Since we are talking about last Sunday, let's go ahead and say that it's also the last time my feet have hit the pavement. I went on a shakeout run with Theodora last Sunday night when I got home from DC and haven't ran since. Not because I didn't want to, but because I physically could not. Post race I was having a decent amount of pain in my right shin and figured that with compression sleeves/rest it might help. On Monday the pain increased, and moved from my shin down to my ankle. On Tuesday morning when I woke up after sleeping in the sleeves, I could tell that my ankle was very very swollen. I could barely walk. Each step was a painful reminder that something was wrong. By Wednesday night the pain had diminished some, and on Thursday my doctor friend took a look at it and said that while it was swollen it did not seem to be anything too drastic. He assured me that rest/ice/elevation were very very important in the next few days, and said he wanted me to rest from running for an entire week which would mean no running till Monday. I am planning on heading out for 3-4 miles tomorrow morning and praying that my body cooperates.
I feel like despite the frustrating feeling of not being able to run (or walk comfortably for that matter) I've had a lot of time to think about running and what role I want it to play in my life. This week had lots of up and downs... both emotionally and physically. I wondered and questioned my training, my body, my endurance, my passion, my goals, my desires, etc. I had lots of time to think since I wasn't working out! I came to the conclusion that running is and will be a big part of my life for a long time, but I've also realized that I want to be smart. I put a TON of pressure on myself before last weekend. I had a meltdown when I realized how many hills there were and that's just not something that needs to happen. That much pressure takes the fun out of what this should be about! Here's the thing. I want to ENJOY running without the pressure of feeling like I have to PR every single time. Yes, it's important to set goals and push yourself, but not to the level where it's the most important thing in your life. The bottom line is that I love running, but running doesn't define me, and never will. It's a part of my life, but not my life. I want to get better sure, but not at the cost of injuring myself for good. I want to move forward and be smart and truly always listen to my body. I am not superwoman. And while some may disagree, 13.1 miles is a respectable distance. It's not a joke what your body goes through in those 2+hrs. Maybe this week was needed both for physical rest, but also for me to be able to have a more healthy relationship with running in my mind. I'm excited about races to come, and want to excel, but not at the cost of my sanity! :) This is a recreation, not my job! In 3 weeks from today I'll run the More/Fitness half and after this week I'll evaluate what my goals can realistically be!
Happy Sunday, friends!