No matter what I do, you’re always mad…
Oh iliotibial band, I’ve been treating you with the utmost kindness for the past few months, and you’re still angry.
“Strip the miles from a runner and they feel half naked. Half of themselves. A shell. The mentality a runner takes and holds throughout their recovery will either make them stronger or cripple them.” -Image and quote credit: Caitlin Chock
Runners and athletes in general cope with injuries left and right. There are good days and bad days for us all. Me? I’m having a bad day, and I don’t want to give my blog’s audience the illusion that my life is untarnished. We all have struggles, myself included. Our character is simply a byproduct of how we handle life’s curve balls. And this is my 1st huge hurdle with running, and I’m sure that it won’t be my last…minor or not. I’ll get through this. Right now, I just need a moment of ventilation. I can’t deny or ignore my emotions.
On May 15, 2011, my life changed forever. Finding the ambition, backbone, and stamina to triumphantly run 13.1 miles after having only ran a personal outdoor distance record of 6.2 miles still boggles my mind.
I honestly can’t explain it. But something came over me on that grey skied, drizzly afternoon. It felt like I had finally woken up after being in a “coma” for over 20 years. I instantly fell in love with endurance running.
Even when you’re sleeping, keep your ey-eyes open…
I was making steady progress in recent weeks, but now I’m on a complete standstill with the risk of rolling backwards. I haven’t ran since Thursday because I felt some twinges on the side of my knee, and I’m now experiencing lateral hip pain. Oy vey. Chances are, this pain is also linked to my ITBS. ITBS is incredibly nagging and has been one of my biggest running-related fears since I first learned about it’s havoc-wreaking nature. And I can’t blame P90X. In fact, my progress was coming a long much better since beginning the program, so I’m not sure what is going on. Regardless of the cause, I’m having a flareup.
I can and have considered solely participating in shorter races. But with all issues set aside, I don’t carry the same sparkle while running short distances as I do running long distances. The mere possibility of this outcome absolutely crushes my spirit. I’m certainly not demeaning shorter distances by any means. It’s blatantly obvious that my joy comes from running long and enduring the seemingly unendurable. Everyone has their own contentment within the sport, any sport.
Mile 20 and I was as happy as a clam…or delirious.
I’d much rather run a full marathon than a 5K. I crave the post-long run state of mind. Long runs give me the fuel that I need to keep my internal flame burning bright. Day after day, week after week, and month after month, it feels as though my resources are approaching scarce. It’s been nearly 5 months of uncountable painstaking recovery attempts. It’s frustrating. I sometimes feel betrayed by my own body.
I miss being able to run freely without the constant worry of worsening my injury or feeling the compulsion to do a complete body check after every turn of the foot. I get anxious before runs for reasons much different than unforeseen mental battles, tummy issues, blisters, and hitting the wall. The contingency for having to bag a run is much higher than it ever has been, and the feeling of unfinished business isn’t a good one.
There’s so much else that I miss…
I miss training for a big race and the sacrifices that come along with it.
I miss finishing a run feeling as if my warning light for my gas tank is on, only leaving me with enough juice to hobble into the kitchen to begin refueling.
20 miles. Rain. Still smiling.
I miss the gels, the filled-to-the-brim Camelbak, the good pain, the mangled feet, the science, the strategic planning, and breaking limit barriers.
I miss the challenge of it all, the solitude…my time with me - body, mind, soul, and spirit. Long runs were my one-on-one therapy sessions. And with this loss, a part of me just feels broken.
But most of all, I miss experiencing life by foot. Long runs were my means of adventure, the discovery of beauty, bliss, and being. Walking is always an option, but it just isn’t and never will be the same as running…not for me at least. I enjoy focusing on my breath and feeling the wind rush past me. I enjoy the rhythm of my cadence and sound of the earth beneath the
soles souls of my shoes.
This injury has been and still is a test of my physical and mental strength. I have developed a renewed appreciation for running as a result. And just because today was a bad day doesn’t mean that it has to flow into my tomorrow. In all reality, it’s up to me to keep climbing no matter how slippery the slope.
I refuse to let this bad day cripple me.19 notes
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- spokengems said: Thank you for sharing your struggles with us. It really helps me to realize that when I have a bad day, fitness wise, or otherwise, I’m not alone in that. I can get through it and be positive still. You are so inspiring and encouraging. Thank you!
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- nakedatheist said: #injuries are the worse, and always seem to sneak up on you. I have been dealing with an ankle injury for almost a year. With setback last week in therapy, I feel my 2013 season slipping away…
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