Still alive and still not running

Well, look who is still alive.

I’ve been taking a short hiatus from writing about running because, you see, I have been unable to run.

After five years of running injury free, the exercise gods struck, and they struck hard.

Two weeks ago I hurt my foot during the last mile of the Master’s 10K Race. It happened so quickly. I stepped off the paved bike trail for one moment and when I stepped back, my foot twisted slightly. I thought nothing off it.

Then the pain appeared, and it appeared quickly and unapologetically, a searing across the top of my foot that traveled all the way down to my toes.

I was around the five mile mark and did I quit? No.

And why didn’t I quit? Because I was in third place and wanted a ribbon.


I stumbled the last mile, had to stop and stretch three times and finished with my slowest time ever but still managed to nab third place.

After the race: Note the look of pain on my face. Yep, it’s already starting.
This is what I strained my foot over: a skinny slab of yellow ribbon. Was it worth it? Um, no.

Since then I’ve been taking it easy. I missed the Her Tern Half-Marathon and I’m going to miss the Big Wildlife Run Marathon, and I have only myself to blame. (I keep thinking of Captain Wentworth in Jane Austen’s Persuasion exclaiming, “Foolishness!” after Louise jumps off the pier and knocks herself unconscious.)

Not only that, but I missed two weeks of some of the best weather we’ve had in years. Long sunny evenings I could have been hiking or trail running or riding bikes and I was sitting in the yard, slapping mosquitoes and reading books.

Don’t get me wrong: I love reading books. There’s little I love more, except perhaps running. But summer is short and I have all winter to read.

So what have I been doing to try and stay in marginal shape?

MM bought me a nifty little inflatable boat and I’ve been puttering around the lagoon and local lakes.

And swimming in local lakes:

Mirror Lake, outside of Anchorage, on a 75-degree Alaska summer day.
Me swimming across Mirror Lake, terrified that a float plane would land on my head.

Mostly I swim at YMCA, which hosts a salt water pool.

My second home lately.

And then yesterday someone stole my new Speedo swimsuit while I was showering.

Which means I have to either swim laps in a two-piece not meant for swimming laps or cough up $60ish dollars for another competition swimsuit.

But no matter. These things happen. I just hope that whoever stole my swimsuit appreciates it as much as I would have (I only had the chance to wear it about four times, sigh, sigh).

As I said, I’ve been reading a lot. Books I recommend:

Nine Stories, by J.D. Salinger. Brilliant! I read through these stories every couple of years and each time I marvel at Salinger’s subtle but oh-so clover wit (he understands that sadness is what compels us to laugh. Why do so many writers miss this?).

The Still Point of the Turning World, by Emily Rapp. Beautiful and heartbreaking. A must read for anyone who loves gritty and real memoirs.

Chanel Bonfire, Wendy Lawless. Another gritty and beautifully written memoir.

Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde: A True Story, Rebecca Dana.

Out of the Wilderness, Deb Vanasse. YA Alaska coming-of-age story.

10 thoughts on “Still alive and still not running

  1. Karen

    Horray to MM for buying you the raft, that looks awesome!! I know what you mean about feeling like you're squandering nice days. The raft seems like a good compromise though. I hope your foot gets better soon. 😦


  2. Stephanie Jaeger

    Hope you are feeling better. I am living in a large extended family with a 86 year-old great grandmother who has dementia and an eight-month-old baby who has terrible boils right now. I have already had to play doctor a lot and give the baby a painful shot of antibiotics. I hope everyone gets well and it gets cooler. I was here one day and then it already got hot. Such is Fiji. I have my own little house I can escape to when the general noise gets too much.


  3. ajh

    That sucks that someone stole your suit! Boo! I have left mine at the pool and gone back to get it. That's cuz it's ugly! Seriously – a salt water pool sounds great. And how cold is the lake water? I know I ran too soon after spraining my ankle. Be careful. And I finished my run after I did it. I didn't even get a ribbon.


  4. Cinthia

    The lakes are quite warm this summer, not sure of the water temps but it's warm enough that I don't notice the cold as I swim, if that makes sense. Usually when I swim Alaska lakes I'm cold the whole time. Cheers and run, run, run. P.S. Cool that Emily's moving to Oregon.


  5. Cinthia

    I know! Being injured is NOT fun. I'm in a horrid mood. Swimming is great but I don't get that surge of happy brain chemicals. Hope you're enjoying the summer.


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