This is What Happens When You Stop Running.

This is post is not going to inspire you to live a more fulfilling life.

This post is not going to tell you what you can do to stay positive.

This post is not going to teach you how to bake a delicious new dessert.

Some days, even the most positive person in the world feels like it’s all a bunch of B.S.

This post IS going to tell you that it’s OK to feel that way. And that it’s OK to talk about it. Its happens. It doesn’t make us bad people. We shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about it. Or write about it. So that’s what I’m going to do today.

I have been running now for about 5 years. I was always into fitness, but I started running around the loop in this park which was within walking distance from where I used to live. I found myself slowly doing it more and more, and decided in 2011 to sign up for some official races. I ran two that year, and then in 2012 I ran about 10, and kept that up every year since. Last year, dare I even say I started to actually become a “good” runner. I set a new 5k PR at three consecutive races, and even won my age group, I set a new 10k PR, and I set a new half marathon PR, all within one calendar year.

My 1st place trophy.

My 1st place trophy.

I was running almost everyday, and had never been in better shape, so I decided that 2015 would be my year to run a full marathon. I carefully selected one based on time (October) and elevation (good for first time-marathoners) and registered for it in the spring, planning on training through the summer, starting right after I got back from my honeymoon.

I even got some brand new kicks.

I even got some brand new kicks.

On  or about July 8th, I started my marathon training plan. The goal was to run 8 miles that day, adding one mile to my long run every week, up until two weeks prior to the marathon, when I would wind down until race day. Feeling good, I headed over to the park to begin.

Five miles in, and things were going really well – the run felt great, and I was keeping pretty good time. I knew I’d easily hit the 8 mile mark. At some point before mile 6, I felt a weird twitch or pop or something in my left ankle. I figured it was one of those annoying little running pains that come and go, so I kept on going, and it felt fine.

The next day, it did not feel fine. It hurt. It hurt on the top and side of my foot. It hurt at the back of my heel. It especially hurt when I walked down the stairs. It did not hurt when I just stood still, and it did not hurt all that much when I walked a normal pace. It mainly hurt when walking down stairs as I mentioned, or when I pointed my toes, which was when it actually hurt the most. I assumed it was a sprain or strain. I feared it was a stress fracture, but a quick googling of that caused me to rule it out. So I went with sprain or strain.

I stopped running for the next week. It started to feel a little better, so I decided to go out for a short run.

I realized that was a bad idea. So I waited another week. It again started to feel a little better, so I tried a short run again.

I realized that again was a bad idea. At this point, I was starting to worry. What on earth could be wrong? It would start to feel better, then as soon I as did any kind of running, it started hurting all over again. I googled “pain walking down the stairs” and a bunch of results came up, all with one word in common: tendonitis.

“That’s not possible,” I thought. I’ve been running for years. Why and how would I suddenly get tendonitis??? After a couple more weeks of feeling better/running/feeling worse, I decided to see my doctor.

“You have tendonitis. I recommend not running on it, wearing a brace when you do start running again, and taking an anti-inflammatory. FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.”

Ok, so I imagined that last part. But isn’t tendonitis forever? The doctor actually made it sound like it would heal, but the people I know who have it, have had it for pretty much ever. Did this mean I would never actually run again??? Honestly, I still don’t know. It’s been a little over two weeks now with not a single run at all (except to cross the street once), and it’s still not healed. Yesterday it felt great, so I decided to try a 25 minute long cardio workout, to get my sweat on. I’d been biking and swimming to try and make up for the lack or running, but I’m just not getting the same results a good run gives me, both physically and mentally. I was also afraid to go to yoga, but I’ve since bagged that fear, and found that yoga is the one thing that actually helps. Anyway, riding high on the positive effects of gentle yoga, I busted out the 25 minute cardio workout and felt great. It was tough, and it was sweaty. It challenged me physically and mentally.

“I can do this every day until I can run again!” I shouted to myself with joy.

An hour later, my ankle hurt almost as bad as it did the day of my initial doctor’s appointment. WTF.

Confined to the bike. FOREVER.

Confined to the bike. FOREVER.

Today, it hurts only slightly less.

Today, I woke up frustrated, devastated, and just plain sad.

Today, I’m starting to wonder if it really will ever heal. I’m starting to think that staying positive about it is a bunch of BS. But I’m still secretly hoping that maybe writing about it will help shake off some of the frustration.

Maybe not.

Maybe it’s time to learn to dance.

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3 thoughts on “This is What Happens When You Stop Running.

  1. Pingback: Think of All the Things You CAN Do. | Small Indulgences

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