A while back at work, I realized how quickly things could escalate from Plan A straight through B, C, and D. But that is usually par for the course with just about anything in life. You wake up every morning with some semblance of a plan in your head, and often times you don’t even take a step before switching to Plan B. As long as you can come up with another plan, then things are okay.
When Christine and I started training for the Louisiana Marathon, we both had our goals. Plan A was a very achievable plan considering that we were recently empty-nested and would have more time to train. Then Christine’s Plan A took a hit when she started having back, hip and leg problems. Now she is a tough woman, so she continued to train even though the pain would reduce her to a walk and bother her for days after a long run.
At the beginning of December, we ran the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon with mixed results. Somehow, I managed to finish 3rd in my age group with a decent time considering my training. Unfortunately, the pain hit Christine earlier than she wanted it to and forced her to walk/run much of the latter stages of the race. It was a big wake up call for her that would have her at an orthopedic doctor a week or so later.
Plan B for her was slipping quickly to Plan C. My plans were still hovering in the A/B range. That is until a week after the race. The day after my vulture run, I was in the attic moving stuff and pulled a muscle in my lower back. Christine thought I was making fun of her, but the grimace on my face quickly ruled that out. I would love to say it was just a temporary sympathy pain, but it lasted a long time. Actually, I have not run since then (2 weeks ago).
Over the years, many people have labeled our family as being very competitive. I won’t lie and say that we do not like competition. When I grew up, my dad had multiple stop watches. He would time me and my sisters on everything from running around the yard to home-made obstacle courses. Actually, we were probably the predecessor to American Ninja Warrior.
Anyway, we are not competitive in the respect that winning is the only option. It is more about giving everything you have and finishing what you started. That is why I went back for round 2 at Rocky Raccoon. That is why Lara had a contingency plan just in case she did not get into medical school the first time (she did). That is why Mason follows up any lackluster swim with a balls-to-the-wall awe-inspiring race.
And that is why Christine, unless the orthopedic doctor screams no, will move to Plan F for the Louisiana Marathon. And the “F” will stand for fun. Right now we will finish that marathon before the sweeper or cutoff officials get us. We will probably take more selfies, aid station photos, and random stranger pics than the camera can hold. And we will have a blast doing it. I fully expect one of my friends to be on the course somewhere with a beer for Christine. Maybe more than one spot.
Because at the end of that day, she will finish the race. And she will stay true to her favorite exercise phrase, “Suck It Up Buttercup.” I don’t think Plan F will be that bad of an idea. Of course, we still haven’t gotten out of bed on race day yet.