Black and White

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from Maria’s Instagram

Sometimes it’s black and white. We have good days and we have bad days. Sometimes the results speak for themselves and the time is so stellar we know the work has been done and the battle against the clock has been won. Other times the results only show a glimpse of what the athlete has had to persevere. It’s hard to see the array of challenges that colored her past.

Today’s time as it reads printed in the results is nothing to marvel over. It’s slower than my 5k split in my season opener 20k, a minute off my time for the same meet two years ago, and slower than my average pace in my PR 20k. Before two weeks ago I never would have thought a 22:50 5k could give me such optimism nor represent such pure grit and determination.

9 days ago I was in a car accident that left me ever thankful for seatbelts. But there was a price to pay for the seatbelt working. This time last week I fought through a cross training session on the recumbent bike, arm wrapped around my ribs anchored in my sweaty armpit to stabilize my chest. Tuesday was the first day I attempted race walking, it was very sobering to say the least starting off at 6:49/km and only getting one sub 6min kilometer in there at 5:55. 6k was all I could handle that day. Thursday I was one 200 away from throwing in the towel, breaking down in tears but somehow deep down despite what common sense would suggest I went for it. If going slow hurts some much so that you can’t handle your normal easy pace why not try going hard? And in the first 30m of that interval I knew I would be ok and perhaps a test drive on Sat at Penn wasn’t stupid.

Watching me get in and out of bed is still comical, sneezing still unbearable, and easy distance pace only manageable. Everyday has brought progress, there is still a bit to go but I know I will do it, I know it will be possible!

Today was just another 5,000m in the right direction. I am grateful, relieved, proud, and excited to say the least. Tomorrow’s another day, and I can’t wait to take another step forward!

Huge thank you shout out to everyone who has helped especially my Mom driving me to and from my classes while my car is in the shop!

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