Skip to main content

Rebel with a Cause?

That was me, last weekend. Or perhaps more accurately, that was my body, rebelling against my will. After coming off of a--dare I say--good 18-miler in the previous weekend, I had only to complete a 12-mile long run. I did my normal Friday night prepping and set four alarms for early Saturday morning. When those alarms went off, I heard them, but I chose to ignore them. I can't tell you what I thought in that moment, except that I wanted to sleep more than I wanted to run. But it's never about wanting to run for me; it's about having the strength and will to do something important for myself. So the fact that I ignored all four alarms that morning was, frankly, alarming to me. But I carried on with my Saturday with a plan to do the run in the evening.

I set out at about 7:45pm, when the sun was nearly set, and I began my journey. I was feeling fine until about 1.5 miles in, when the humidity started to get to me, and my legs started hurting. I had experienced this before--on my 14-miler. I felt like I just wouldn't be able to finish, so I decided to abandon the run and do it early the next morning. After all, it had worked brilliantly for the 14-miler.

So I went to bed early again, set my alarms, and tried to impress upon my brain how important it was for me to respond to those alarms. This would be my last opportunity of the weekend to complete the run. So what did I do when I heard those alarms the next morning? I shut them down! As if to say, take that, alarm clock. And further, take that, long run! Take that, training schedule! And to obligation as a whole, take that! I'm sleeping in.

And so I did not do my long run this past weekend. In fact, I did little more than plan for my long run and go to sleep early for my long run and then sleep in when I wanted to ignore my nagging long run. Of course, my sudden rebellion did not actually make me feel empowered; it only made me feel disappointed and fretful. What if I did the same thing on next weekend's run--the big 20-miler? I didn't think I was capable of this, but apparently I am.

Something occurred to me in the days after my act of resistance: it was at about this point in my last and only marathon training program that I got injured. It was just after the 20-mile run. I wonder if, subconsciously, I'm afraid of moving past this point. Perhaps this connection is too much of a stretch, but I find it interesting nonetheless. I know how psychological running is, and mental barriers are often more powerful than physical ones.

But perhaps, as others have said, my body was telling me it needed to rest. It's difficult for me to not compare myself to others--particularly those in my running group who are checking off multiple 20-mile runs from their training plans and seeming none the wearier for it. But I'm not them, and they're not me. Right now, I feel like I should really just be grateful that I've come this far in what is decidedly an unnatural pursuit. So as long as my body has a different message for me next week, I suppose I won't dwell on this minor setback.


People Liked to Read...

Surgery Chronicles: Hard Feelings

I'm one and a half weeks out from my second foot surgery, and, by all important measures, I'm doing well. But boy has the past week been difficult. In the first few days post-surgery I was in a pretty good mood; the surgery had gone well, I was in the excellent care of my mom, and I had made it past the last major hurdle of this months-long event. All I had to look forward to was recovery and progress and gradually returning to my normal life, whatever that might look like.

But even though I've gone through this process once already, it's still just as difficult this time around. There's the constant worrying about this weird feeling or that new pain, the accidental step in the middle of the night when I forgot which foot was injured, and the agonizing wait time between appointments. Now it's compounded by concern over whether I'm taking good enough care of my first foot. Did I ruin the surgery when I stubbed my toe falling off an exercise ball? Am I using …

Surgery Chronicles: I Exhale

I've really been holding my breath with this recovery, more so than the last one for some reason. After getting past the three-week point (which was two weeks ago, when I started to write this), I felt a little more at ease. Since then I've been changing my own dressing daily and slowly weaning off of crutches so I can now walk around in the boot—hands-free! I'm still a slave to icing and elevating as much as possible throughout the day. But the very best part? There's no other foot left to do. After this, I'm done, done, done. I can start to return to a life not defined by sitting and waiting and feeling confined and limited and trying my hardest to heal but having little actual control over any of it.

I wrote in my last post about the difficult emotions I'd been having throughout this second surgery recovery. I think I underestimated the psychological toll I would take doing one foot right after the other. And while there was a feeling of elation after gettin…

Surgery Chronicles: 12 Weeks and Progress

I'm now more than 12 weeks recovered from my second (and final!) foot surgery, and life is starting to feel a little more normal. When I last wrote an update, seven weeks ago (still blaming Irma for all of my delays), I had just gotten off of crutches but would wear my boot for two more weeks. I've been out of the boot and walking in shoes for just over five weeks. The constant discomfort I've felt in my foot from swelling is finally starting to wane. I work in the office now, I do my own groceries, and I even attended a work conference recently, which meant lots of walking at airports and the conference hotel, frequent standing, and few opportunities to elevate and ice. I was very concerned about how my feet, particularly the left one, would endure. And while it wasn't comfortable, I made it through, no worse for the wear in the end.

I joined a new gym/community center recently, with a new and beautiful outdoor pool, and I'm so happy that I'm able to use it n…