As you all know, I started experiencing pain in my left foot/lower leg one Sunday in late September/early October the evening after a standard 8 mile run with friends. It’s been almost a year since that pain shot through me but I can’t say that I’m 100% just yet. Maybe 85%, which isn’t too shabby, but not 100%.
This is the first time I’ve ever been legitimately “hurt” in my life. I really had no idea what to expect but did know this would be a physical setback. I didn’t know how much it would hold me back mentally, though.
Doctors told me numerous times (starting in Spring 2012) it was OK for me to start running again. Every time I’d get back into it, I’d get scared. I’d scare myself about getting hurt again or feeling any sort of painful sensation that I’d talk myself out of doing anything remotely physical all the time. Just the thought of getting a new injury or making my current injury worse was enough to drive me to tears if I thought about it enough. Even if I went for a nice easy run or did a nice workout pain-free, I’d still scare myself out of keeping with it. I’d then beat myself up about not working out. If I DID work out, I’d beat myself up over that because I didn’t look as great as other people working out. My self-esteem was going haywire.
Along with my mind playing tricks on me in regards to running, I got lazy again. It is WAY too easy to fall back into those old habits of just chillin’ on the couch or sleeping in on a weekend or eating all that crap at your friend’s dinner party that you promised you wouldn’t. Trust me.
All the things I worked so hard to get started to slip away. I gained 10+ pounds back since Thanksgiving of last year. I say “+” because I haven’t weighed in at WW in a month and have been on a crazy downward spiral with food recently. People still told me I looked great (even though I saw my clothes starting to fit badly again) and I just stopped caring. I’ve been eating like pure crap on and off for almost a year but really kicked the crap eating into high gear this summer. My body tells me it doesn’t like what I’m fueling it with by getting indigestion, stomach aches, a chubbier physique, and breakouts but none of those things stopped me.
This was the easy way. It was easy to not document or care about what I ate. It was easier to not hold myself accountable for my decisions and to blame my flubs on others. It was easier to let the fear take control and keep me off the road in my sneakers.
It was easier to be the victim.
Things have started turning around for me, though. A couple of weeks ago, Anthony said to me that we needed to get back into WW. Our wedding is coming up next September and we both want to look our best. He suggested that we kick it into high gear after our much deserved vacation in 2 weeks.
This past week was tough and I definitely ate pure crap throughout, regardless of how the crappy food made me feel physically and mentally. I’d keep thinking back to the “we start after vacation” line and would go for whatever I wanted.
But yesterday was a turning point for me.
Yesterday, I did The Color Run with 2 of my good friends with Anthony as our cheerleader. All 3 of us Color Runners have been dealing with injuries that side-lined us, so it was pretty cool and symbolic for us all to be doing this together. Although it was a “run,” it wasn’t a race. Nothing was timed and you could go at your own pace. People of all shapes and ages participated and you could walk, jog, run, skip, or gallop your way along the colorful 5K path. We ran/walked the whole race together, focusing on having fun and getting covered in colors. My personal goal was to get through the race pain-free. I’m happy to report that ALL goals were accomplished! I felt so great!!!!!
Before going to bed last night after my exhausting (yet fun!) day, I felt no pain in my leg/foot. This has been common lately, thanks to wearing proper orthotics somewhat consistently. I thought to myself, “Hey! Tomorrow’s Sunday morning and you dont have anything to do until noon. Maybe you can go on a run in the AM if you wake up!” It was a fleeting though and one that has entered my mind almost every weekend before bed for the past year. Nothing ever happened that next day, though. I’d always sleep too late or have a reason not to get up. Hell, the last time I went on a solo run was a little over a year ago when I was on vacation!
Something came over me this morning. I woke up unprovoked around 7:50 and it wasn’t just to pee randomly. Even though I was up and running around like mad for 18 hours the day before, I was AWAKE. I decided to lie in bed for a few minutes to see if I was going nuts. I started hearing that little voice saying that I should go for a run. “It looks nice outside! You’re not in pain from yesterday, either! Why don’t you go for a quick run?” it said.
I grabbed my gear, gave a sleeping Anthony a kiss, and went out for my run.
I have lived in Little Falls for almost 3 years and always wanted to go for a little run though the neighborhood. I FINALLY did a nice 5K through parts of the Morris Canal and the town of Little Falls. The sidewalks were in great shape and the sights were beautiful. Quaint little houses with tiny gardens, lush greenery kissed with morning dew, and Sunday morning sunshine that created a dreamy glow. My music (a Fear Factory Pandora station probably better suited as a soundtrack to escaping a psychotic murderer) kept me motivated and moving the entire 38 minutes, only stopping at crosswalks and to adjust my running app once. I kept it low enough to hear the consistent buzz of crickets in the grass and cars cruising through the neighborhood for a happy medium.
I was getting tired and breathing a bit heavy towards the end but I finished my 5K strong. I finished nearby my apt building, and walked back to my place a bit tired. I wasn’t hunched over gasping for air, I wasn’t lying on the pavement hoping I still had a pulse. I was a GOOD tired from a nice solid run that made me breath a little heavier and want some icy cold water. It made me feel healthy, sweaty, strong, and (best of all) proud.
With all that said, I can say now with full confidence that I am BACK and NOT stopping until I reach my goal physique! And damn…It feels GREAT!