The road to recovery is never easy, but I never thought I would learn so much about myself through this experience. Life is full of ups and downs, and I think what I have always loved about running is, regardless of whatever else is going on with my life, I know I will always have those minutes, hours, however long it may be, to focus on myself and my training. Whether it’s speed morning early in the morning at the high school track, hill repeats, a long run, or simply a recovery run, I always know that whatever effort I am putting in, it’s making me better and closer to reaching my goals.
No matter what I am feeling, I have always liked the rigidity and structure of following a half or full marathon training plan. But that’s just me. I love staying busy. I love following a schedule. I love routine. There have been a lot of changes in my life recently, mostly exciting, but change is always tough for me. If you’ve read my last blog, you already know about one of the biggest “changes”, my achilles injury and not being able to run as I normally would. It’s been a lot of time building that love/hate relationship I have with the stationary bike, with foam rolling and with icing.
I am now at the point where I am starting to incorporate running again, and it’s so exciting, but I’ll be honest, I’m also terrified. I think that is due to a mix of things. First and foremost, i’m scared of becoming injured again. Every little twinge I feel in my Achilles tendon brings me right back to that 7-mile run that led me to the decision to go to a doctor and ultimately start physical therapy. I am happy to report that I have been running 2-3 miles every other day with my physical therapist’s recommendation. The past two 3 mile runs that I have done…no pain at all in the tendon! However, I have started to feel some pain and tingling in the bottom of my foot…welcome, plantar fasciitis! Since it just started happening, I am already getting directed on good exercises to do and different taping, icing methods. I should be able to get this under control fairly quickly. But that’s only part of the story…
I think the second thing that really scares me getting back into it is the feeling of being a brand new runner. After the slight euphoria of actually being allowed to run again wears off, I find myself staring at the mileage on the treadmill. For someone who was used to 10, 12, even 20 mile runs, this feels very uncomfortable. Today, after a mile, I stared down and thought, “what a mile, that’s all I’ve done so far?!?!” I feel tired. I feel bored. I just don’t feel like my old self. As frustrating as this can be, I think I need it. I think I needed a reset. I now need to focus on taking care of myself with the goal of being an injury-free marathoner for 2018.