I’m not going to lie. Unlike most people, I like the way I look in my fitness gear. It makes me look thinner and I feel stronger and more confident. A lot of that has to do with what I’ve accomplished. If you have seen my Runner Runner page, I’ve accomplished quite a lot in the last 10 years. Gosh, I’m just now realizing as I write this that it’s been almost 10 years since I’ve started this journey as a runner. Who knew that I’d enjoy it so much?
Certainly not me. I disliked exerting myself when I was younger and it never dawned on me that it was a great way to lose the weight that was slowly creeping up on me. Unhappiness and inattention will do that to you. I digress though. This post isn’t about the sad place I was in back then even if it did lead me to the wonderful life I have now.
This post is about getting started again. About 1.5 years ago, I took a spill. Anyone will tell you that spills happen. That’s life. It’s learning to get back up again and keep going that makes all the difference. Both in running and that fun allegory for life as well. This spill however was big and said alot about my running form. They forced me to take a hard look at what I was doing fitness wise and pay more attention to the advice I had been given since starting my journey.
When it happened, I joked that the tree jumped out and attacked me, but the truth is that I don’t have a strong core and it was even weaker when I decided to start running back in 2008. What actually happened is that in the middle of an easy trail run, I stopped paying attention to where I was placing my feet and turned my ankle well enough to sprain it. It was a painful and shocking noise. I have great running friends. Some offered to carry me back to our starting area and all of those near me stopped to ensure I could go on. I hobbled carefully and determined I could walk but soon after I decided I should go home and put my feet up. It was at home that I realized it wasn’t a simple sprain and worried that I had actually broken my ankle. Lucky me – the guy had just left for Japan the day before on a week long work trip so it was me and the pup at home alone to make the determination via Dr Google. Not the greatest resource for anything but worry. Luckily I have a cousin who is a nurse who gave me some sage advice and a Mom who lives relatively close (an hour away) who was able to bring ice for ice packs and crutches to make things easier. And like any good mom she did my dishes, took the pup for a walk and then called after she left suggesting a sit down and scoot down the stairs instead of hop down with the crutches JUST to be safe. I also had a chiropractor visit scheduled a week away.
With a back to back 10k/Half Marathon almost 2 months away, I was concerned about being able to hit my goals. The Doc worked his magic and was optimistic but shortly before the race said he thought I could walk the 10k but wasn’t confident I could do both. Stubborn me tried anyways. Looking back I wonder if the healing process would have been quicker if I hadn’t been stubborn and tried. I finished the 10k painfully and was swept for the first time at mile 4 of the Half Marathon. I knew it was going to happen and was even ready for it. But being ready for it and having it happen are two different things. I cried a lot of tears but a lot of friends in my internet community cheered me on and reminded me of the work I have put in these years since I started. That I was braver than those who had yet to start.
It’s now 1.5 years later and I’m gearing up for my first real training season since that fateful fall. The sweet husband gifted me with a race entry for Avengers Half Marathon this coming fall and as added incentive signed up for it as well. His first Half Marathon! The ankle still has twinges often but an MRI indicates that it’s healed just fine. Tomorrow we head out for our first training run of the schedule I’ve built for us and I’m both nervous and excited.