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Time for a Time Out

Sensei Sara-Summer explains why training for the 5K has to be postponed.

Sensei Says:

One of the best parts of life is dreaming of the things we want to accomplish and working hard to make those goals a reality. When I became injured before the 2010 Pittsburgh Half Marathon, I had to set that particular goal aside to be revisited in 2011.

I am not a fan of running in cold weather, and have been counting down to the first week of March to begin my 11-week training plan for the half marathon. I had a very ambitious goal time, but really believed it could happen with dedication and hard work.

I am a little embarrassed to admit this publicly, but I was shooting to finish in the top 100 women. While that may not sound that great, last year there were more than 4600 women who finished, so finishing 100th is pretty good in my mind.

However, again the Bad Luck Fairy has visited me pre-Pittsburgh marathon. Last week, I was hit with terrible chest pains, and after a trip to the emergency room I was diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms (or two blood clots in my lung to put it in layman’s terms).

I was lucky enough that it was caught when it was and I can take the necessary measures to get them gone and get me healthy again. Unfortunately, I am not permitted to run for at least a month.

That means my goal time and place are out the window, and (gasp) I cannot be sensei to Amanda’s grasshopper. For now.

I have already informed my friend, editor and runner-in-training, that this does not let her off the hook. It will just change how I prepare her for her first 5-kilometer race.

Life is about taking our expectations, throwing them out the window, and doing the best we can with what we are given.

The Grasshopper Says:

When Sara told me she couldn't run until the end of March -- doctor's orders, I immediately said what any supportive friend/editor would say.

"That sucks, I'm so sorry," I told her. "Hey, we can do a 5K another time."

OK. I admit. It was also spoken like a true slack ass.

And Sara, my faithful sensei, knew immediately that while I was, in fact, being compassionate, I was also being a quitter.

Because that's when she snorted out a little laugh. After that was finished she said, "Don't think for a minute that you're getting out of this."

Sure, there's been medical drama, personal tragedy and major weather events -- all circumstances that conspired to prevent running many days that I was supposed to.

And sure, Sara's not gonna be there to run along with me, to make sure I'm pushing myself.

Then she said (honest to God in a more forceful tone than I have been addressed by her): "Listen, you're just going to have to work harder. So quit complaining. You are doing this."

I'm pretty sure I did the verbal equivalent of stomping my feet and pouting and holding my breath until I almost passed out.

Then I told her, "OK. I'll just have to press up."

So while the weekly column will be postponed until we are both running -- I will be writing a column about whatever it is that has me thinking that week.

And I assure you: I'll be out there. I'll be a panty, sweaty, and likely surly mess, but I'll be out there.

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