When I was thinking about starting a blog and the discussions started with Missy about doing this together, one of the things I liked is the uniqueness of having two perspectives. Oftentimes we see eye-to-eye in our fitness pursuits, but in other ways we are very different. This post was in the works for awhile and just happened to follow her “I hate you, running. P.S. I love you” post (http://fitfemmes.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/i-hate-you-running-p-s-i-love-you/) , but will be a classic example of a “difference” in us. I’m sure there will be readers that will relate with each of us!
It has been 45 days since I last ran (but who’s counting…). Perhaps I have been lucky, but this is, by far, the longest layoff I have experienced in my six years as a runner. I suppose this day was inevitable at some point, but I fought it with everything I could. On December 5th I heard the words no runner ever wants to hear – “You can’t run another step until you have surgery.”
On December 16th my right foot went under the knife. Everything went as planned and within four days I was back at the gym, albeit with significant restrictions. Fast forward four weeks and I am realizing the surgery may have been the “easy” part, at least from a mental standpoint.
I MISS RUNNING. I have tried to fill the void. I have been rowing, biking & lifting weights. I have been able to add in stair climbing and the elliptical trainer this week. I have tried to do all these things at a vigorous effort to mimic the wonderful, fatigued feeling running creates. While these workouts help, and I definitely feel better after than I did before, THEY ARE NOT RUNNING. People warned me it would be bad, but I don’t think I could fully understand until it hit me.
Runner’s World ventures as far as to say that while being injured you actually feel a loss and go through the “5 stages of grief.” http://m.active.com/running/articles/5-stages-of-injury-grief.htm I laughed this off until I read it. Denial? Yep. Ran a marathon ignoring this injury. Anger? Yes! Been there, done that! Bargaining? Check. Depression? This is where I am stuck now. Some days are okay and I feel hopeful that this is almost “over”. Other days I can’t even drive past a runner or see people on the treadmill at the gym without a nagging sadness.
Some tell me this is all in my head (maybe it is) and I can “get over it” if I want to. However, there are some very specific things I miss that I can’t figure out how to replace. In no particular order, here are the three things I miss the most about not running:
- Being “good sore.” Like the kind of completely fatigued legs you have by bedtime the day of a long or very hard run.
- The time spent outdoors. (Yes, even in the winter.) This time of year it is not feasible (at least not in Chicago!) to go sit on your deck and read a book with your feet up. It IS still possible to go for a run. I miss the sun & the fresh air.
- The structure my running schedule provides me. I like my life organized and structured. Everything feels “off” without running.
I am hopeful that I will learn from this experience. I am definitely being forced to learn a hard lesson in patience. It has given me a new sense of compassion for others who have limitations or injuries. I am trying my hardest to “make the best of it” and not feel sorry for myself. I know others deal with far worse and this really is NOT the worst thing in the world. I truly am thankful I can do something (and actually, quite a lot) at the gym still.
Runners, have you ever been injured? How did you cope?
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter our Swirlgear giveaway that ends on January 20th! http://fitfemmes.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/welcome-to-our-blog-and-our-very-first-giveaway/