If you know me, you would know that I hate to be late. I get that feeling in my stomach, like someone just punched me and the wind was knocked out of my chest. I get the same feeling when I realize I forgot to print or do my homework-which thankfully does not happen too often. But this feeling, this guilt hanging over me has stretched on long enough.
This post was supposed to be written back in January as everyone in the world posted their New Year’s resolutions and things to change or make better in their lives. I am not a New Year’s resolution type. But, I did want to write about last year-the ups and downs, the pain and pleasure, and of course the stupid crutches. But, come New Years day I was still barely running. I was barely lifting, and I was getting my butt kicked by the Masters swim team in the mornings. January came and went and the “I need to write on my blog!” followed me wherever I went.
I made up excuses. I told myself this blog would just be for race recaps, or that I should wait till I have a good run. Well, I did have a few good runs. Inching up the mileage, and decreasing my rest and walking. I ran fast, short runs and long, 12-mile runs. Trails, roads, hills, etc. And yet, the blog went untouched.
It occurred to me, on a run as I spent the entire hour talking to myself, that I didn’t know quite what to say on my running blog in which I was supposed to write about running, races, and eating endless amounts of GU. But, I wasn’t running like I used to, and I didn’t feel like the runner I used to be.
It is now February 13, and I still don’t. I run 5 days a week, and have increased my mileage to 30-40 miles a week. Good? I guess, considering four months ago my leg was enveloped in a pink cast and two months ago I was running and walking for ten minutes. Then why do I feel like a “runner.” Someone who dons their brand new Nikes and runs for 30 mins on the treadmill. (Sorry if that is you.)
When out on the trails I am still cautiously putting bad foot in front of the good one, praying to God nothing comes up to trip me, or make me snap another tendon. I pay attention to every step, making sure it strongly comes down in the right, text-book non-injury causing way. With every thought on my foot I miss the birds chirping and the beautiful trees swaying in the sun. I am thinking, “was that my scar twinging or something else?” “Was that my calf pulling? I need to stretch and roll out when I get home.”
When mentioning this to other runners, they say “Of course, it is natural to be afraid to reinjure something.” But, how long is this going to go on?
Last weekend, I ran with my mom here in Bloomington. She is battling with a stubborn heel injury and I was battling my stubborn, “not in the mood to run” mindset. The fact that I could not get into this run, even with the sunny, 50-degree weather, I could not grasp the run. And it bothered me. At this time last year, I had one goal. I worked my ass off for that one goal. Everything I did was for that one race. I ran everyday, ate good healthy food alongside my pizza-eating roommates, and cross-trained while still working three jobs and attending my 18-credit school semester. And, it all paid off. Well, except for whole tendon ripping off the bone thing.
So, what now? Is it just a lack of a goal to strive for? Or something else? Am I just scared to return to my real running, with the possibility of returning to a hospital bed?
I am still battling these questions, and battling my body to remain strong. I read about runners getting injured and returning strongly to the field when they are ready. I guess, I will join in with the crowd, and put my name on the recovered injured runner list.
But, I assure you that my name will be off soon. I just need to get my mind off it too.