I can honestly say that I never thought I would be the person to enjoy any form of running let it be for sport or just for enjoyment. What I have come to learn from myself is that I love it for both. These days even in my busy life I still find time to contemplate a lot. It is just who I am and have always been. I think…a lot. On Tuesday I signed up for the Pirates 10k which starts tomorrow at 7:30am. Yes I need to get some sleep, but I also know that I haven’t blogged in awhile.
This is my first official “race” since October. I say “race” because for me this time it is more just about doing the run and feeling good in my running and listening to what my body has to say. That is not easy for me, but that is something that I have learned extensively since October. I have had to rate my pain on a scale from 1-10 more times than I can count and in all those times I still continued to exercise to my ability even if my love of sweets got a little in the way of my healthy eating but that will fall into place soon enough too.
I have grown through having this injury more than I think I give myself credit for sometimes. Two years ago if this would have happened (mind you I never ran then and exercised as a hobby) I would have probably just given up and gotten better and never ran again. However there is a spark inside of me and there are so many positive influences around me that I just can’t and won’t let that happen to me. It’s an interesting thought because two years ago I wouldn’t have signed up for a 5k, let alone a 10k a month before the race or four days prior either.
Since switching more focus onto the run/walk method I have been able to get back to the sport that I love and go further be able to meet goals that I have for myself. In August of 2017 I signed up for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon before I had ever completed my first half in October. In October when it all seemed to fall apart in my eyes, it was really all part of a greater plan.
November came and went. I missed a half in Nashville and cried as I watched the hundreds of participants leave the gate as I hobbled around hurting with every step. Physical therapy came and went into the end of January and I was at a stand still feeling like it just wasn’t going to get better. MRI came and went and it was determined that I had an injury that warranted an epidural steroid injection. Injection came and went and nothing happened, but weeks after, slowly, I seemed to improve and my body was tolerating further distances and endurance. Here we are in April, and I’m all pumped to run/walk these 6.2 miles tomorrow.
No, it will not be the fastest, and no, it will not set any PR by any means. But guess what, this race shows that I didn’t give up. I am going to listen to my body because I know the last time I didn’t listen, I ended up with months on months of pain that felt like years. Even a small sneeze felt like a jolt running down my leg. Tomorrow is a big turning point and it’s also an accomplishment. It’s the start of the rest of my racing days. I may never fully run a half marathon like I did before. I’m okay with that. It’s not always how you complete the race, but it is finishing the race knowing that you did it the best way you knew you could and giving it your all even when you wanted to give up.
Believe me, there were times when I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. I cried from pain and wanted it all to just go away, but I didn’t let it get me down. I found alternatives, I found ways to make it work and it’s not perfect, but it works for me.
Fitness is a journey, it’s not a fad. It’s not something that you can earn once and then let it go. It’s something that you have to constantly strive for and find what works for you. You may not always eat perfectly or even want to exercise all the time, but you find balance and we “get back on the wagon” before we stray too far. All you need to do is pick yourself up and dust yourself off and keep going because forward is forward after all.
Here I come, Pirates 10k!