Finishing Strong, Part 3 (A “Hole” of Disappointment)

Having completed my 1st half marathon in the fall of 2013, at age of 55, and feeling the sheer euphoria from it all, I knew before I got any older, the full marathon was next on my list.



After a few weeks of quietly celebrating my half, training for my full marathon began in earnest in January, 2014.  Do to the snowy climate of Canada, training began in the gym.  Exercise bikes and stairclimbers utilized for cardio and endurance.  Weight training, was particularly focused on the lower body.

Once spring came, I reduced my gym to 2 times a week, eliminating cardio with both upper and lower body and core strengthening.  I did my cardio through cycling outdoors, and shorter runs that started to stretch out, until my 2nd half marathon was completed in June.  After that my focus was the full marathon.  Gym time, cycling, and slowly increasing my distances, eventually hitting 32 kilometers twice, 34 kilometers twice, and then 10 days ago 38.6 kilometers.  Everything was going so flawlessly.  It has been a “ride”.  While living and breathing this marathon, I’ve gotten in better physical health and condition in years. (without attempting, even dropped 10 pounds in the process)  🙂 I have had wonderful running partners, and it has ben SO exciting to see everyone’s improvements.  After the 38.6 kilometer distance, it time for me to taper down the distances, rest up and recharge for the big marathon day.


Running club from work. Eight fingers represent our 8th training run!

Running club from work. Eight fingers represent our 8th training run!

The day after my long run was a rest day, and then on the Tuesday, a 10km. with a training partner named Ann. It was along the waterfront in Barrie, Canada, a route that I have taken on shorter runs at least  a couple of dozen times over these past 2 years.  It was a great fast run, and in the final stretch we had pulled out our reserves for the final finish.  Each stride landing in a precise fluid motion, until my right foot landed in a bit of a hole with loose scree. I eased off a bit, but it felt fine and then continued the 200 metres to our finish.  As I limbered up after, I breathed a sigh of relief  that nothing happened


I have run past this spot numerous times, even warned other runners with me, "Please be careful with this spot"

I have run past this spot numerous times, even warned other runners with me, “Please be careful with this spot” My run that day was just to the end of the trees.

The next morning there was some swelling , and a bit of discomfort, but nothing unusual, so I went to work.  However, the longer I worked at my job, standing on my feet, the worse the swelling became.  Our running club was that afternoon, and we were planning on an 18k, I said “I think I rolled my ankle, just going to walk 5k”, and the walk was not too bad.  The next morning, more swelling, but still went to work, and after 3 hours it had swollen so badly, I went to my supervisor saying “I really need to have this looked after”, and then the tears began to freely fall.  My supervisor said, “Carl, everything happens for a reason, and if there is anyone who should know that, it should be you”. (you see I’m a lay pastor on the side)


Swollen ankle after coming home from x-rays.

Swollen ankle after coming home from x-rays.

Had the foot x-rayed.  No broken bones, but there is a partially torn ankle tendon that needs immobilization and rest for healing.  Was told to see my doctor in 10 days.  My appointment is set for October 14th, 5 days before the marathon.  From rest, elevation and ice, to super nutritious smoothies, I am trying ANYTHING to try and help this ankle heal faster, so I can be in that starting corral.


Trying to eat very healthy to try and speed up recovery.

Trying to eat very healthy to try and speed up recovery. No room in photo for almond milk.

It has been a deep disappointment, and my friends have really been  trying everything to shake me out of my doldrums.  But it actually was another dear fellow Canadian blogger friend, who unknowingly put things into perspective for me.  Her name is Ashley from “The Girl in Long Shorts“.  Ashley had a VERY serious equestrian accident, that left her with multiple injuries (including a concussion in which she woke up in the hospital 6 hours later,” with the very vague memory of the horse bolting”) Later, in her blog, Ashley writes a LONG paragraph listing the things she is thankful for. I’m thinking, “What is the matter with me, I’ve got this piddly, sprained ankle, and I’m thinking it is the end of the world, because I might miss a race.  Here is my friend with MAJOR injuries, and she is thankful.


Ankle brace to keep it immobilized, so it can properly heal

Ankle brace to keep it immobilized, so it can properly heal

It is funny how life is.  One moment we’re on top of the world,  feeling strong, fast and immortal.  Then we step in a hole, and our world comes crashing down.  We don’t understand WHY these things happen when we do step in these holes, but we do know, “THESE THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON”.  God has a reason, and we do not see the complete picture.  Disappointed yes, but that’s okay.  As my wife sometimes says, if she is not feeling well, or don’t go according to plan, “I’ll live to see another peach season”.  And through all the refining and defining, God molds us into someone better adept to reaching out to others, more resilient, and STRONGER.

