It’s hard to explain the long layoff.
My last marathon was slow, but it wasn’t just me getting older. I ran the New York Marathon as a guide for Jeffery Taylor Norris, a Texan transplanted to Germany who holds several ultramarathon world records for the blind. He runs marathons at a 6-day ultramarathon kind of pace; we finished in 4:42.
On the bus out to Staten Island for the start, Norris told me about being on the lam for a drug arrest and getting knocked unconscious as part of a drug deal gone bad outside a seedy bar in Spain. Blinded, he experienced a kind of mystical rebirth as a runner while in rehab for his loss of sight and skull fracture. He wanted me to pitch the story to Runner’s World.
It was a promising premise for an article. Six guides forming a protective convoy for 26.2 miles through the boroughs of New York around a determined blind man turned out to be the running experience of a lifetime. Jeffrey replacing opiates with runner’s high was inspirational.
But instead I laid off for a month of post-marathon recovery. From running, but also from writing about running. I didn’t want to blow a fabulous opportunity for a running article.
I tried to come back but suffered from shooting hip pains at about 4 miles and writer’s block after 4 sentences, so I laid off another month. Took a crack at the Runner’s World draft and bruised my ego when I couldn’t get it going.
On my first really hard run after starting back, I broke down on Mulholland fire road running in the rain with a group training for the Ragnar Relay. Bruise the size of a football on my hip when I got home. I told people it was probably a hip abductor tear but didn’t really get it diagnosed.
I didn’t deal with my failure to wrestle down the blind running addict story either. Instead, the Ragnar Relay was going to be my new writing inspiration. You can see a photo of the team, Dicks y Chicks, finishing in Laguna, on the home page of the race website. They had such a good time training and then running or rumbling in the SUV day and night down the southern California coast.
Meanwhile, I was turning into a workaholic slug with a bad hip as an excuse for not running and lots of work for my marketing business as an excuse for not writing.
Jeffrey Norris sent me an email a month ago or so about his plans to run from Florida to LA. Would I like to write about that?
Well, maybe. I just bought a new Garmin heart rate monitor and am using it to post runs to DailyMile.com. And I’m back on hornface.com, posting for the first time in many many months.
Hang around and see if I make it all the way through rehab. I think you’ll enjoy reading about Jeffrey’s journey from Florida to Los Angeles if I do.