|My first race: Ragnar Relay Great River 2010|
After a couple of years of running consistently 3-5 times per week, I realized I never wanted to stop. It did awesome things for my mind and body, and I was really thrilled that I stuck out the tough beginning to get to where I was.
I love identifying as a runner. I love feeling like one of those "elite people" (or so I used to think of them) that can just head out for an "easy 10 miler" on a Sunday morning. I love that running has become the "easy" sport, and I'd rather do it than any other form of exercise. I love that running allows me to burn thousands of calories, so I can eat the foods I love without gaining back the 100+ pounds I lost.
|My favorite race picture of all time. I've posted|
this no less than 276 times on my blog.
It's been five and a half weeks since my last run, which ended halfway through a long run, due to ongoing ankle pain. The first two weeks off from running were torture. I was thinking about running pretty much every moment of the day, and I felt horribly guilty for not running. Once I started deep water running in the pool, I felt a little better, but I don't get all of those "love-y" feelings I mentioned above when I deep water run.
I miss running. I miss thinking about running. I miss writing out training plans. I miss setting time goals, and reaching for them. I miss racing. I miss planning races. I miss that little connection, or bond, I felt with other runners.
I know it's only been less than six weeks, but I don't even feel like a runner anymore. It's not the first thing I think of when I wake up in the mornings. I don't plan my days around running, or fit running into my days. It's actually almost scary when I realize that I don't even really think much about running anymore.
I think I'm mostly scared that this injury is going to push me right back to the 253-pound couch potato I was just 6 years ago. After I started running, and I'd lost the weight, my weight has certainly had its ups and downs--bouncing around a 25-pound range between 130 and 155 several times (even a few pounds higher on a bad day). That's nothing new. But the one thing that stayed very consistent was my dedication to running, and training, and setting goals for racing. Even if I gained back all the weight, I would at least have running.
Logically, I know that my stress fracture will heal, and I won't be forever sidelined from running. I realize I'm being a little dramatic. I'm just afraid of getting so far out of the habit that I won't be able to get back into the habit once I'm able to run again. Make sense?
I hope this post doesn't sound whiney. I'm not trying to whine, just trying to explain this whole thought process. People are injured all the time, and I never think much of other people taking two weeks, six weeks, or even six months off from the sport. But now that it's happening to me, I'm trying to stay positive but still be realistic. Even if I have to take several months off, several months is nothing in the grand scheme of things. It just derails my running goals for 2015. This was going to be a great year for my running! Hopefully it still can be.
I'm hoping that by taking the time to heal, regardless of how long that is, I'll come back stronger than ever. And smarter. I've already been planning some changes: 1) Make cross-training a priority, even if it's just deep water running in the pool; 2) Make strength-training a priority, as much as I hate it; 3) Follow my training program right to the letter, and don't "squeeze in" races here and there. Pick a race and focus solely on that, training specifically for that; and 4) Make my "easy" runs truly easy. Even if the pace is embarrassingly slow, I will do them ridiculously easy.
To lighten this up a bit, I'll end with asking you all a question that Runner's World posted on Facebook recently: What's the most embarrassing thing to happen to you on a run?
Mine was definitely when I got home from a run and realized that I looked like THIS:
Haha! You can read the story here. :)