I am [still] a runner

There are times when reality can creep up on you.

It was only a few minutes after I started, mindlessly snacking as I scroll through Twitter and Facebook, that I realize I have eaten the entire bag of [bad snack food]. It happens. We are warned about eating without first portioning off, or eating straight from the bag.  This gives a new name to the phrase “bag lunch.” I guess that’s what I just had.

I’m feeling frustrated. I have not run longer than an hour in weeks. To keep myself moving, I have gone to yoga and I started up with a master’s swim class.

Where am I without my long runs?

It’s coming up to a month now. It’s been that long since I hurt my Achilles tendon. This is a frustrating injury, as well as being painful.

minute

I was told to only walk/jog when it doesn’t hurt to walk. Then start to run when I can walk/jog without any pain: I’m there now and have been able to run for up to 50 min.

My running coach had a similar injury and understands how the body copes and heals. This involves both the physical healing as well as our mental ways of coping with change and injury.

I have not been able to go out and run for 2+ hours, nor have I been able to join my running buddies. This is a shift for me.  When I looked forward to some social distraction and a good long run, I no longer have that.

When I left for my run the rain has stopped and the sun was slicing through clouds. I waited until after two soccer games, a dance class, and the mommy taxi runs were all done.  I knew I needed to get out to run and this morning pause for activities timed well with the weather. (Or, as I referred to it today: the wetter).

I now feel like a runner when I am out running for 30 minutes. I am enjoying my slow, easy runs. I don’t have to run as fast as the person beside me, because I am running with myself. In these moments I am running for my own goals. I am a runner.

longer

I used to call 20 km an easy weekend run. It makes me realize I can go back to that again. I will get there again. I know it’s possible with consistency and dedication. Going slow makes me look at what I’m doing. What am I worried about? What is my body doing? Where is my mind?

I miss the long run, but I am thankful to have this time as well. I can run shorter, because it means I can still run.

I am a runner.

_________

This post is about a week out of date, but I still wanted to post it. For me, it’s about acknowledging where I am that makes me realize what progress is, and what it entails.

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16 thoughts on “I am [still] a runner

  1. Absolutely you’re still a runner! It’s not about the distance we run or how fast we run it; it’s all about getting out there and doing it. You’ll get back up to your previous long distances. You know this. Injuries are almost always a blessing in disguise. They force us to step back and get in touch with why we loved running to begin with. The longer I run the less I realize how unimportant either speed or distance really are. Just run. Enjoy it.

    • I’m still on my training plan, but going out and running these slow, short runs has made me like it all over again. It really is the cliche that it’s the journey and not the destination. When you get to the end, it’s over.

    • Ken,
      Things are all relative. As a non-runner you can still get out and walk, but if you were injured and resigned to the couch you may feel a bit frustrated as well.

      Have fun getting out there!

  2. It’s maddening when we don’t have the control over our bodies to which we are accustomed. Wishing you well in your recovery.
    I’m VERY guilty of regularly eating while at computer which is another way of saying, eating mindlessly….the bane of my current existence.

    • You take for granted what you are used to. It feels frustrating to have to go backwards in time/fitness/space.
      I’m so there with the mindless eating at times. You just forget and then it’s…. whoopsie!

    • I try to focus on what is, rather than what isn’t. There will always be another run. But I am still a basket case in trying to do more and be better. Seeing where I am now has given me a huge dose of perspective.

  3. Peeking in here without time to stop & read, and I realize, I really need to spend more time reading your work ….. Looking forward to coming back. xoR

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