Last night, I went to the Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis to pick up the 2014 Indianapolis Mini Marathon packet. It’s been over 6 years since I’ve run in the Mini and was looking forward to starting with 35,000 other people in downtown Indianapolis and running through the west side ghettos and around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and finishing at Military Park on the campus of IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis). The times I’ve run the Mini have always been enjoyable and rewarding.
But this year things are very different for me.
I registered for this Mini back in September 2013. At that time I was eager to run and was coming off recovering from that heart issue and wanted a “carrot” (goal) to motivate me for the long-term. I figured the Mini, which is the world’s largest mini marathon and in my own back yard, would be the ticket.
Yet, my training broke down in late February 2014 due to a painful stress fracture in my left leg and I haven’t run in over seven weeks. Due to ‘other stress’ in my life, I over drink and over eat and lost my fitness and so I’m in no way in shape to attempt a 13.1 mile mini marathon. It’s a true shame, too. Before my training broke down, I ran through the pain and trained up to 8 miles as my longest run. Had I been able to stay on schedule, I would be fully trained for the Mini by now. I only gave up when I couldn’t run any more through the pain. I’m so disappointed in myself for letting a simple shin splint develop into an injury that stopped me from running. I’m disappointed in myself for letting external stresses derail my internal peace.
Last night, when I was walking around the Expo, I felt like I had a huge “L” painted on my forehead and everyone knew what a loser I am. I saw people of all shapes and sizes with huge smiles and bright eyes saying what a great opportunity it is to be included in the Mini. The energy was exciting and I wanted it. After I left the Expo, I found a sports bar, sat by a window, drank beer and watched people walking the streets with their Mini Marathon packets in hand.
Since I knew I would not run in the 2014 Mini Marathon, I need to somehow redeem myself from the guilt. So, I decided to give away my bib number to someone who had the desire and energy to participate. Earlier this week I posted an ad on Craigslist saying that I had a bib number to give away. There were several responses within minutes after the ad went online. Of those that quickly responded I randomly picked one and replied to say “you are the chosen one”.
So, last night, I was picking up the packet for someone else. Someone who wanted to run in the Mini. The “chosen” one is Kara and she is now driving down from Chicago to run in the Mini.
Wow, I live in the back yard of the Mini and I can’t muster up the drive or energy to do it. Yet Kara, who has the ambition I lack, scrambles for a last-minute entry and drives from Chicago to participate. Wow, I AM a loser.
I wish the absolute best for Kara. I know that she will do great. We meet up later today to pass the bib so she can run in the Mini. I wonder if she will have the traditional pasta dinner tonight? I will probably drink beer and over eat tonight.
Maybe next year I can fully redeem myself and properly train for the 2015 Indianapolis Mini Marathon. Hopefully things will be different next year.