Weeks 7,8,9 – is a runner still a runner if they aren’t running?

I’m combining weeks 7, 8, and 9 – partly to catch up to today, and partly because there’s really not much to write about.   I rested and hardly ran, trying to let my body heal.  I ran once week 7, twice week 8, and three times week 9.  Nothing long, and definitely nothing strenuous.  Weeks 7 and 8, I felt like a slug and I definitely feel like I’m out of shape and getting fat (I’ve put those 6 lbs that I lost this summer right back on).  But I am starting to regain some momentum.  I’ve joined boot camp with my friend Sarah – so I’m doing that like once or twice a week.  And my goal is to build my mileage up – not entirely sure to what mileage, maybe 35-40 mpw – all generally base pace running.

Mentally I have felt a bit lost. Partly because of this, partly because the separation from Derek has been really hard – and the uncertainty of my situation (not knowing when the house will sell and when I can finally move out to Albuquerque to join Derek).  After a week of high stress in our relationship, we made the decision that I would move out by the end of the year, regardless of whether the house was sold.  And I think that has made a huge difference – I do feel a weight lifted off of my shoulders.

I am still a little worried about my right calf.  My left leg feels great.  My right one isn’t painful per se – but I still feel what I think is the tendon of my peroneal muscle (near my ankle).  The whole time it’s been my peroneals – and I am worried that something is still not quite right in my right leg.  I will go and see my ART doc one more time to see if he can unbind something.

I want to finish this quest – or I guess at least continue it since I can’t be sure I will ever finish it.  I find myself a lot more realistic about things now – probably some would say pessimistic, but I don’t think that’s it.  I think it’s harder for me now to commit as much as I did, knowing that the capriciousness of fate could take it all away.  Yes – what happened to me may be a 1% thing, but I guess since it actually happened to me – it feels bigger, more likely, more prominent.

And in the end – I need to do this at least as much for the journey as the end goal – because the journey is all I really can guarantee.  They say that life keeps presenting you with the same lesson until you learn it.  Maybe this was life literally smacking me in the face with a lesson about appreciating and valuing the journey and caring less about the end goal.

Besides finishing a marathon, besides qualifying for Boston – this fall really took away my sense of being strong and athletic.  I can hear all my friends now – but you are an athlete, and of course you’ll get it back.  Because of this nagging calf thing – I’m a lot less certain than they are.  And I think it was just so new and special to me the way that I felt in August.  I had always been just the smart, geeky kid in high school – never really did much in the way of sports, never thought of myself as athletic, or particularly coordinated (and perhaps my fall continues to prove that).

But in August, I felt truly athletic – strong and fit.  I loved the way my body looked.  I loved the way I felt.  And I have learned that running makes me feel strong – when I am not running, I feel less confident and competent in everything else too.  Because I remember how strong those 12 mile and 15 mile runs felt, even after the fall.

I want to find that person again.  I want to be that person again.  I hope my body feels the same way.

1 thought on “Weeks 7,8,9 – is a runner still a runner if they aren’t running?

  1. I’m one of those annoying friends saying it will all come back, but I do truly believe it will. If I’ve learned one thing in life, running and otherwise, it’s that time really does heal. I couldn’t walk after I got hurt last year. I finished a marathon this year. I thought no one would ever love me after a rough childhood, I find myself surrounded and accepting of it now.

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