change of plans

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.

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11 Responses to change of plans

  1. Mary says:

    Wow. You have put into words what I think alot of runners have experienced. I recently took a week off (I know, it’s not that long, but I have a half coming up) after seeing some overwhelming fatigue creep into my daily routine. The last long run I had was just 11 miles and felt like an eternity. The next day I was back at it and wondering why I just wanted to nap for the rest of the day. We, because we are runners, tend to keep pushing it and pushing it. In our minds, we wonder if this happens on race day we would not quit, so why quit during a lousy practice run? I’m glad that you listened to your body and stopped. Some times a 2×4 is needed to knock us runners to our senses. Enjoy your time off and know that you will come back stronger than ever.

    • MealsforMiles says:

      Hey Mary, thank you! I love this comment – totally agree that we do push ourselves too much! ANd pushing during every practice run is so different than pushing during a race – such a good reminder. :)

  2. Lisa@runningoutofwine says:

    Sorry to hear about your knee! It’s never fun to be forced to take some time off, but as you said sometimes it is a blessing in disguise. A few weeks ago after I peaked for my marathon, I woke up the next day with random knee pain, forcing me to take 5 days off. I never would have done that otherwise, even though my body had been giving me little signs for weeks that it needed a break. I am also beginning to think about how I want running to fit into the bigger picture of my health. After my marathon next week I hope to take some time off to figure things out. I look forward to hearing about your plans moving forward!

    • MealsforMiles says:

      Thanks Lisa! If only we would listen to those little signs more often, right?? You live and you learn, I guess. Best of luck in your marathon!!

  3. Anne@CandyCrazedRun says:

    I am so, so sorry you are hurt, but girl, you have been going hard! You are dead right. There is SO much more to life than running, and sometimes we all have to get slapped in the face to really get that (or at least I’m speaking for myself :))
    Enjoy your time away, I hope you have tons and tons of fun :)

  4. oh kelly i am so, so sorry :( i was wondering what happened when you didn’t make it to the LOVE run (i was hoping something came up with work…NOT an injury).

    i feel like i could have written this post – yes to everything! when i got pregnant (after pushing myself so hard for 3 years) i breathed a huge sigh of relief – less miles and all slow miles for the next year. i was SO looking forward to that for the first time in a loooong time. even now i’m taking things super slow…and not marathoning this year. 2 years, no marathons. if i stop to think about that it makes me a little nutty but i know i am making the right decision.

    i hope you heal quickly but just know you are doing the right thing for right now…it’s all part of the journey, as cheesy as that sounds.

    • MealsforMiles says:

      Hi Kristy! Thank you! This is a great time for you to take it slow too :) I keep reminding myself that i want to be running for a long time and there’s not point in going crazy now about something I won’t even remember in a few years, you know?

  5. Marie says:

    Just catching up…so sorry to hear about the injury but as always, I admire your attitude. You will be a runner (a happy one!) for a long long time so a little time off to heal and assess is a good thing. I’ll try to remember this post when I have to stop running…soon, probs!

    • MealsforMiles says:

      Thanks, Marie! Haha, you have an even better reason to stop running, but it’ll come back for you too (double jogging stroller??) ;)

  6. Pingback: back to running, quinoa bowls | Meals for Miles

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