It started out as a little niggle followed by a distinct thought of “I don’t like the way that feels” but I hoped it would go away if I kept at it, like many niggles do. Several days later, it still didn’t feel good, so I decided to take the weekend off of running. I really hate taking time off running but knew a few days would be good for me. I replaced my runs with swimming and pool running. Unfortunately, the niggle hasn’t gone away and this short break has become a nice long running sabbatical.
I made a critical mistake after about 4 weeks. I had been feeling good, so I ran 15 miles thinking I could hop right back in and be on track for my fall races. Then, I limped around for a week. Major set-back. Uh-oh. At that point, I decided to buckle up for the long haul. My neighborhood pool was closing, so I joined a gym near my office for the additional cardio options. I set my bike up on the trainer, tried hot yoga with Kimberly, doubled up on bootcamp classes, and even signed up for personal training sessions in an attempt to not let this running hiatus get me entirely out of shape.
Irrational thoughts while not running:
- Why am I so mean to everyone? Why did I just snap at my husband and kids? Why am I so stressed at work? Wait, I’m not running. I need to find a new outlet.
- Why do I toss and turn all night long? I’m not completely exhausted from running, and it’s hard to fall asleep!
- I feel disgusting. I am not sweating like I used to, and therefore I am certainly packing on all the pounds.
- I am losing ALL of my fitness.
- Frustration/Sadness. I’ll try to stay encouraged by reading race reports and riding my bike even though I really just want to be running.
- FOMO. On my way to and from the gym in the morning, I often see my friends enjoying a run together. I miss them.
- Uncertainty and doubt. Will I ever run again? No, I certainly won’t. Let me text my running friends to see if they want my running gear before I donate it all to Goodwill in the morning. Fortunately, my neighbor talked some sense into me that evening. He is older, wiser and a tremendous athlete, so I should probably listen to him. I will run again.
- Maybe I will stay inspired to run if I buy all of the running shoes, running clothes, and running everything. I can’t stop shopping for running gear that I won’t use for a while. Wait, didn’t I just decide I’m giving all of my running stuff to my friends?? I’m so confused.
- Even though I bailed on my fall races but will enthusiastically cheer for my friends while they are running. Just because I’ve had a setback doesn’t mean I can’t be happy and supportive of them.
- Ok, I really want to run a birthday race in February, so I’m going to take it easy now and focus on my long term goals. I’m going to try to be ok with that, even though it takes a lot of patience.