Disappointment and A Poem, But Not a Poem About Disappointment

Yesterday I missed running the Green Bay Cellcom 1/2 Marathon for the first time in many years. A stubborn knee “issue” forced me to halt my training 7 weeks ago, and I still have not been able to run without pain.  I even made a last ditch effort  to see if somehow, I had experienced a miraculous recovery and would be able to pull it off.

Saturday morning, the day before the race, I laced up my shoes and went for a  jog for the first time in a very, very long time. I felt good. I increased my pace. Hmmm…a little discomfort, but nothing serious. Just kinda “twingey” feeling. After the first mile, I began feeling a tad bit optimistic. It was time to try out my race pace. This was a necessity, as I suffer from this severe personality defect which prevents me from feeling any amount of accomplishment for merely finishing a race, even if there is an ultra-cool t-shirt involved. I need to RUN a race. Hard. Running at a pace slower than what I am capable of? Well, you get the point. Not acceptable.

Unfortunately this mind set didn’t even matter. As soon as I increased my pace, I experienced instant pain, a sharp stabbing pain, right under my kneecap. Discomfort I can handle, but I am getting old enough (dare I say wise enough) to understand that forcing the issue would most likely create an even longer setback. At this point, I knew. It wasn’t going to happen.

I cannot adequately explain the level of disappointment I felt when I finally  admitted this to myself. Watching all the hype on TV left me feeling angry and frustrated. I  found myself talking to the nice people on TV in a not so nice way. Compounding my feelings of  disappointment, was the fact that a couple of coworkers would be running the race…without me. Enter green eyed envy monster.

Today, I am looking on the bright side (trying for the cup half full mentality) of my current situation.  Time off of running has reminded me just how much I love to run. I miss it. However, I am spending more time strength training. That’s never a bad thing. Plus, I’m getting a lot of use out of my new bike! Also a good thing. And, my husband and I can workout together (as opposed to running, where we don’t, as one of us…ME!…runs a little longer and faster than the other). I like my husband a whole bunch, so spending time together is also, a really good thing.

And now for a bit of coincidence.  As I was preparing to teach Free Verse Poetry to my students today, I ran (wink-wink…sense of humor is still intact), across this poem I had written last year. Rather timely, don’t you think? Hey 4:40! I can’t wait to see you again!


My Favorite Time of Day





Taylor Swift’s voice 

          gently rouses me 

                      out of a deep sleep.  


I quickly slide 

                  out of bed and 

                                       change into my running clothes

 before I am alert enough 

                    to think rationally 

                                         and climb back under the covers.








not bothering to turn on the lights. 



       I wiggle my feet 

                 into my shoes,  

                            tie them in a double knot,

stick my earbuds in my ears, 

          and find Pandora 

                   on my phone. 


I adjust my headband 


                             my earbuds and 


                             my ponytail, 

             grab my gloves 

and head out the door. 


The cold air 

           takes my breath away.

I pull up my Nike app, 

             hit “Start Run”, 

                          and clumsily shove my phone  into my back pocket.


It’s dark and peaceful. 


Just the way I like it. 


I settle into a comfortable pace 

                and get lost in my thoughts. 


As I pass under the streetlights 

                 by Riverside Park, 

                              I become aware 

                                             of how cold I am. 

Eager to get home 

                  and jump in a hot shower, 

                                              I pick up the pace. 


As I round the last corner, 

            I am greeted 

                           by the soft pink hue 

                                             of the eastern sky. 


Karen Hovie

March 2013


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