Tag Archives: Motivation

Halfway to Healing: What I Learned From My Running Injury

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.

Thankful (and a PRO Compression winner!)

Thankful is how I felt after I read all of your comments on my post discussing my injury. I asked (or forced you to give me some motivational speaking for a giveaway entry) about how to stay motivated during an injury.

I am happy I went with that question because the responses were thoughtful, helpful and hilarious.

GM Runs – “You will totally be ok and ready to come back harder than ever. Aqua jogging anyone??!!?”

Kristy – “I was injured 3x in the past year. it sucked. I have to say the best thing I did was stay positive and think outside the box. I did not sit around and feels sorry for myself. I took it day to day and stayed as active as possible. And I didn’t let anyone tell me I couldn’t or wouldn’t do something”

Crystal – “I always try to find some other sort of activity I CAN do despite the injury. Whether it be biking, swimming, yoga, what be it. I also read up on other people’s blog to be able to keep my spirit up. And I always go to Tweeps who dish out advice and love.”

Kim – “A few years back I had a stress fracture in my hip and was on crutches for 2 months to avoid surgery! I stayed motivated by thinking of all the years and races I had in my future by taking care of myself NOW. Stay positive! :)

Kristen Miller – ‘I motivate others by baking them things, are you in NYC? Also, when I’m injured, I do good like charity or for a friend.” *Note from Ashley: yes I am in NYC, will you bake for me? Then we can go play with puppies at an animal shelter. We will be BFF’s, I swear.*

Laura – “My best advice is to try to just stay “fit” through other exercise – swimming, arms-only weight lifting, etc. There are a lot of ways to get your heart rate up without using your feet!”

Joseph Bridgeforth – “I stay motivated by watching running videos on youtube, especially ones by ryan hall.”

Stacy – “As for something to motivate while injured…it’s called wine. Sav. Blanc, preferably.”

Thy – “During times of injury… I figure out what I did (or did not do) to possibly prevent this so it doesn’t happen again. It sucks and I take a few days off. After that I try and regroup and lay off of it and do other things to keep the body active. I usually work on weaknesses like strengthening stabilizer muscles and do more core work. That way, I’ll return better than before.”

Stephanie H. – “Any time I’ve been injured, I stay motivated by looking forward to the “grand return” and how good it will feel to move again. I also cross train to keep myself from going crazy. When others are injured, I drink with them. I’m a good friend that way.”

Kayla – “When I was injured I focused on a new goal – I wanted nice arms so I focused on upper body strength. I still got in cardio with the bike and elliptical but my arms were looking pretty good when I was in my sister – in – laws wedding! :)

Vicki Alford –  “My motivation during an injury would be that I would have to slow down and try something new. I love to try new things but I don’t always make time for new things in my daily schedule.”

Amy L. – “My husband is my motivation, if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be running. Seeing him go through injuries while training for marathons shows me that these things are temporary and everyone goes through them. He is definetly my source of inspiration! To motivate others, I tell them to never give up. If you dream big and believe in yourself, anything is possible!”

Running Hutch – “It’s funny how watching a movie about running or overcoming can be amazing motivation, even while you’re sitting on your couch you just start geeking out about when you can get back on your feet and move again. It can be equally frustrating but for me it’s usually a positive way to keep my mind motivated even when my body isn’t able.”

Chelsea – “I always think of people who can’t run when I’m injured, because my inability to run is only temporary :)

I will continue to go through the comments (with a glass of wine, probably) whenever I am upset or feeling down. Reading through them puts me in a better mood and helps me understand that injuries are temporary!

I picked a winner (well Random.org did) for the PRO Compession giveaway. Because WordPress doesn’t show comment numbers I had to count to the winning comment. I counted at least 13 times to make sure I had the right winner!

The winner is Stephanie H. (http://www.fitmomintraining.com)!!! Yay! Please email me at ashleyrunningbun@gmail.com with your shipping details so I can send you the socks!

To the non-winners:

Because PRO Compression is such an amazing and generous company, they are offering 40% off of the marathon socks and free shipping when you use the code PC40!

There will be more giveaways for PRO Compression socks in the coming week or two so make sure you check out the following blogs and watch for the giveaways:

THANK YOU ALL for the comments, they meant a lot 🙂

Here’s to Hoping

I am generally not a deep-thinker. My posts contain my thoughts; unfiltered and raw (sarcasm included). When Stacy sent me an email about a blog-writing relay on the subject of “Hope,” I was intrigued (yet still weary that my brain could put together a post about such a meaningful word).

Melanie Crutchfield started the “Hope 2012” relay because she was inspired by the Olympics. She wanted to pass the torch of “Hope” around the blogging community. Melanie will be compiling tidbits from each post (which should contain some serious inspiration). She said, “Hope, in its beautiful, strange, unexpected and stalwart forms will be noted. Documented. Acknowledged. Appreciated.

That is deep. I thought all day about what I was going to write. I finally realized that I wanted to relate it to my blog and to running, but the only thing I could think of was that because of an injury, I am not running. When I don’t run, I am not happy. I am over-dramatic about too many things and I have a bad attitude. It took an entire day of deep thinking and in 9 seconds, this train of thoughts unknowingly scripted the my thoughts on hope.

Here is my small, but honest, contribution to the 2012 Hope Relay…

I believe that we too often think of hope as something that comes to us during moments of distress.  I believe I am a realist as opposed to a dreamer (John Lennon, my apologies). In the past I have struggled with balancing hope with reality; wanting to be happy when I was not, wanting to do more when there was no time, wanting to be run faster when I was felt like I was crawling, and most recently, wanting to run when I was hurt.

