The last few months I’ve been plagued with a painful knee. I’ve rested, iced it, foam rolled, been to countless doctors, and suffered through weeks of not being able to run. A side effect of not running for me, was not writing either. This is going to be a brutally honest post and maybe someone else out there will be able to relate. See, injuries don’t just suck because you can’t run. There are far worse side effects of an injury on a runner. When you take away the activity a person is extremely passionate about, you leave them with the time and space to dwell on what they are unable to do.
I love running. I love the running community and being a part of everything running has to offer in Charleston. That means I go to group runs with Fleet Feet, I run almost every race Charleston has to offer, I do running meetups, I train with Fleet Feet, and I volunteer my time when I can. I’m deeply involved with everyone here who enjoys the sport just as much as I do. Now, when you take away that ability to be a functioning part of that community, you’re left with some negative feelings. Sure, I can obviously volunteer at all the running events that I can’t participate it but there is a deeper level of sadness that makes even volunteering or spectating a running event, difficult for me.
I can’t watch a race in Charleston while being sidelined with an injury. It’s just too painful for me to bear in my heart. I know that sounds a bit selfish but you have to understand that when I can’t run and participate in the fun, I get severely depressed and lonely. There were many nights that my husband could tell something was bothering me and as he would ask “what’s wrong?” all I could answer with was “I just want to go for a run.” Running is my time for myself, it’s my time to unwind, it’s like a job that I’m working super hard at being the best at. I look forward every day to strengthening my qualities as a runner to become the best version of myself.
My days were spent taking care of my girls, taking care of the house, taking care of everyone. Then at the end of the night I was finding myself sulking in a glass, or two, of wine because I had nothing else to do. There were no speed workouts, no long runs with Lana, no races to prepare for. It was just myself, the couch, netflix, and my wine. It starts to eat away at you when the monotony of every day life allows no room for you to do the things that are solely for yourself. Yes, taking care of my girls all day brings me mounds of joy, I love being their Mommy. I love that I’m a stay at home mom who can do the chores around the house while my husband is at work. I love the ability to cook homemade dinners for my husband so when he comes home we have a delicious meal waiting. But when you’re days start to meld together with repeating the same tasks that revolve around taking care of everyone else, it gets empty not being able to do the one thing you love, for yourself. I wasn’t able to show my body love with my workouts, I wasn’t able to push myself mentally with some speed work, I wasn’t able to look forward to goals that only I had control of. It’s like all the hard work I had put in had just disappeared.
The truth is, I also felt a lot of jealousy. I am friends with so many in the running community on facebook and I do love that. I love seeing what everyone is up to and watching my friends prepare for races, get medals, and crush their goals. That is truly the most amazing aspect of the running community, we are all there to cheer each other on in their accomplishments. It just gets overwhelmingly easy to be jealous of your friends when you’re stuck on the sidelines and they are out kicking ass! All you want is to be out there with them, enjoying the race, soaking up the thrill of the start line and the endorphin rush of the finish line. You want to cheer them on but you can’t help but feel left out when you don’t get to participate.
Tomorrow was supposed to be my goal marathon race. Today I went and picked up my race bib for the half marathon which I’m not even running at full strength. I’m on a rehab plan & slowly building my base mileage back up, so this is nothing more than a normal weekend training run that just so happens to have beer & a medal at the finish. It was really upsetting to see those in line to pick up their full marathon bibs. I had such high hopes for this race. The hope to qualify for Boston, the hope to feel that rush of 26.2, the want to push my body farther than it has ever been pushed. I’m trying not to be such a negative nancy, I know there are others out there that are sidelined by much greater injuries than mine. I’m beyond thankful that my body is healthy enough to even allow me to run 13 miles tomorrow, regardless of how fast I do it. I just wish that I was back where I left off before this injury. It feels like it’s going to take a life time to get back to the level i was at.
But I’m done complaining. I’m done looking back on the last few months of struggle. I’m done being jealous, being sad, and being a big party pooper. I just wanted others to know that if you are sidelined and feeling alone, jealous, resentful… you are not alone. The key that I’m finding is to just keep looking forward to the next big goal. If I just keep focusing on my future goals, I can get back to my running happy place. I can’t change my injury that occurred but I can learn from it and move on. With that in mind, my next big races are:
- Virginia Beach half marathon – March 19th
- Cooper River Bridge Run 10K- April 1st
- Chicago Marathon- October 8th
I’m looking towards the future from here on out and putting my best self forward. I’m excited to race a healthy 2017 full of personal bests!