I wish I had a dollar for every time I said to myself "I give up" when it comes to running, because by
Just this morning, I heard that little whisper in the back of my head - I give up.
Now, there are two things that will make me feel like throwing in the towel with running: not seeing any improvements in my running and an injury.
For the most part, I have made peace with the first one. At this point, my running is what it is. I feel like I have been walking a fine razor's edge between injury and maintaining my running ability such as it is for a couple of years now, so I really don't expect to see any improvements.
So, today's frustration comes from the latter - the dreaded injury. Let me preface this by saying that I KNOW that any injury I get from running at this point is my own fault. I probably needed to take some time off from this sport a year and a half ago already - but I didn't. There were too many fun goals on the horizon that I didn't want to postpone. So, the fact that I may be on the edge of virtually falling apart, I get that. Still, I feel that I have been on the positive side of that balancing act for a while and now - being so close to goal - I am going to be majorly disappointed if things disintegrate at this point.
To make a long story short, a couple of weeks ago when I ran the Trailbreaker Half, I noticed that I was experiencing intermittent pains on the front of my left hip. They came and they went, and it was very random in nature. They started up in the first couple of miles, so I don't think it was because I decided to pile on 18 miles that day. (Although I am not completely dense; I admit that certainly could have exacerbated the issue.) Since then, I have run five times, including two longer runs of 10 miles or so, and in all those runs I only experienced that sensation once more on a short three miler a week ago - until yesterday. Yesterday evening, while my daughter and I were jogging from our car to the planetarium to catch a show there, I experienced that same sensation twice. Like I said, random.
So, last night I started foam rolling and icing, because that is all I know how to do. I iced again this morning and that is about the time I heard that little whisper I know so well - I give up. That was quickly followed by the negative self-talk of Why are you doing this to yourself? It's too hard. You're not good at it. Why would you have an injury? You don't run as much or as hard as others. It must be your body obviously cannot take it.
It's so easy to get depressed and down on yourself when you have thoughts like this. But then I ask myself, what would I do if I couldn't run? If I gave up on this running lifestyle that I have really taken to? Would I stop running altogether, or would I just stop training for race events? Would I give myself over to cross-training? Could I find a new exercise/meditation love? Or, would I just sit on the couch, slowly gaining weight and losing fitness until I ultimately lived up to the negative stereotype of the middle-aged, stay-at-home mom that I am?
The truth is that I don't know what I would do. I am in so deep with running that to stop doing it would probably require a serious intervention. You see, despite the fact that I am no good at this sport, despite the fact that I constantly seem to suffer from one ache or pain or another that I don't understand, despite all the frustration that comes with loving something that doesn't seem to love me back quite as much as I love it, I won't give up on it.
So, in the meantime, I will keep doing what I know how to do: foam roll, ice, compression, and ... RUN. I will hope for the best. I will pray that I can get through this long training run tomorrow and then I will kick back and make full use of my taper. I will try to get through the 50K. Then I will rest again for a few weeks before tackling marathon training. I will hope I get through my fall marathon. And, then, only then, will I really take the break I think I need. With any luck, this will all go according to my plan, and if it doesn't, then I will deal with it (probably less than gracefully - let's face it, I am not that good). But, I won't give up.
Sunday: Iola Trail 15K Run
Monday: 5.5 miles run/walk
Wednesday: 5.75 miles (trail)
Total Mileage: 20.55