Normally on this night of the year I would have been in bed hours ago. Four am comes too quickly for this night owl. Instead, for the second year in a row I will be staying home the first Saturday in May. I thought about it today a bit. But I was too busy working to truly pay attention. I thought I was ok.
But tonight Its late and I risked logging onto Facebook. Stupid Facebook. Like a sock in the stomach, the first thing I saw was a friend's smiling face as she held up her bib number where she had picked it up from the race expo. And it sank it that I wouldn't be running with my friends and 35,000 other people again this year. Once more I would miss seeing how the city of Indianapolis stops in its tracks to support the runners of the 500 Festival Mini Marathon. It really is one of the most wonderful tortuous events ever.
I miss it. I miss the crowds, the bands, the excitement. The feeling of immense satisfaction after crossing the finish line. Going out for a hamburger afterwards to celebrate and the unison groans that accompany the attempts to stand as we try to leave. I miss the months of preparing. The early mornings and late nights pounding the pavement with my dog. Logging another run and realizing that I've increased my distance or tempo. There's a nagging feeling that I won't ever get it back. Last year as I lay holding my newborn daughter and preparing for an imminent surgery, I thought for sure that a year of recovery would be ample time. But I still can't run. And I don't know if I ever will if I'm completely honest. I'm working hard. Exercising. Doing my therapy.
Some days it hurts emotionally more than others. I'm happy for my friends. Praying that they all have a safe and fun time tomorrow. I want to see more smiling faces tomorrow on Facebook. But please forgive me my little bit of jealousy. It's just a mini thing.