Looking back, I guess it was bound to happen, but I’ve gone almost a year without an injury and have been feeling pretty good this training cycle. It all changed pretty fast after some tightness on my kneecap and just above it turned into searing pain as last week progressed. At first, I didn’t quite know what to do about it so I kept running (“it’ll go away after a few miles!” huh, NO). Then a week ago Friday I came to my senses, and after 8 painful miles threw in the towel, canceled my trip to Philly for the half I was supposed to run and that was that. I haven’t run a step since then, and am not seeing it happen in the near future as the pain is still there.
Am I pissed, frustrated, sad, etc.? Not really. Don’t get me wrong, I was, but the most powerful thing I felt last weekend after vowing not to run for a while was relief. I needed a break that I would have never taken if this hadn’t happened, mostly because I’m too stubborn. I had been doing so much (for me), and gotten so used to doing so much, I didn’t really stop to think about whether I wanted to do that much running. Looking back, I am likening it to a bull in a china shop, only I’m both the bull and the china, going full steam ahead with guns blazing, not really understanding that I’m breaking myself in the process.
I think my history as a pretty serious gymnast and general persona when it comes to athletics – perfectionism with a side of go hard or go home – can be both a great and horrible thing. With gymnastics, I was good and I won things, and being (OMG so) serious about it helped. Even so, I decided not to make it a college thing (best decision ever) and wonder if it was worth all of the pain, time and energy. Running is so different – I’m never going to win anything or be much more than a front-of-the-middle-of-the-packer. Yeah, I have my own personal goals, which is one thing I like about running. But the thing I like most is that I do it for fun. No one on this Earth cares if I run 70 miles in a week or 7, if I run X marathon in X amount of time, or if I even run at all except me. So I’m taking this time off to figure out exactly how I want running to fit into life in a more balanced and always happy way.