Monday, October 29, 2018

30 things I learned in 30 days off running

Due to an injury, I was unable to run from September 30 through October 25.  Since then I have been running on the AlterG treadmill as possible (not every day).  I've had 30 days completely off running at this point, which has been quite rough especially when you consider that during the 15 months prior to this I'd only taken 5 days off, all right after the Houston Marathon (also during our worst snow/ice weather of that winter!).
It is hard to take a photo on the AlterG!

I am sure I learned much more than 30 things, but...
  1. 30 days is a long time when days pass slower when you're unable to run.
  2. Every runner understands how it feels to be an injured runner, but you lose touch with the feeling to some degree when you haven't been injured for awhile.
  3. Not having a timeline is hard (the advantage of bone injuries over muscle and tendon injuries is a more definitive timeline).
  4. My identity is tied to being a runner so much that this occurrence made me very concerned with how I will cope if/when the time comes that I cannot run anymore.  I truly don't feel like myself.
  5. Running is truly a lifestyle, and it's my lifestyle.
  6. I eat healthier when I'm running than when I'm not.  This has always been the case and I've typically cited a slump in my mood as my reason for reaching for many more sweet treats and desserts, but this time I realized it's also because I'm not thinking about how my fueling will effect my next run.  When training hard, I don't want to screw up a run by eating crap, but I really don't care how what I eat effects my next aquajogging session!  The same goes for recovery between workouts; I care a lot when I'm running but I don't care when I'm not.  I also realized I see a lot more food advertisements when I'm cross-training since I watch TV while on the bike and elliptical, which also may tie into this.
  7. I'm in a better mood when I'm running than when I'm not (sorry everyone who was around me for the past 30 days - although I did better this round than in the past).
  8. Confidence nose-dives quickly!  What a mind trip to go from PR-form to unable to run even 100 m., to see people you used to race with competing and feel that you will never keep up with them again, to see your fitness slipping away...
  9. Goals are hard to let go of, and it's very easy to vacillate back and forth between "I'm going to get healthy and go get it" and "I'm never going to run anything worthwhile ever again".
  10. Graston can be brutal, but hurts so good and has helped my injury a great deal.
  11. I need sunlight in my life (once I could walk pain-free, I went on walks just to be outside...also, walking is slow).
  12. Perspective rapidly changes; I went very quickly from wanting to hit 80+ quality miles a week to simply wanting to run an easy 3 miler.
  13. With one workout obsession gone, I take up others (e.g., deciding I need to bike a certain number of miles, PR on my bike pace, hit a certain weekly cross-training duration, etc.).
  14. Cross-training fatigue is different than running fatigue.  My legs and body felt very different with the lack of pounding.  I could workout for 2+ hours a day with interval efforts and still feel like I didn't do much.  Perhaps I'm not as good at pushing myself with cross-training, but even running very easy for 2 hours I'd feel like I'd exerted myself.
  15. My spin bike time re-sets after 99:59.
  16. Intervals make cross-training workouts pass much faster.
  17. I still can't flip turn in the pool.
  18. I can circle swim.
  19. Swimmers think I'm crazy for swimming for 60-90 minutes non-stop.
  20. I swim like a runner.  I have also been told I bike like a runner, although not this round because I did my bike workouts on my spin bike at home (I am fair weather/daylight only road cyclist).
  21. I can aquajog for 2.5 hours straight.
  22. I will get up at 4:30 a.m. to cross-train (I have previously said I won't get up at 4:30 a.m. to do anything besides run, but I stand corrected).
  23. There will always be other races and seasons, but it is also okay to mourn for those that you've lost.  This wasn't my plan or how it was "supposed" to go, but it's what happened.
  24. Being injured is lonely.  Running is my biggest social time!
  25. Scrolling Strava sucks when you can't run.  Sorry for not giving kudos, friends.
  26. The runner mentality never leaves us; I may not be able to run a mile right now, but you know I have over 10 races on my mind for 2019.
  27. We often ask "Why did this happen?" about bad things that happen to us, but we don't ask it about all of the blessings we have:  Why did I have so many great runs and races?  Why do I have an amazing family?  Why do I have a job that provides?  Why do I have so much more than I need every single day?  You get the picture!  Who am I to complain when so many people are facing harder issues?
  28. With any rough patch in life, it's important to remember that it will pass...the only way over it is through it.
  29. Knowing that God has a greater plan doesn't always make hard times easier, but it always makes them do-able. 
  30. 30 days passes before you know it.  It will likely be over 30 more before I'm "really" training again, but the thing about time is that is always keeps passing.
"Faith does not make things easy, it makes them possible." - Luke 1:37
You can find me on here for awhile
Sarah Hall has a similar injury to mine...this also made
me wonder if attempting full butt-nearly-to-the-ground
pistol squats (holding onto chairs on both sides)
contributed to my injury

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