I saw this quote while I was reading Scott Jurek’s book, “Eat & Run.” It had quite an effect on me. I stopped reading for a while and thought about how it related to me as in many ways.
As a beginner runner, I struggled with pace, distance, catching my breath and finding the confidence to get back out there each day. But I wanted to be a runner, so I had to keep going and build my strength.
As years passed and my joy for running skyrocketed beyond what I thought was imaginable, I began to plan my running around racing goals and was caught in a compulsive drive to run faster and further. I trained my heart out for countless races, from the 5k distance to the marathon. I was able to clock times on my Garmin that I did not think I was capable of. I had no idea my body was able to produce that type of strength (relative to how I used to run of course).
During the last three years running has become a part of who I am. I not only run to maintain my fitness and health, but I run because it brings me happiness and a sense of serenity that I cannot get doing any other activity. Usually, my mind is all over the place, all of the time. Whichever excessive emotion I am feeling, I run, and I am relaxed.
Unfortunately, right now, I am not running. I fractured my foot and have not run in four weeks (with fingers crossed two more to go) and I am freaking out. I do not want to be angry or sad, but I am. I do not want the constant negative (and beyond over exaggerated) thoughts flowing through my mind…
- “See you later 6:xx/mi training.”
- “You may as well kiss the NYC Marathon goodbye.”
- “You will never run again because your body sucks.”
I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of being happy for other runners and being raging bitch envious of them at the same time. My mind is not a good place to be at the moment. Then I remember how I am about every other aspect of my life BESIDES running, SANE and RATIONAL. I remember, I do not have a choice. I am injured right now and I need to get over it. I am 26 years old (well 27 in two weeks) and I am just starting to grow as a runner. I was having the best running month of my life before I hurt my foot. I have plenty of time left to run. I will not let this little hiccup control my mind the way it has my body.
Strength comes in all forms. Right now, in my current situation, I need to pull my shit together, and be strong emotional (and mentally)! This injury is an obstacle that I need to overcome and it is giving me a chance to learn something about myself as a person. So far I have done everything the doctor has told me to do. I wore my walking boot for over two weeks, I have done ample amounts of bike riding and I have even picked up my pace once to a jog. I ask myself every day, “Do I want to run today, or do I want to run forever?”
It is important that I believe in myself and dig deep for strength in all situations. I have seen it pay off in training, racing and now I am waiting for it to pay off during my “injury time out.” I will see you all out there in a few weeks with a good attitude, well-rested and ready to run, fast.