Never Despair.  ~ Winston Churchill

I believe hope contains an element of trust. I trust myself and I trust others. I look to myself and to the people (and things) that I truly care about as a source of motivation. I have desires and goals that are realistic. Hope is the only first step in accomplishing those goals. The next step, the hard work, is what defines me (as a person, a runner, a friend, daughter, sister etc).

  • I want to always be honest with myself and with everyone in my life. It is such an important quality in a person.
  • I want to always maintain the relationship I have with my friends and family (my boyfriend is included in both of those categories). I cherish the love I have in my life.
  • I want to foster shelter doggies. I have two dogs right now, I am working on my boyfriend to let us take some pups-in-need into our home (in a non-hoarding type of situation).
  • I want to be a semi-decent cook, so I bought cookbooks and ask questions. I make shitty meals and I learn from the mistakes. The meals are turning out much better (and the smoke alarm is going off less and less).
  • I want to qualify for Boston one day. There, I said it. I know it may take a long time, but I am (and will continue) putting in the work to enhance my running.

I see each day is an opportunity to combine my hopes with reality. My happiness lays in my own hands and I accept that challenge.

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.  ~ Christopher Reeve

Time to “pass the baton” (if it were real life, I would be disqualified for dropping it). Lora’s posts about training for the NYC Marathon (LVRunsNYC.wordpress.com) are well-written, thought-provoking and all around a great read. So Lora, take it and run 🙂 I can’t wait to read!

Thank you Melanie for starting this. It was more difficult than I originally expected, but I am happy I had the opportunity to write this. Thank you to Stacy for passing it along to me (and for being hilarious, of course) and thank you Lora for the post you didn’t write yet, but that I already know is going to be great.

I Won an Award!

Kristy is one of the women whose blog I read often (for great posts and serious speed inspiration). She nominated me for the “Beautiful Blogger Award.” How exciting! To be honest, I am flattered by this. I started this blog to talk about what I love, running and fitness, and it has already helped me make some great friends that I admire and talk to very often (some in real life and some I have not met yet)! I am extremely grateful that there are people who want to read about my life and my journey! I am also grateful that someone else besides my mom thinks I am beautiful. Thanks Kristy, you made my day.

ANYWAY….

Here are the rules for how this goes down:

  1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post. (Check!)
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog. (Check x 2!)
  3. Tell 7 things about yourself. (Check!)
  4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for the Beautiful Blogger Award, and comment on their blogs to let them know. (Check!)

Here are the 7 things I’m sure you are all dying to know about me:

  1. When I see homeless people with dogs on the street I HAVE to buy dog food and give them water. I cannot help myself. This may sound wrong, but I feel more for the animals in that situation.
  2. I really love tattoos. I have more than 10. My favorites are:
    • My newest addition –> my dog River’s paw prints on my hips. They covered up and old ugly flower and a Chinese symbol. In with the new (and improved and meaningful) and out with the old!

      The Inspiration looking freaking adorable as usual.

      Woof!

    • The elephant on my bum – sorry no pictures! 🙂
    • My younger sister Shelley and I both have the word “sister” in Hebrew on our side.

    This is what it looks like. My dad said it looks like the symbol for Nine Inch Nails.

  3. I really really really love Bruce Springsteen. Whenever he tours, it’s a group outing with my sisters, my brother-in-law Matt and my best friend Ritsa.

    I’m excited.

    Oh! Hi Bruce!

  4. I believe the two best qualities a person can have are honesty and a good sense of humor.
  5. I have tried countless times to get myself to like pickles but I can’t. I get upset because people seem to REALLY enjoy them.
  6. I rarely wear matching socks. I always buy neon colors so it is more fun to wear two different colors at once. I mix them up when I fold them after I do laundry!
  7. I can’t count on my fingers correctly. I put my pinky up before my ring finger. I have no idea how that happened.

My nominations! Drumroll please……

  1. Melissa at Melissa Runs
  2. Ritsa at Runner Ritsa
  3. Erin at One More Cupcake Please
  4. Lora at Crazy Running Girl
  5. Kara at Kara Runs
  6. Kristen at Shore to Run
  7. Angela at Health Happiness and Harmony

Each one of these ladies has inspired me in one way or another! I love their blogs and I truly enjoy reading about their fitness adventures! Thank you all for great friendships, fitness inspirations and healthy eating tips!

That was fun 🙂

You Won’t Regret It

“I just don’t feel like running today.”

How many times have you said that to yourself? It is normally followed by a number of excuses: I’m too tired, too hungry, too cold, too hot, too busy, my ___ hurts, etc. For those of us who are training for a race, whatever distance it may be, the schedule may be tough to abide to. Not every training run is something you will FEEL like doing. As runners, we sign up for races for different reasons, and whatever it may be, we must follow through with our plan to accomplish our goals, and that is what is important.

SO – as this is a frequent thought of mine, I decided to share the thoughts that go through my head as suggestions for dealing with the days when you just do not feel like running. They help me get moving so maybe they will help you too!

1. Think less. MOVE more. Snap out of the stupor and get your gear on and get out of the house.

2. Still making excuses? Plan for 15 minutes and see how the run goes (versus the scheduled run). What will most likely happen: 10 minutes in, you will be happy you are out there and will do the workout you originally planned.

3. Think to yourself (or out loud if you want), “What would Pre do?” I bet you will run.

4. Remember that today’s run is part of your training plan, which will put you a step closer to accomplishing your goal!

5. If all else fails, make yourself feel bad for being a lazy ass. You’ll get out there.