When I told myself “I’ll fit my long run in later” I had no idea that “later” would mean six to eight months in the future. After a painful injury, a third knee surgery, doctor bills, a haze of pain pills ect… and that only brings me to today where I am about to start physical therapy (again for the third time) where I train my knee/leg to walk normal again.
It’s amazing, if not somewhat frustrating, how fast our muscles atrophy. I lost in a single month what it took me six months to build. Six months of running, walking and various lower body exercises. It sucks but it also is where I’m at. That is the reality of my situation.
I found out at my latest doctor apt that I indeed will be able to run again…. Let me say that again because I love saying it “I WILL BE ABLE TO RUN AGAIN!!! That was something I was not sure I would be able to say again.
There will be pain
I swear my doctor smiled just a bit when he told me how sore my leg/knee will be during my physical therapy. I don’t think he meant it in a sadistic way (although you never know) He simply knows what it takes to rebuild the muscles and tendons. And thats only part of the journey
Once all of that’s done, the doctors and therapy, I will start on the road to running again. This will be no easy task but one I am determined to follow through on no matter how slow painful.
Physical vs mental
I’ve often read that running is equal parts physical and mental. That is something I didn’t grasp until I devoted myself to my long run Saturday mornings. I was determined each week to run just a little further then I had the week prior. Noe only in total distance but in my ability to run non-stop
I pushed and pushed myself for weeks on end only to see marginal improvements (if any) I knew I was physically fit and should be able to blast past my best efforts but, there was nothing.
It was around this time I started consuming books on running.
Finding Ultra - Rich Roll
-A fellow Vegan who changed his life through diet and running at age 40
Born to Run - Christopher McDougall
-Wrote about a tribe of “superathletes” who ran for the pure joy it brought them.
Eat and Run - Scott Jurek
-Possibly the worlds best all ultra distance runner of all time.
I practiced meditation including a breathing technique taught by the Ice man - Wif Hof - something that has vastly improved my focus and cardiovascular health.
I poured over documentaries about professional runners/athletes. I listened to their stories, took note of their mindsets and the obstacles they overcame. A few of these individuals were what we call “naturals” others worked incredibly hard to achieve their goals and overcome massive obstacles.
It was also about this time that I experienced a pure moment of a runners high that I seldom was about to repeat. I ran along the trails barley aware of how much time had passed or how far I had run until the mechanical voice on my phones running app told me I had just pasted the five mile mark. Until that moment I had barley ran over a single mile before I had to slow down and walk.
Running became less mechanical and more enjoyable once I stopped treating myself like a test subject. My movements became more fluid. I still tracked my miles and pace but the results did not hold as much weight as I my earlier days of running. I started to run for the joy of running. That’s something I didn’t grasp earlier.
If I am lucky, if the stars align and my body heals, I will restart my running journey in the Spring. Once the snow melts and my knee has time to fully heal.