Words cannot express the joy I have for being back to regular running in 2016, following the ups and downs of recovering from injury over the last two plus years. It’s been a quite the lesson in patience and listening to my body in this time frame, and although I’m not nearly as fast as I was or training the high amount of mileage as I did previously, it really isn’t about any of that, but rather the simple act of going out to exercise my body in such a way that makes me feel amazing every time I decide to lace up my shoes and go.
I made a commitment to myself back at the start of the new year to run at least three times a week, but be willing to give myself the breaks my body needs when it doesn’t feel capable of going the distance or just needs downtime to rest and recoup. I’ve been faithful to my commitment, gradually making my way back to increased mileage and faster speeds, and in the past four and a half months I’ve completed just over 200 miles on the road. It’s been awesome and I feel great!
The one hiccup I’ve had to deal with is Achilles tendonitis. But with the help of heat before I run, ice after I run, and pulling back on the mileage as needed, I’m working my way through it. At one time, I may have seen this as a major setback and not handled it very well, but after dealing with a stress fracture in my heel and all of that pain and the “one step forward, two steps back” of healing and modification to my routines, this. is. nothing.
I think the best part for me in getting back to regular running is the freedom and wildness I feel when I’m out in the fresh air and pounding my feet on the pavement, or kicking up dust on our dirt road. I love that feeling of being totally depleted at the end of good, hard run and the sense of accomplishment I feel when I’m done, no matter the distance. I’m so glad I didn’t give up in the face of injury and challenge; I persevered, enduring the rocky path, and as a result, I have a deeper appreciation for the ability I’ve been given to run long distances as well as the grace I now have in my life because of what I’ve gone through.
So, as the year moves forward I’m going to keep at it and take each opportunity to get out there and grow into more of the runner girl God has called me to be as it comes. I’ve got some more fun runs planned, including more brew runs downtown, in addition to a few races I want to do over the summer and fall months. My goal is to continue to enjoy this awesome sport and stay as healthy, fit, and in balance as possible. It’s not just good for body, but therapy for my mind and soul too!
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