I don't know what is going to happen to this blog. Since I last posted, my life took a terrible and irreversible turn. On November 15, 2016, Mark died. I spent the first couple of weeks running through some of the anger and sadness. Whether my legs wanted to or not, I laced up and went out. If nothing else, it made me too tired to feel much of anything. I can't say that my body is pleased with this sudden change in activity level, but I don't care.
It has been...7 weeks now. I am still running as much (maybe a little bit more) as my body will let me. Of the many other coping mechanisms available to me, good and bad, I gravitate toward this one most often. Running is suddenly much more complicated. It was something we shared and a huge part of our relationship. Our medal and bib racks hang next to each other downstairs. I run with his Road ID on me. It is impossible not to think of Mark when I'm running, whether I want to or not.
I've done a few 5ks since he died. One we were registered to do together, and was just a week after his service in Mississippi. I would not have been able to show up, much less finish, without my PRFX friends there for every step. I am nowhere near racing shape, but the consistent mileage and the company of close friends is comforting.
I find myself wanting to process more of this experience, and writing is a common way for me to get my thoughts out. Running has never functioned independently from the rest of my life, and I think that is the case for many runners. What I can't work out on the road or trail, I will likely start working out here. For once, my lack of readership might work in my favor. I doubt I will need to worry about losing followers. I hope that anyone else who has or is experiencing any kind of grief may find, if nothing else, common experience here.
What is next? I can't say for sure. I hope to develop a solid base and then choose some races this year to honor Mark. Races he would enjoy. Races we likely would have done together. I am registered for two, but I'll share more details as they approach. Given my track record for injury, I'd like to be more certain of making the start line. For now, I'll leave you with the following picture. I found this magnet a week or two after Mark died, in a bookstore while looking for a journal. It just fits. I see it every day. And I keep putting one foot in front of the other.