What I’ve Learned From Not Being Able to Run

I’m not gonna lie.  FIFTY days of NO running has sucked.  But I have learned a lot.  And I imagine there is more to learn before this whole thing is over.  Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • I had too many eggs in the running basket.  This was a problem that probably contributed to my injury (lack of flexibility and strength in more muscles than just my running muscles likely led to injury).  This has also been a problem because it made my depression after being sidelined from running worse.  I think if I had been biking or swimming or doing something else as exercise regularly, I wouldn’t have been so devastated and overwhelmed and lost feeling.  So, the injury has actually been a good thing in that it’s making me do some other exercise and strength stuff that I will hopefully continue even when I am able to run.
  • When you get sidelined from an injury, you quickly learn who your training buddies are versus your real friends.  Enough said.
  • Although I would say my stress level is currently high (from not running and not yet having found a replacement to running as a way to relieve my stress), in some ways I have become more relaxed as a result of not training.  Huh?  It’s true.  Examples:  I don’t spend time each day/week/month trying to fit in the training.  I don’t have to worry about how to fit in a 12 mile run on a day that I have court, kid duty and a million personal things to do.  I don’t have to worry about getting to bed early because I HAVE to do a 20 miler the next day.  Etc.  (Don’t get me wrong, I’d WAY rather have these worries back, but it is more relaxing in some ways).
  • You don’t realize how LUCKY you are to be able to do something/have something, until it’s taken away.  I do think I did a good job, pre-injury, of appreciating my running.  But until I was injured I didn’t appreciate my health, if that makes sense.  After the first days and weeks of injury (where I couldn’t even walk down stairs without pain, and where I had pain even while in the boot) I came to appreciate the little things about being healthy.  Walking up stairs two at a time.  Walking without limping. Being able to wear sparkly high heels.
  • I’ve learned to become the All Star Athletic Supporter Girl Friend, supporting Scott at his bike events this summer (mostly Leadville, but some lesser events too).  And being able to do that without having to also cram in my own long runs and speed sessions allowed me to focus on him.  And it has been really fun and really rewarding to do so.
  • You can save money by not running!  Had I been running the last 50 days, I would have burned through a pair of running shoes ($125), at least 2 race entry fees ($70), a bunch of gu/nuun/etc ($20).
  • And the biggest thing that I have learned is patience. It’s no secret to my blog readers that I am not a patient person.  But with this stress fracture I am trying to be smart about it and let it heal completely rather than pushing it too soon and prolonging the agony of not running.

I’d still rather be running.

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