In the beginning of Fred's recovery, someone related Fred's recovery to running a marathon and said he was at about mile 5. I feel like the last few days for me have been about mile 20 of a marathon. I have done two marathons as a participant that is just happy to finish. I'm not fast, and I never will be, but I like having an event to get myself out there and train for and have a goal. Mile 20 of the marathon is where a lot of people "hit the wall." Last year I did a marathon with two friends in Victoria, BC. We spent all summer training together, and did the race trip just the three of us for a long weekend. At the 20 mile point we were all on our own, but I have a memory of running along the ocean, through the pain and through the wall, knowing that the finish line was closer with each step I took. Right now, our finish line is getting Fred home, and there will be adjustments, just like the sore muscles after a big event, but coming home will really be crossing the finish line.
The tough time I've had the last few days is very similar to how I felt at the last stage of a marathon or getting out of the Grand Canyon. Sometimes it just takes putting your ipod on, head down and focusing on taking one step at a time because even though you only have a few more miles left to go, your body is tired and the goal still feels too far to grasp.
Since I'm on the marathon analogy, I'll tell more of my long race/Fred stories (I hear a collective groan from everyone listening ;).
Fred had done the Grand Canyon run for awhile before I met him, including the regular south rim routes and the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim which is essentially a double marathon, or more when you consider elevation gain and loss. Needless to say, Fred is an amazing athlete. A little over a year after we started dating, I decided I wanted to do the Grand Canyon run too. I did my best to train for it, but it's a hard thing to train for, especially in the middle of winter. It is 16 or so miles but harder than a marathon. Fred stayed by my side the entire day. He could have done it in about half the time it took me to do it, but he was there for me as I pushed myself to do something really hard but also truly amazing.
My first marathon was the first Durango marathon. I had a low around the middle, and Fred drove up to cheer me on a few miles later with some moral support and Green Machine. I came out of my slump, found a group to run with and finished feeling good.
Today I got Kalyn off to my mom's first thing in the morning and spent the entire morning weeding my flower bed with my two marathon buddies that I trained with last year. I had a wonderful morning with them talking about all things other than Fred's recovery and being a mother. As much as I love them both, having a morning to dig my hands in the earth and not have my main focus be them felt really good.
Tom flies up to Denver tomorrow and Fred will have his final day of outpatient therapy. Kalyn and I will drive up to Denver this Friday for his final week of outpatient therapy and then drive home the weekend of the 26th. We're almost to the finish line of being apart and Fred being away from home. I know we'll be starting a whole new adventure when we get Fred home, but we'll go through it together just like we've gone through all the challenging times in life.