In 2019 while training for the NYC Marathon I strained my calf and ended up spending a month in a half or so at PT, and abstained from running.
It’s the worst feeling when something you love gets taken away from you. When your body isn’t catching up and doing what you want it to be.
Fast forward to 2022 and I’m in the best place with running that I’ve ever been.
I’ve taken such major strides from hiring a running coach and running my first half marathon and achieving a major PR , coming in 3rd in my age group and demographic in a 5k race, and consistently running 4 days a week for MONTHS.
Using a coach revoluzionized how I ran, and kept me injury free. Running most of my runs easy, stretching properly, fueling correctly all aided in some major achievements.
And then my calf began hurting me again. Nothing nearly as bad as last time since I knew better, caught it right away, and spoke to professionals.
The plus side of that was I didn’t have to stop running in the beginning (eventually I took a few weeks off), I was barely in pain (more that I NOTICED my calf working harder than normal), and was able to treat it with a must smaller stint in PT, ice, foam rolling and help from “running army”.
It did however mean I couldn’t’ participate in the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler I had signed up for and trained to crush as well as a Half Marathon in Atlantic City in May.
But you know what’s amazing? This experience highlighted my mental growth as a runner. You see, I used to lie awake at night the second I thought I felt a small pain in ankle. I used to wonder if my body wasn’t cooperating if that meant running was over for me?
I also had a pretty crazy thought several weeks ago when running a 12 miler in the cold, getting my kids a babysitter, and just not “feeling it.
I had that “why am I even doing this?” thought so many of us have when we’re not in the groove. And I wondered, if no one ever knew I was doing this, would it change how hard I pushed, how much I tried and how many runs I did?
In a world with social media and WhatsApp chats, if not a single person would know how far I went, how strong I was, would it change what I was doing? I didn’t have an answer and kind of left it.
Well let me tell you, there is nothing like being told you can only easy miles and keep them shorter, to remind you of your WHY. To take a few weeks off of your favorite thing in the world to give some perspective. I haven’t enjoyed running this much in a while. To just lace up those sneakers, crank up the music and run without any paces to hit, distance to cover and specific goals. The runs were just… to run.
Anything in life will have hiccups and setbacks along the way. I’ve never felt more like a runner than I when I had to take it a little easier and be reminded of the joy and love I have for the sport. It reaffirmed my WHY, that I’m in the for the long haul, and injuries and logistical obstacles are just par for the course.
Now my body is getting stronger and I’m prepping for the next race I have on the schedule for this May.
What’s something you love and achieved but have had some minor stumbling blocks along the way?
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