Thursday, July 12, 2007

Give it a Minute

For the past couple weeks, running has been the least fun thing I've done. After the wonderful relay experience, I just lost it. It was like the wall of all walls. Every time I've put my shoes on and stepped onto the road I've been nowhere near into it. One day, my knee would hurt, the next day, a shin. I had a nagging tendon for a while and then an angry ankle. It was too hot, then too windy. Worst of all, my head wasn't in it.

I'm always the runner to say "I don't care how fast I'm running, I just don't want to walk." I hardly ever will stop a run to walk, even with pain. Over the last couple weeks, though, I've gotten somewhere around two miles into almost every run and felt the need to stop and walk. So I did. Some days, I'd complete all my miles by walking them. And I never once felt badly about it.

I don't think anyone should feel less-than for walking, of course, but this is just highly unusual for me. It's been frustrating that it's lasted a while. I can't really figure it out. I thought it was just one bad run, but then it turned into two and three and four. It kept happening. I thought the dangerous thoughts like maybe running isn't for me anymore or maybe I'm just a two miler. Nothing wrong with that, I told myself. I just stopped looking forward to it.

I came up with a few plans. Drop the mileage, then build back up. Cross train more. Get more sleep. I tried a lot of plans.

But then, today, forty minutes after I'd worked through lunch and eaten at my desk, I went to the locker room, changed my clothes and headed out. The skies were dark, the kind of clouds that open and pour for hours. I breathed in and waited a minute, but I didn't turn back. I'd just eaten, I could have gotten cramps. I didn't turn back. I just started running, letting the cool air blow my hair back and the noise of traffic fade into the background. I felt good after a mile, and still after two. Into the third mile I knew the rain was coming, so I headed back.

Just a 3.4 mile loop in all, but I felt like it could have been 10. Finally, I thought, a run that means I still know how to run. I'd hoped it was in there somewhere, even after all my end-of-the-world-as-I-know-it talk. And it was.

Of course I don't know how the next run will go. I don't know that it'll be pain free or exhilarating. But I'll go for it anyway and try to remember that running is not only part of life but is just like life. Sometimes it's up, sometimes it's down and sometimes you just need a minute.

21 comments:

Backofpack said...

Nicely said. I'm off to my relay, where it'll be way too hot and way too much fun. I wonder if a person can overdose on fun?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm so glad you got your groove back. And I'm going to use your post as inspiration. I haven't exercised since spraining my foot a week ago and I fear never getting properly back into it once I've healed (because I can get fat and lazy in the blink of an eye). But now I know it will come back, so thanks.

Nicole said...

Every mile counts in my book no matter how you cover the path. Nice job.

Airam said...

I wish I could run period ... my knees are ridiculous. I wonder if it's just that I need to train them to not hurt like hell!

Danielle said...

Ah...well said and well written. I know EXACTLY how you're feeling cause I've been feeling the same thing. I've slogged through it, and I'm getting mileage, but not nearly what I've done in the past, and none of it feels great, I'm doing it just to do it and I've started having the thoughts of not running anymore, or at least not doing anymore marathons...

Ginger Breadman said...

I'm laughing - until the last paragraph, I was going to say the say thing - that it's like life. It does have its ups and downs, and that's what makes the ups so rewarding and worth the struggles. And sometimes, it has hard times for no apparent reason and things you just can't understand - just like life, too. But - you said it in your last paragraph - you're too wise.

afuntanilla said...

i think so many can relate! too true. good for u for continuing to get out there.

sue said...

I happy to be able to get out and WALK on a good day... Good for you. Keep it up. You'll be happier in the long run. (Ouch. No pun intended.)

Sizzle said...

sometimes you just need a minute- so true!

i'm one of those walkers who just hopes i never have to run. ;)

Sempre Libera said...

Glad to hear not only that you enjoyed the run but that you've been trying to get back out there in spite of the slump. The joy will return for good sooner or later, I'm sure.

egan said...

I know exactly how you feel. Sorry to hear you hit the wall of walls. I can't stand walking during a run because it feels like forever. Why walk when you pass so much more time running? I hope you regain your mojo soon.

The Exception said...

Too true, that minute helps or is hat we need in so many situations.

That last run sounded amazing though - the period just before it rains is so refreshing to me.

Just keep running!

justacoolcat said...

Whooo Hooo!!!

Congrats on getting the feelin' back.

I haven't been biking much either. I don't know why. It could be the gym trips, it could be the gardening, it could be so much, but I can't put my finger on it.

brookem said...

very well said. i think we all hit this point, at some point during training. when you, your body, and your heart, just aren't into it. or everything isn't into it at the same time. glad to hear that today's run went well, and hope that this theme continues for you!

brandy said...

Well said. It sounds like you are going through a rough patch but are working through it. Congratulations for being able to take it one step (run?) at a time. I'm rooting for you.

Bre said...

Awww! You've got your run back! :-p

skinnylittleblonde said...

Gawd Girl, I am lucky to make it 50 yards without twisting my ankle!
The fact that you can run 2 miles is admirable, to me.
Your desire, drive, determination & ambition is the bomb. I believe you can do anything you set your mind to.

Sister Buckle said...

Oh! I want that too! But in a writing way.

See, blogging to me is walking. It's something I do effortlessly, sometimes as a nervous twitch. I just can't seem to articulate myself in sophisticated way at the moment for university; I feel like I can't run.

Maybe I should stop blogging so much for a little bit. I blogged like a maniac last week and couldn't tear myself away. Hmmm. Hmmmm.

I know you didn't intend to strike this chord with me, but that's what makes it interesting!

Hmm. Ponder, ponder.

singleton said...

I so wish I could just take off and run,
but I would for sure trip and fall...
I love that you just keep get up and do it again, walk, run, 1 mile, 2 miles, rain, sun....
still you do it again!
You rock, girl!

Kurt said...

I found your blog through Dani and losing one's grove from time to time happens to all of us.

I enjoyed reading your blog. Still life without chocolate? Hmm, not sure I could do that myself. I run to eat chocolate.

runliarun said...

I am almost never look forward to it. But I did not get to the stage where I say running is not for me anymore.

I do not censor my walking too much either, mostly because wherever I am running a part is uphill, and I'm just not good at that.