Friday, February 3, 2012

Injury as a Motivator

I spent most of January dealing with different aches and pains. Looking back at the month I half-laugh, half-shake my head. I can only attempt to shelve the echoes of disappointment that continue to rattle away at the inside of my head. I mean, it wasn’t a total wreck, but I never felt 100% the entire month, it was my lowest mileage month since May, I had the perfect opportunity to run a fast Half with a great time and instead came out flat, and now I’m about to head to a doctor to get my right shin checked out since it’s one of the pains that’s been bugging me nearly the whole month but this one doesn’t seem to ever fully heal. To literally add insult to injury, January, like much of December, was a great month for winter running in Chicago - warm, warm, warm, at least relatively.  And I missed most of it.  Ugh. Generally I get a little down when injured, nothing shocking there, but feeling like this for a month eats away at you.  You begin to do other things to bring you up a notch or two.  Eat. Watch more TV. Sit around more. Of course eating your way to happiness has zero to no positive effects.  So even though I’ve tried to remain just as active by cross-training, I’m not getting nearly the same time in, and apparently not the same caloric burn.  Six pounds heavier I realized it was time to cut back on my eating. I really don’t want to start from square one.

Ironically, and almost in direct contradiction to the pain and dreariness of the past month, being semi-injured and having dramatically cut back on miles has really helped my body recuperate, overall.  Everything but my shin feels fresh, ready, and generally great.  Even my brain feels rested and ready for a new challenge. It’s a spring cleaning for my mind. I was confused about 2012‘s plans, and honestly a little demotivated after conquering 2011 with PR after PR. 2011 was amazing and I didn’t really want it to end. Then I was shoved into 2012 and there was nothing I could say or do about it. I just wasn’t ready to start new challenges.  January was time off, and looking back, probably necessary time off, for my body and brain.  I feel ready to face 2012 now. (Only took a month, I know.)

So it’s February 3. My shin is starting to feel pretty good again, and I’m going to the doctor to check it, just in case.  If I need more time off, yeah, it might be hard to swallow, but fine, that’s what it will take. 2011 was all about getting that Boston qualification. 2012 is about fun. I have stacked together a list of races I’d like to run, most of them are marathons.  My plan is to NOT race them all, but have fun with most of them. I’d like to really race 2 or 3 of them, but I’m not going to sweat it if my heart or mind is not in it on a particular day; if it is, great, I’ll be ready. This is going to be a good year.


  1. I know the feeling. I cant run until April because of a calf strain injury :( but I know this rest is a must for me to keep running many years to come.

    1. Sorry to hear you're off until April, wow. Yeah it can be difficult to keep your chin up when the world's happening around you. I was determined not to fall into this trap again, but life happens. I think in the end it makes us more determined and better able to handle adversity. At least I hope...