On the drive to California when I asked Brooke what Andrew and I should do while she was away she said, “go running and go to the movies.” We have followed her plans for us perfectly and went and saw Star Wars last night (Andrew appreciated my shirt). I thought today would be a fabulous day to be entertained by Megan D on the blog so I’m going to have her take over now!
Hey guys! It’s Megan D again. Remember me? Sick of hearing about me on a blog that is not my own? You wonder what I have to contribute to this blog when I am not related to Janae and not even running? Ya. Me too.
But too bad. I’m back. And, as per your request, I am keeping you updated on my running and the journey of the injury that will not die.
First, let’s recap for those readers that are new to the blog and have never read my post; those who read the title of my post and decided to skip the rest (rude!); or those who actually read it (thanks guys!) but have a life and don’t store specific details of some rando from the internet who is friends with a girl who runs way fast and likes sugar… I talk a lot (this intro is already too lengthy) I eat a lot, I’m super awkward in pictures, I misuse and overuse hashtags and I took a long break from running because of a running injury that would not get better.
Please note the past tense usage of the word ‘take’. Yes people, it’s true. I have started running again.
Maybe it was because I wrote a post about being okay with NOT running again and the universe decided to throw me a bone. Or maybe it is because, like I mentioned before, I use running as a way to deal with emotions and one day this last July, I had some emotions to deal with.
Rewind to July. I was in the kitchen doing the dishes after dinner while my family was out front playing. Earlier in the week my husband had finished building a bike ramp to practice jumps (you know, so he can impress Andrew when they go mountain biking #boys) and he had it set up in our yard. That was the only knowledge I had while I was in my kitchen scrubbing away. Then I heard the door open and my son came in crying. Hard. I ran to see what the problem was and he and my husband were in the bathroom washing blood off my son’s face. So what happened? Oh. Ya know. Apparently, my son told my husband that he also wanted to jump off the ramp. My husband agreed #eyerollemoji, gave him no tips or tricks on how to go off a jump he has never done and DIDN’T HAVE HIM PUT ON HIS HELMET!! But don’t worry cause we live in 2016 and of course my husband got a picture.
So now I am furious with my husband and with the situation. My son’s mouth won’t stop bleeding and his 2 front teeth were knocked loose. Luckily, they were his baby teeth, but still. I looked at my husband and said, ‘This is why I miss running. I want to either punch you in the face, or go for a run.’ I tended to my son, got him calmed down and cleaned up. I gave him an ice pack and made an appointment with a dentist. After my son calmed down, I looked at my husband and said, “Yep, I think I need to go for a run.”
I laced up my shoes and ran my 3 mile route that I used to do all the time. It was hard. It was so gloriously hard. I came back paranoid though that I was going to hurt my leg. I stretched. I foam rolled. I took an ice bath. I took some ibuprofen. You would have thought I had run a marathon. Nope. It was a short 3 miles. Ha! I was grateful for that run. It felt good. Plus I didn’t have to call the dentist to make an appointment for my husband’s teeth being knocked out as well.
I was satisfied with my run. I was grateful for my run. I didn’t expect any more.
Then, one week later my husband suggested we go for a run together. I hadn’t had any repercussions from the first run. Maybe I could run another time? Running with my husband would be nice, plus his pace would keep me from running too fast which could increase the risk of the injury flaring up (yes, I just bragged about how I am faster than my husband. On the internet. He is lucky to have me). We ran a 3 mile loop together and it was awesome. I know I sound super cheesy, but I truly felt like I was frolicking because I was so happy to be going for a run.
The next week, same thing. I was enjoying our run and I was loving this time together with my husband. I was ecstatic that my body at least seemed to be cooperating, but I was also skeptical. I knew that with each run I went on, the pain could return and I would be sidelined again. But because of that, I was OKAY if it did. Does that make sense?
I continued to run 1x a week for the first 2 months. Anywhere from 3-4 miles. I was obviously afraid to increase my training and since I was running for enjoyment (and not to train for a race) there was no rush. I also ran without a watch and without any music for the first 3 months. I wanted to really just soak up every minute I was pounding the pavement #ISoundPathetic #IAmOkayWithIt
After about 3 months I decided to test out a second run during my week. The run is usually done at home on my treadmill while 2 kids sleep, 2 are at school and 1 does online preschool (I watch my SIL kid’s 3 x a week) so this works for me. I used this new weekly run to test out some speed work. Never anything crazy, but just some quick intervals to improve my turnover. I am hesitant to push it #BecauseInjuries #OhMyGoshMeganWeGetIt but, like any of you, we stupidly? like to see what we can ‘get away with’ #AmIRite
It has now been just over 5 months since my first run. I still haven’t increased to 3 x a week. Maybe I never will. There are some weeks when I run that I can feel that dull ache of my hamstring/glute so I only run 1x a week instead of 2. I’m not training for any races and I don’t plan on signing up for any either so there is no need to panic and think, I missed a run this week. I don’t want that pressure to train. I have no problems getting my workout in each day so I am not using a race as motivation. I have been getting sports massages, which I think have helped keep the injury from flaring up, and will continue to be proactive in that area. But mostly I think I have FINALLY learned to listen to my body. I back off or stop if I need to. I can’t run far so I am not doing it to burn #allthecalories. I have learned that running doesn’t have to have a purpose to enjoy it. Running JUST to run is okay. It kind of HAS to be for me;) And I can still call myself a runner if I don’t take it seriously. We can all call ourselves runners. No matter how often we run, how fast we run, if we follow a super detailed training plan or just run so we don’t punch our S.O. in the face. I love seeing the different ages, sizes and shapes of people who are out running. No one is the same. But we are all trying to make ourselves better, through running. Running brings us all together and usually makes us more tolerable humans… after our run is done, anyway:)
Do you use races to motivate you to run each week? Or to motivate you to work on speed or distance?
Is there anyone out there, like me, who won’t be running a race anytime soon?