And Ashley, you taught me a lesson today.  THANK YOU!  Sincerely praying for your speedy recovery!  ❤




Categories: RunningTags: ,


  1. God’s timing, not ours. I’m glad you found the proper perspective and that no bones were broken! Peace and a complete and speedy recovery for you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no! Great post–but so sad about your sprained ankle!!! Oh!! I can just feel the disappointment. I will definitely check out Ashley’s blog. I hope your ankle heals speedily. I know you will be back to running soon–maybe in time for the marathon?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks April SO much for reading and for your encouragement. The marathon has not been completely ruled out. Ultimately it is the doctor’s decision in 6 days time. My work has been EXTREMELY supportive in trying to find things for me to do that will “keep me off my feet”, during that crucial first week to ten days. If I DO get the go ahead, it would be a very slow run wearing the ankle brace to keep everything immobilized and holding together. 🙂
      Always enjoy the stories of your 4 precious boys! 🙂


  3. Thank you for the sweet mention and I’m so sorry to hear about your injury! As it turns out, nobody is immune…

    I wish you a speedy recovery on a newly healed, improved, super-fast robot ankle. It looks like you’re taking great care of yourself and you’re certainly surrounded by people who love you and wish you well. All of my best,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley, thank you for your kind, supportive words. I really appreciate this. I am surrounded by some great people. 😉
      Please do take care yourself. May you see day by day progress in healing for your multiple injuries. My biggest concern is for your head trauma, and I am sincerely praying.
      And congratulations on being a newly appointed contributing writer for Elite Daily. That is SO cool. I love your writing, and am so happy for you.


  4. Wow.. u are amazing.
    That’s for your determination, super cool fitness levels and for the thought process.
    I just couldn’t stand someone for telling me that ppl have bigger problems n to face mine. I wish I had taken their words as positively as you did.
    Thanks hey and I wish you recover well and soon. I’m sure you’ll do that full marathon successfully.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good luck on a fast recovery. Take care of yourself first and foremost. Races will be there no matter what. Keep believing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh no Carl! I am so sorry about you falling…that is truly not what anyone wanted to hear. Of course, I am sure you did not want to fall, or have a swollen ankle. Sounds like you are doing everything you need to to participate in your marathon.
    I will tell you something that may make you laugh. When I read the title of your blog, I thought you were actually elderly. LOL! I actually had not seen your picture. Sincerely laughing at the title are not old! Hahahaha!
    Good thoughts on your recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. CC, thank you for dropping by, reading, and for making me smile.
    I really did laugh, when you thought I was elderly 😀 …..actually now 56 years old, and was NOT running for 35 years when I started running, so I felt REALLY old when I first started running. (At 1st should have called it “The Really Old Fellow Goes Running”) 😉
    And the better physical shape I have become, the younger I have been feeling, which is pretty cool. 🙂
    Thanks for making my day CC, it was great to open up my page, and there you were. 🙂
    Hope your week has gone well. It’s been a little hectic for me, come weekend I’ll be dropping by your blog.
    Thanks CC, have a GREAT day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm..this reply did not show up in my notifications or email WP, ugh! ..glad you laughed though “old fella” I am definitely posting that picture of one of my favorite WILL laugh when you see it..hahaaa…have a good one 🙂 -CC

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so happy you realised that it is all about our perspective. I was chatting with another friend last week and she was telling me about her recent issues and diagnosis of depression. She has had a rough couple of years after almost losing her son in a car accident and his subsequent recovery from head injuries but she looked at me and said “You know, no matter how bad I think I’ve got it, someone has it worse” and she proceeded to list a whole lot of things that she was grateful for.
    Gratitude certainly changes our perspective, no?
    I’m so pleased you are healing well. It’s just a matter of time before all will be well. And if your ankle isn’t ready in time for the marathon this time, then it must be for a reason.
    Many cyber hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Suzanne for reading and your very kind comments. You hit it right on about perspective, “There is ALWAYS someone who has it worse”. This is thanksgiving weekend in Canada, a tine to reflect and be grateful for all we have. But also something that should be carried out all year round. Just like your friend in her difficult situation of depression, gratitude really DOES change perspective.
      Thank you for the encouragement, and thank you also thank you for the cyber hugs. Here are some back to you! (((( )))), 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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