I can’t remember what it was like to be 4 years old, but I’ll certainly remember this past year in running (or not running). From my sprained/broken ankle, to the misdiagnosis, the first rehab, the correct diagnosis, the second rehab, and the final (very late) return to running, it’s been a painful year without a lot of blog posting since I didn’t have much running stuff to write about.
But that’s all over now, and I’m already in the eighth (8th!?!) week of training for the NYC marathon (12 weeks to go!). I took the last two weeks totally off from running, however, as I was on vacation in the Pacific Northwest (Washington & Oregon)! It was an amazing trip and I throughly enjoyed myself (and all the fish & chips & Dairy Queen…) but returning to running the last couple days has been painful. Not because of my ankle, or even my knees, but because I feel like a bloated slug full of broken marbles and quick-setting cement.
To be honest, even though I’m incredibly grateful and thrilled to be running again, running still kinda sucks. Don’t get me wrong, it’s much better than not running, but there are still many days when it’s really, really hard, and it’s hot outside, or it’s too cold, or it’s raining, or I’m tired, or there’s something on TV (there’s always something on TV), or I’d rather reorganize my sock drawer than go out for a run. And even when I do get out the door, sometimes the actual running sucks, too, and I feel heavy, and slow, and I can’t breathe, and everything hurts, and I’d rather be folding socks and watching TV.
So, yes, there is hard work ahead. And I’m trying to keep in mind what the cute PT told me recently – this marathon is about returning to running, not about speed, not about time. It’s about being healthy and uninjured and enjoying myself. I can’t compare myself to where I was a year and a half ago, or play the “what if I never injured myself” game. I can just keep slogging out the uncomfortable miles and hope the growing pains don’t last too long.
And as I do on every blog birthday, I reflect on my goals. Even though I’ve been stuck on state #24 for a long time now, I still hope to run a marathon in all 50 states (although half marathons are so tempting… but I’m not ready to drop down to that level yet). I still hope to improve my running speed and endurance (which should be easy at this point since I’m bargain basement). And I hope to celebrate many more birthdays with all of you!
How do you deal when running sucks? Is rhubarb crisp an acceptable substitute for birthday cake? What if you put a candle in it? Share in the comments!