anything I've learned, it's that people will pay lots of money to watch people injure themselves.

okay, so I'm not so good at like, the sweet mushy stuff, but in my mind it's not the completion of an arbitrary number of miles that counts, but like, you know the effort and like, the not giving up after three different injuries. As someone who couldn't run the mile in highschool because there was a stitch in her side, that's kind of really fucking impressive.

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