April 8, 2011

On Gratitude & Courage

I have a confession to make.  Recently, I have convinced myself that I will never run more than a mile again.  (Mile = exactly the distance I have been able to go on my last few runs before my knee locked up thanks to the IT band)  Part of me knows I'm being dramatic and silly, but another part of me believes this 100%.  And this fearful part has consumed me lately.  And even though I have no pain walking, biking, or swimming, it's been keeping me from doing ANY exercise...I can't even really explain why, really.  I haven't wanted to try a little run/walking because I don't want to face the reality of the injury.  And I am just in a funk where I don't feel like doing ANYTHING if I can't run.  Which makes no sense.

Alright Feet & Legs?  Let's do this.
This morning when I woke up I decided that today was the day.  Today would be the day I changed my attitude and changed my actions.  I decided that today I would TRY running and evaluate my pain--is it worse?  Better?  Same?  I told myself that I would listen to my body and only run as far or fast as it would allow me to.  After school, I seriously considered ditching my running plans for some soy latte and reading time at starbucks...I was THIS close!  But somehow I made myself drive home and put on my running clothes right away so I couldn't back out.

Today's run was about courage.  In fact, most of my runs are about courage.
Thanks for the inspiration, John Bingham :)
 ...the courage to try something daring.
...the courage to crash and burn.
...the courage to push myself THIS much further than the day before.
...the courage to stop short when all I want to do is go further, because it's the smart thing to do.
...the courage to listen to my body and respect it.
...the courage to work at something that doesn't come naturally to me.
...the courage to believe.

I was delighted when this song came on my ipod right as I switched from warm-up walking to running...it's been a favorite for awhile now, but it was just perfect today.

Normally I like to start runs with a little "Til I Collapse" courtsey of Eminem, but today's run wasn't about pushing it to the limit.  It was about believing in miracles and just getting out there and getting moving.

Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down
So when negativity surrounds
I know someday it'll all turn around

I'd forgotten how good it feels to run outside without snow and ice.  It feels good.  I'd forgotten how much I love spring runs when it just smells NEW and FRESH and EARTHY outside.  A little mud is okay too.

My legs felt really good at the beginning, and I kept to 2/1 run/walk intervals.  While the backs of my knees felt tight after about a mile, I didn't feel any knee pain AT ALL until about 1.75 which is a full .75 miles longer than my last runs.  When the knee pain started again (BTW it's in both knees now...*resists urge to bum out about this!!*), I immediately switched to walking.  Because today courage on my run meant the courage to risk an imperfect run and the courage to put my body first.  And that's just fine.
Today I am not frustrated by the slow pace or the short distance.  I am not disappointed or angry.  I am grateful.
...grateful that my calves feel great and that my tibia finally seems to be completely healed.
...grateful that the sore foot that was plaguing me after the half-marathon was just a sore foot and not something serious, as it is also completely better.
...grateful that it is finally spring because oh how I have missed running outdoors.
...grateful that I ran .75mi further than last time without pain.
...grateful that I can walk 100% pain free...with the stress fracture NOTHING was pain free!
...grateful that I can still walk my 10K next weekend.

I think it's time to book a massage and consult the doctor though...I have to wonder if there's something nutrition wise going on with all of these muscle problems lately.   But I am grateful that my positive attitude is peeking out again.


  1. you did it!
    you surpassed your 1 mile mark!!

    who cares if you thought it too slow (which btw is about the same as my running pace ;)), you set out to do something, and accomplished it!

    and what wonderful motivation on your hand...i need to write 'RUNNING DOES NOT SUCK' on mine...

  2. Don't be afraid. That kept me injured for 8 years. It sucked. Go find a sports physical therapist and a sports massage therapist that comes highly recommended. Really. You owe it to yourself :)

  3. Way to go! Little by little, you'll build back up. One day at a time.


  4. I just stumbled upon your blog while looking for the John Bingham quote. I dealt with knee pain for a long, long time, and the one who suggested physical therapy is right-on - I did PT for 6 weeks, and I have been pain free since. And I'm getting ready to run my 2nd 5K this weekend, and if it's ok, I'd like to borrow your idea of writing that quote on my hand. It's been a struggle to get to this point. Thank you for your heartfelt blog post. /kimberly.


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