If I were to describe my relationship with Running on Facebook, my status would be “it’s complicated.” When I see friends with that status, I always wonder what the real deal is. In my case, I am the jilted lover, and Running is toying with my affections.
He lets me spend just enough time with him so that I think we’re back together for good, and then he causes me enough pain to force me to retreat to my friends Cycling and Yoga. We have coffee together and they listen to my endless chattering about how much I enjoy their company but I really want to be reunited with Running.
He throws me little curveballs. Just when I think my ITB and hips are strong, I feel a twinge in my knee while going downhill. A couple of days later the twinge fades but my PF wakes up. I start to feel like a hypochondriac, every little ache or pain from the waist down causes me to fear the worst.
I feel betrayed. Even with a lower back that seems to delight in slowing me down, I’ve always been quite strong physically. I’ve spent many a weekend moving whole rooms of furniture around and rearranging our house, worked for hours digging up and moving sod to enlarge our garden, carried two screaming kids, my purse and multiple shopping bags out of more than one store. I don’t consider myself a wimp.
In the past, I’ve been able to pretty much successfully muscle my way through things. Now, I can’t. I realize part of that is the undeniable fact that I’m getting older. Recovery takes longer. One night of bad sleep haunts me for days. A stomach virus can lay me out flat.
But for 18 months I was able to run through various aches and pains, set goals and meet them, work hard, get faster and go longer. I did it the way ‘experts’ recommend. I took it slow and easy, followed a training plan, strengthened my core, and even stretched from time to time.
So here I am nearly 4 months post injury, barely able to run a mile without hyperventilating. Everything I do or don’t do is based on how my IT feels. I feel unfocused and unsure of myself. Am I at a place physically where I can and should set a running goal? Should I continue to focus primarily on strength and flexibility? Maybe I need to dump Running altogether for a while and spend more time with my friends Cycling and Yoga?
I’ve been doing some reading. Not as much as I would like because I have other things – life, kids, homeschool – that are on the top shelf right now, but enough to feel the flow moving in a particular direction. I still don’t feel like I have any sort of clear plan, but there are some things I’m mulling over….
like my diet, my heart rate and my shoes. I'll have to talk more about those a little later though because this post is long enough already.