Everyone and their mother are running Stockholm marathon today. Everyone except me. I didn't enter it, I never even thought about entering it; last year I did enter it only to be afflicted with plantar fasciitis and miss it anyway. That was ok though, because a few months later I did run my first marathon in Gothenburg, entering it on the day of the race.
Since then, I rarely enter a race in advance. Skövde was an exception, because I thought it would be risky to take the train all the way up there only to hear that the race was full. Otherwise I play it safe and wait to see if I'm healthy and uninjured on the day of the race, then enter it.
Seeing that so many people I know are running today (this marathon débutante, among others - go, Katarina!), reading about how excited people are on blogs and online forums, awakens the Hunger in me. I've been dealing with this injury pretty well so far, ignoring it as best as I can and turning my attention to other, non running-related things, but there's a limit to my mental powers. I miss running. I miss it like I would miss my opposable thumb if yesterday's self-inflicted stabbing injury had meant amputating it rather than just putting a band-aid on it. I miss packing my Inov-8 backpack with water and food, taking the train south and then making my way back to Gothenburg on foot. I miss the feeling of having all the time in the world, because time ceases to exist when you run far and the only measurement of your progress is how many kilometres you've put behind you. I miss getting lost on forest trails, in the shadow of some tall pine trees, in the company of deer. I miss the sense of belonging to this group of crazy people that run ultras. I even miss the rush of joining a thousand runners at the starting line of a race.
Instead of letting myself go hungry, I fill my stomach on empty calories. Going to the movies later to see Prometheus. Forging plans for the future. 6-hour races. Marathons. Adventure runs. If (and that's a big if, considering how it feels right now) my knee gets well in time. But my efforts to distract myself are futile. It's like eating Chinese food; you're hungry again half an hour later.