In the beginning of 2013 I jumped on the running band wagon and decided I was going to run a 5K by April. I froze my butt off getting up super early before work, in the dark, to run on icy snow covered side walks. I bought a pair of $120 custom fit running shoes and started the couch to 5k program. I didn’t think I was out of shape by any means. I go to the gym on a regular basis and lifted weights. I’m not the fittest person, but I am in okay shape. When it came to running though I discovered I was a beginner. Nothing AND I MEAN NOTHING for me was harder then running. The Couch to 5k program was amazing as it slowly pushed me to run more and more not too quickly. Investing in a foam roller was the best thing I could have done as I was sore ALL of the time. After a few weeks I built up my stamina and started pushing myself. I averaged a little over 11 miles a limit, but for me that was good enough. My goal was to run a 5k and try to keep it under 30 minutes. My husband and I signed up for the Zombie Run in Philadelphia in April of 2013. Basically, you run through a course trying to avoid zombie that are trying to steal and pop balloons tied to your waist.
So for 4 months I busted my butt and was finally able to run a full 30 minutes, slowly but, I could do it. I won’t like, I HATED running. Yet, once I started I felt unstoppable. It hurt (in a good way) but it felt so good to push myself. If I had a crappy day at work I’d put on my running shoes and run it out. Afterwards I felt absolutely exhausted physically, but so much better emotionally.
We ran the 5k and I came in a little over 30 minutes. I had a hard time pacing myself since it was a bit hard to dodge zombies and run in a group of a few hundred people. I tended to try to keep up with others who ran faster then myself. Regardless, I ran the full race and was incredibly happy with myself.
Next, I wanted to tackle a 10k and then my goal was to run a marathon by the time I was 35. I thought 5 years was a reasonable amount of time to train.
Then this happened…
Minor foot fracture as well as some torn muscle in my ankle. I was in a bit of pain before I gave up and went to the doctor. I decided to “run” through it. Bad idea. I blamed it on my shoes or the fact that I was running too much on pavement and tried to cut back as much as I could. Eventually the pain was so unbearable. After three MRI’s 2 doctors, I was put into a boot air cast and prescribed physical therapy. To this day my ankle does not feel right. I stretch, ice, and massage it but the lump above my ankle does not seem to go away. I think it may be scar tissue. It bothers me from time to time when I go for a brisk walk or use the elliptical for a long period of time, but I just deal. I’ve come to the conclusion it will never be 100% and most likely my “running days” are over. It saddens me as I never felt so physically challenged before. I imagined time and time again crossing the marathon finish line, exhausted, in pain, all while shedding tears of happiness.
In order to keep myself motivated I save several quotes that got me through those tough times, so I thought I’d share them. They can be applied to anything, running, life, or just achieving any goal.