I can’t even tell you how excited I am to have Megan D here today. We met through the internet YEARS ago and she has become one of my best friends. You will love her. I learn so much from her every time I am around her and I am so happy she is here with us today:
Hello HRG readers, my name is Megan. AKA ‘Megan D’. Why Megan D, you may ask? Well, for one there are approximately one billion Megans in this world. Okay so probably not, but I swear it feels like it. As a result, the human population is always finding ways to distinguish each of us Megans apart. People have always created nicknames for me. I mean, if Janae just referred to me as ‘Megan’ this image might pop in your head.
But that isn’t me! How confusing! I am not Muncher Cruncher Megan. We can’t have that mix up happening. So I am Megan D.
Actually, she calls me ‘Megan D’ because that is the name I use when I comment on her blog. You may have seen my comments. You may have gotten a cramp in your hand with all the scrolling you have to do to get PAST my comments. They are novel length and I have no shame about it.
I started reading HRG almost 5 years ago. I loved reading it daily and I could relate to Janae in so many ways. One day (about 4.5 years ago) she did a reader meet up in St. George after her race. I happened to be down there on a vacation with some friends. I decided to go to the meet up so I could meet Janae in person (with my friends mocking me about how this was like a blind date and super weird all along the way). She was every bit as awesome in person as she was on her blog and so we became friends. In hindsight, and after looking at this picture, perhaps she took pity on me and how awkward I am in pictures. maybe she thought she could turn me into a service project (cue makeover scene in clueless) and help me to step out of my personal picture taking bubble (I always feel like I am SOOO close when we take pictures. Then I look at the picture and I am always off to the side. Standing super awkward) since she takes 100 pictures a day.
5 years later. Nope. didn’t work.
(Hey guys. That’s me. I threw the donut themed shower. I mean, I will just pause here and give you a moment to type out any praises you have for me in the comment section below. Take your time. Tell me specifics. Much humble. All the praises. Okay, back to the blog.) I am just so happy for Janae and Andrew right now. On a side note, my youngest turns 2 in a few weeks and I am planning on reusing all the decorations for her birthday party. Two for one, people. I am not sure what that says about Janae (or me as the party planner) that I can recycle a 30 year old’s bridal shower as a 2 year olds birthday, but I don’t really care. Moving on.
A little about me. I am a mom to 3, a wife, a lover of PB, food, hashtags #YepIamThatAnnoyingPerson #SorryNotSorry and all things random. I also love(d) to run. I started running in college after I had stopped dancing and needed some form of exercise in my life. Growing up I remember my dad running and when I was home for a weekend during summer break he encouraged me to go for a run with him. It was my first ‘real’ run (i.e. not a warm up for some other sport I was playing). We went 3 miles and I thought I was going to die. Apparently when you feel like you are going to die, you also think, ‘Hey, I should keep doing this now. Only more often #RunningIsWeird
That was 14 years ago. Running is addicting. People always ask me why I run and I tell them ‘For the feeling when I STOP.’ However, I have always kept my mileage low and cross trained a lot because I tend to get injured easily. I have had IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, runner knee, and currently what doctors THINK is proximal high hamstring tendinopathy. I have had this current injury for 3 years. THREE. YEARS. Not something I have been diagnosed with, gone to physical therapy, do the exercises and 3 months later it is gone like the other injuries. Over the course of 3 years I have gone to several Drs, chiropractors, different physical therapist, had 3 different MRI’s, a cortisone shot in the most awkward of places, dry needling, ASTYM, and on and on. But to no avail. I can’t run even a mile without pain.
As runners we all (well like 95% of us) have, or will have, an injury at some point. Most of us get diagnosed, do our exercises/treatment and cross train during said injury and then ease our way back into running. But what if you can’t? What if it goes on for 3 years? Let’s talk about the 5 stages of grief and how they relate to running injuries.
1. Denial: This isn’t an injury. It’s just pain. Pain associated with running (Again #RunningIsWeird) and I can push through this. I will just push through this temporary pain and everything will be fine.
2. Anger: Everything is NOT fine and I can’t even walk without limping. This is so freaking dumb. If I see another runner out enjoying this beautiful day I am going to run them over with my van full of children. Ugh. This is the worst. (drama NOT added for emphasis).
3. Bargaining: If I can just get an answer as to what is wrong with me, I will be fine. I just want answers. I will do everything the Dr/PT tells me to do. I will be grateful to run just recreationally. No more dreams of doing another marathon, of running Boston one day (sniff) I will stick to short distances and be fine. As long as I get to JUST RUN!
4. Depression: What is the point of even trying? I have tried so many different Drs and therapies and nothing works. I have drained our HSA account (and then some) for nothing. I should give up trying because sometimes it is easier to NOT try then KEEP TRYING and not get results. I mean, if I am not going to run either way…
5. Acceptance: I took a break from Drs and treatments. Doesn’t mean I won’t ever try to run again, but I need the break mentally. I can keep trying to work through this injury. I can keep trying to find answers and hopefully run again. But if I never do, it isn’t the end of the world. You know why? Because running isn’t WHO I am. My kids don’t need me to run to be a good mom. My husband doesn’t need me to run to be a good wife and I don’t need to run to be a good person. Sometimes I move through these stages of grief again (I’m looking at your race days on Instagram) but for the most part I feel like I have, at the very least, accepted this injury.
When I die and people are at my funeral, do I want them to be talking about how I was the best mediocre runner? That I always made sure to get my miles in? Or do I care if they talked about how I served others? How I was there to help people in need? That is what I care about. It was easy to set running goals. I am not saying they are easy to reach, but they were easy (for me) to make. New PR? Check. Goal setting done. It is rewarding to see the progress I made in running. But now I can’t. I don’t have that instant feeling of accomplishment from hitting a run at my target pace or setting a new PR. They don’t have races on the step mill (aka the sweat climber and my, now, cardio BFF) yet. So I find other exercise plans or complete other exercise programs and check them off to get that feeling of accomplishment. Some goals are exercise related, some are not. Sometimes I have had to shift my priorities elsewhere to get the same feeling. So far, I have survived;) but I am still holding on to the hope I will be a runner again.
Anyone else super awkward when you get your picture taken?
Do you like your name? Is your name common?
I made sure to give my kids less common names because of my situation.
Do you have a nickname you go by instead?
Megan the motormouth. If you actually made it to the end of this article, you get why.
Have you been injured long term? With what?
If you have never been injured let me quickly go through the 5 stages of how I feel about that. “Are you serious? I hate you. Actually, I just wish I could BE you…cause I stink. That is so awesome for you! Good luck on your next race!”