Monday, November 18, 2013

Why I am not going to stop.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is not directed towards anybody in particular.  However, I have already started getting the "you should just stop running" and "running doesn't like you" comments, so I feel the need to bring this up as I enter my 4th week of training.

I have had my own string of bad luck when it comes to pain and injury during training.  Believe you me, no one is more annoyed about it than I am.  But of course I have, when I literally started doing this out of no where with no training and no previous athletic experience of any kind.  And the fact that every time I Google anything, loads and loads of websites dedicated to the issue with hundreds of comments and forum posts related to the subject come up on the search feed.  Clearly, I am not alone! I often post the "bad" or "frustrating" because this is how I learn from this. For every 1 bad moment there are 5-10 good ones, a ratio I am more than happy with. I'll make sure to post more of the happy ones.

Running is a solo sport.
True, there is a community of runners who are really awesome and helpful.  And true, I run alongside my amazing running partner.  However, she is not staring at my feet, monitoring my posture, in charge of my stretching or nutrition or making sure I drink enough water and sleep enough.  Yes, she will help push me forward and keep me in check, but physically, it's all on me.

Other sports have coaches and teammates and family members watching from the sidelines, telling you what you are doing wrong and what you need to work on.  There is no one following me around with a camera showing me what I am doing wrong or what needs corrected at that very moment. No one to tell me what my body is naturally inclined to do, what's normal and not, or what I should do next.  It's something that I have to do on my own.

Since the beginning, this has been me and me alone, and it isn't an easy process.  It's going to continue to be a learning experience, one I believe will truly get easier (it already has) as I continue on the journey.

Running is a test of patience, dedication, and strength.
If your son was in soccer, and he was having trouble with it, would you tell him to stop? Would you tell him it isn't the sport for him, even when he has a smile on his face? Of course not. You would tell him to keep with it, and that it will get easier.  That he can do it.  That he shouldn't give up.

I can do it too. I've already done more than I ever thought was physically capable and because I have these moments of frustration, pain, and weakness, it is more motivation and incentive for me push through and prove myself (and everyone else) wrong.

Running may not be my "natural sport," but it is:

  • My therapy. 
  • A test of willpower.
  • Proof that I can do anything I put my mind to
  • A release for all the stress I harbor in my neck and shoulders (never felt better)

I truly appreciate the support and encouragement, and I know that constructive criticism is only out of love and concern.  However, at least while I am in training, if you could please refrain from the "you should just stop" comments, I would really appreciate it, because it doesn't help me when I have races paid for, deadlines on the calendar, and a training plan in place. It adds to the frustration.

Thank you, and love you all.

Oh! And an update to last week's post: I actually do not think that my problem was my Achilles. I think that I actually bruised the inner part of my heel by striking on the treadmill when my legs were tired. The pain had radiated a bit so it was hard to pin-point the source of pain at the time, but as it has heeled, the root issue has been the one that remained sore, something easily healed with ice and ibuprofen. So yay! But, good to know as my Achilles has NOT been something I have really paid attention to, and it's getting added to the list of places that get stretched on a daily basis. :)

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