“It’s not what you look at that matters, it is what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Today is my eighth day of no running.
I’ve ignored the aches and pains. I’ve ignored the thoughts in my head that I need a break. I’ve ignored them all because I love running. None of aches were really that bad. I’d convince myself that I’d take a walk break if it got to be too much. If my run wasn’t being impacted, I could keep going.
Last April, after I finished my spring race schedule, I told myself I’d take a two week break. I could tell my body was out of balance. Nothing felt right. I went out for an easy run around the neighborhood, yet I couldn’t get my legs to work. I was barely running a 12 minute mile. I did give myself time to heal, but I never took a break. I saw doctors and modified my training, but I never took a break. All summer I tiptoed around my hip injuries.
This past December, as my fall schedule was coming to an end, I had the same feelings. My body was working against itself. It was fighting me on my runs. My knee hurt. My hips hurt. I made the same promises to myself. I would stop running if it got to be too much. A few weeks ago, the Sunday I ran along the Potomac River, I knew I had run too far. At mile 2, my ankle ached. I convinced myself that I’d turn around if it wasn’t warmed up by mile 3. By mile 4, it was worse than it was at mile 2, and I was much further from my car. Instead of walking back to my car (because I couldn’t call anyone for a ride), I ran 4 long, painful miles back to my starting point. I took a few days off. Speed work outs were easy again. By the weekend my body was back to rebelling.. I rested some more. Last Tuesday, after a five day break, I ran 800s. I nailed the workout. My 800 times were 30 seconds faster than they needed to be for my race goal. My ankle felt fine. Wednesday I woke up in pain. Thursday I hurt some more. I had decided to wait until Sunday to run. Sunday morning I woke up in more pain. My ankle wasn’t ready.
After an emotional meltdown, logic took over. At that point I was on five days of rest. My ankle wasn’t to the point where I knew I needed weeks off. I decided I needed to get myself back to the doctor before I ran again. I grounded myself from running.
Today is day 8. I know now why my ankle has been causing me so many problems. My peroneus muscles aren’t working. For the first time in almost a year, I finally (really) listened to my body. My doctor is treating my ankle with active release, therapy, and home exercises. I’m skipping one more long run this weekend, and I should be back in my running shoes by Monday, 13 days of rest.
Taking another step back, really listening to my body, and trusting myself is the best thing that could have happened to me right now. This was not part of my plan, but success and happiness are found when you step outside of yourself. This injury is giving me permission to just have fun (which is what I’ve wanted to do all along). It’s taken the pressure off. It’s given me clarity.
“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” ~ Tony Robbins
With the Shamrock Half Marathon 36 days away, this will have an impact on the race clock. I’m okay with that. My current race goal is 1:55. That may or may not happen. I’m okay with that too. Right now I should be hitting all my key workouts in this training cycle. I’m not. I’m practicing yoga. I just signed up for a spin class.
I have 36 days to pick myself up, dust myself off, and make the best of life (not running, life!). Happiness happens when you learn to let go and bounce back.
“When you become comfortable with uncertainity, infinite possibilities open up in your life.” ~Eckhart Tolle