I was so insanely excited to start using the “special treadmill for injured people”. I got into the most ridiculous looking machine you’ve ever seen, one designed to take the weight of gravity off my lower half, and I ran for 30 seconds and walked for 4 minutes and repeated that for as long as they would let me. I was deliriously happy. And then they told me I wasn’t progressing normally and needed to back off for another three weeks. I cried in the car on the way home from that PT visit because I had been holding on to that being my starting again point. The one shining beacon getting me through missing three races. And it was taken away. I was back to square one.

And it finally sunk in what I had refused to admit to myself: I didn’t know where or when my next run was going to be.