Since I started training for distance running, I’ve been shaped more than I initially realized by the power of finding a silver lining. Somewhere along the way, I started to actually possess an ability to spin something negative into a positive. At the same time, I started to learn (without even realizing it) that I enjoy life much more when I don’t sweat the small stuff or overanalyze. Things are how they are and you can either complain about it without changing anything or you can accept it, embrace it and make it work for you.

This is big, people. Call it commonsensical, but I’m a twentysomething woman. Celebrate these crazy huge realizations with me.

That said, there are still times when you need to be able to take a step back, recognize that things can be unfair and give yourself a small amount of time to wallow in self pity. And it’s not taking a step back or falling off a positivity wagon. It’s being human and dealing with what that involves.

All this from running? Like I’ve been saying, it’s not just about putting one foot in front of another over and over again. And that’s a good thing, because my running situation put my running-prompted philosophy to the test yesterday, when I went to have my knee examined by an orthopedic specialist and was told that training for the marathon wasn’t a good idea for my body right now.

Long story short: if I can’t run in a week, I’m supposed to get back in touch with the doctor, at which point I’ll get to experience the fun of MRIs and whatnot. In the meantime, it still seems to be an IT band issue, albeit one that has left me unable to run and in a good amount of pain when I walk. Or sit in one place for too long. Or try bending my knee. Don’t even get me started about going down large sets of stairs.

But there are a bunch of different things that I need to do before I can get into serious training mode for a marathon. Stretching, strength training, specific exercises and moves that are supposed to help get the left side of my lower body back in working order. There might wind up being new shoes or custom orthodotics. I basically have to wait until the pain goes away before I can start running and then I have to take a much slower approach to building up mileage so that I can run distances without all of this happening.

I took all of this in during my appointment, asked appropriate questions, went home and called Dana-Farber to tell them that I would have to withdraw from the marathon team, but that I would be reapplying for 2011. I got in touch with the various people who had been sending me wishes of luck and support for the appointment, as they knew it was a big day for me. I settled in to finish the work I’d missed because of the appointment.

And then I cried and wallowed. I went to the liquor store, bought a bottle of wine, waited for my friend Rachel to come over and keep my disappointed self company, ordered Chinese food and watched My So-Called Life.

That was the appropriate thing for me to do in that moment. But now it’s about spinning this into something positive. So when I woke up today, I did so confident in the fact that I didn’t fail or lose by accepting that my body needs certain things before I can reach my goal of running Boston. The timeline changed, but the goal remains the same. When I cross the line, I’m going to do so with a smile on my face, without pain in my knee and secure in the knowledge that I didn’t give up.

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