“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” ~Paulo Coelho
As per usual, I had a whole post written in my head already, yet when I sat down to begin writing, I knew I was going to change what I said. I guess that’s one of my biggest problems. I’ve never truly made up my mind about anything. I never fully commit to anything. I feel like I’m kind of the anti-stereotype; a 32 year old women who is afraid of commitment. It’s almost like an oxymoron.
I was so proud of myself last Sunday. I was 3 days into the Runners World Runner Streak challenge. I was getting into a groove with my morning gym workouts and my night running. I was truly happier with myself. And this made me happier in most aspects of my life. So, on Sunday, when I was running in my neighborhood I didn’t want to stop. My knee was hurting a little, but I was really enjoying myself. It was cold, but I didn’t care. So when I realized I went almost 2.5 miles I was ecstatic. The most I had run without stopping to walk at that point was a mile and a half. I couldn’t believe that I went a full mile more, and mostly uphill. I came home, stretched, and iced all the ailing parts of my body and went to bed happy.
And then when I woke up, I could barely walk. My gym visit didn’t go so well either. And the pain, while subsiding, has stuck around all week, so I haven’t been running since the first of December. And I’m upset. And depressed, and my temper is shorter. I feel like every time I get somewhere and hit some sort of consequential milestone for myself I have to stop yet again because of some injury to something. Now that the plantar fasciitis is pretty much gone (it’s always going to be there, but I barely feel it anymore), and I have no more IT band pain, my knee starts to hurt any time I take a step. I really started to feel like I should give up on running. I’ll still go to the gym and take classes, eat right, and hopefully get into better shape, but maybe running was just a pipe dream I had. I get that a lot of it has to do with using muscles and joints I’m not used to using, my weight, running on pavement, etc. Deep down, I know and understand these things, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
I was thinking that maybe I wasn’t meant to be a runner. Not everyone is. I don’t have to be. Going to the gym everyday (and sometimes twice a day is more than enough. Eating healthier is a major step in the right direction. I don’t have to run. I’ve got my water classes and the elliptical. I’ve got my strength training three times a week. I don’t have to run. I don’t have to be a runner.
And then, I drive through my neighborhood, where I do most of my running, and get a little sad knowing that I probably won’t be running through there anytime soon. And then I watch people on the treadmill at the gym, beginning runners as well as accomplished runners, and I actually feel jealous and envious even though I hate the treadmill. And then I get a text from a friend telling me that she went running today and we should go together at some point (when she actually begins to enjoy it), and I get sad knowing this might not happen.
And after analyzing the way I feel, I know it isn’t over yet. I immediately went online and bought two different knee braces to try out. I may need to go slower, but I don’t care. It was never about being fast or winning a race for me. It was about the feeling I get during the run and the feeling I get when I finish. I felt like I could accomplish anything. I felt like I had never been happier in my life.
It felt like I was home.
Miles accomplished in the 100 Mile Challenge: 74.75
Miles to go in the 100 Mile Challenge: 25.25