Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The realities of returning to running

This week, my third week back to running, I've had some struggles, but I've also had many great reminders about perspective, and the importance of gratitude and positive thinking.  With that in mind, I've decided to jot down my recent emotions and thoughts as I return to running after six weeks off.

 What I could say:
 But from another perspective:
I feel bad that I'm holding my friends back when we run together now -- I know they could be running faster without me.
I've missed running with my friends!  I'm so happy to be back out on the trails with them.  And I love that I have friends who enjoy my company and want to run with me, even at my leisurely pace.  
I ran a 5k time trial this week, and had to walk twice.
I am motivated to work hard and regain speed and I'm excited to set a better time every week.  
My right calf and ankle have weakened after being immobilized for six weeks.
My core is probably stronger than it's ever been, since that's pretty much all I worked on, exercise-wise, for six weeks. 
I'd like to think that progress would move forward in a straight line, and it's sad to think that I'm not as good a runner now as I was a year ago, or even a few months ago.
I have to maintain hope that with consistent work, I will get back to where I was before the injury, and that I can then move forward to become better than I was a year ago.
It's embarrassing how slow I am!
All the better for appreciating the view -- and avoiding the rocks. 
I wonder how long it will take to get back to where I was before.
On my long run Friday night, there were moments when I felt energetic and light and like I could keep running forever.  I've missed that feeling!
I know I'm going to be humbled by my slow performance at the 50k this weekend.
Three weeks ago, I would've killed to be able to walk without a boot on, let alone run 31 miles.  I'm so blessed to be able to do this!

The optimism of the right-hand column is definitely what I need to keep making progress.  It's helpful to take stock like this every now and then, and remind myself how lucky I am to be able to do what I love -- go out and run on trails with friends.  I can't even express how happy I am to be able to do that again!  I've volunteered for the last three races I've been to -- this weekend I finally get to be back out there, even if I am DFL.  :)