Frustration and Race Memories

After my run with my running group last night, it’s clear to me that I shouldn’t be running yet.  Running just shouldn’t hurt so much.  On top of my ankle hurting, my right hip is starting to hurt.  I’m sure I’m favoring that side and running all whacked out to compensate.  I just don’t think anything good can come from pushing through the pain right now.  It’s just so frustrating though.  I’m definitely wallowing and feeling like I will never run normally again.  I read this post on the stages of injury.  It made me laugh.

1. Denial – Are you f*cking kidding me? My marathon is in {insert number} weeks and I’ve trained my ass off. There is no way I’m not running this thing, even if I have to crawl. It’s just a pain in my hip. I’m sure I just pulled a muscle dancing on the pole. Or maybe this pain is a figment of my imagination, part of tapering madness. I’m sure I’m fine.

2. Anger – Are you f*cking kidding me? This still hurts, might be worse. Why me? I didn’t do anything wrong. Everyone else can run and not get injured. Hell, Dean freaking Karnazes is running across the United States and he never gets injured. This sucks. I don’t deserve this. I pay my taxes, I follow a training plan. I bought the stinking $100 shoes that they told me to buy at that damn store.

3. Bargaining – You are not f*cking kidding me. I’m hurt. I get it. But, I swear if I am healed enough by marathon day to at least complete the race I will never {insert vice: cuss, drink, over train,  do meth, run with scissors, yell at my kids, lick a knife} again. Once I complete this race, I will rest for a really long time and go to the doctor. I swear. Just let me run this race.

4. Depression – (warning: here’s where it gets really ugly). I’m f*cked. I’m out of the race. Hell, I might never run again. I hate swimming and biking and most of all running in the water. I want to run. I only like running and I am nothing without running. I will get fat. I will get lazy. I will lose all of my fitness. Why bother getting out of bed?

5. Acceptance – I can’t race. I can’t even run right now. But, it’s going to be okay. I am still an athlete, I am still a runner, I am just recovering. I will be back. Stronger than ever. Even though I can’t run, there are other things I can do to maintain my fitness. Even though I can’t run, I am still worthy. There is more to me than being a runner.”

Is it possible to rapidly cycle through all the phases?  I’m pretty sure I’ve been through each at least 10 times this injury.  I’ve made it to the acceptance stage quite a few times only to swing back to the denial stage and start all over again.  Signing up for and planning to run the Nike Women’s half on Sunday?  Denial.  Deciding not to run it and take a few more weeks off?  Acceptance.

Last night was an ugly wallowing depression night.  It involved a lot of “Poor me!  I will NEVER run again!” and a lot of candy.  I think anyone married to an injured runner deserves a medal.  I might have one made for Lawrence.  Not being able to run isn’t good for my relationship.  Or mental state.  Or the candy supply in Virginia.  But this morning is a new day.  I’m still going to meet my friend to run/walk.  Since that doesn’t bother my foot, I will continue doing that once or twice a week (pending what the new doctor tells me Monday).  Aside from that I’ll stick to cross training which honestly isn’t the worst thing in the world.  I like all the new things I’ve been trying.  If I ever come out of this When I come out of this, I’ll be a much more well rounded runner.

And now for kicks I’m going to reminisce about some of my favorite race memories.

  • A long time ago (2006) I did an out and back half marathon with my brother.  I had just started doing speed work and running a little faster.  My brother had already reached the turn around and was heading back towards me.  I will never forget the look of shock on his face when he saw me.  I was much closer to the front (I ended up 5th woman) than he thought I would be.  When I talked to him later, he told me seeing me kept him motivated to keep running fast because he didn’t want me to catch him. 🙂
  • I ran a half marathon this past December and it was a great spectator course.  Lawrence ended up seeing me about 8 times.  They only closed one lane on the roads we ran on so getting around was fairly easy.  The race ended with a pretty significant hill in the last mile.  Lawrence pulled the car off on the side of the road opened the windows and blasted She’s So Mean by Matchbox 20.  I love that song.  It totally reminded me of a 2012 version of this:


I laughed and killed that hill.

  • I really prefer to run with other people.  So at the 2012 Richmond marathon about half a mile in, I was feeling really sorry for myself thinking about how lonely I was going to be for the next 26 miles.  Right after the 1 mile mark, I came up on these two guys who were talking about how they clocked the first mile at 7:10 and needed to slow down.  I asked them what pace they were trying to hold and told them I was going to run with them.  Turns out they were both named Mike and around 60 years old.  The course kind of doubles back on itself for a little bit at the beginning and they saw a friend behind them.  They yelled, “Hey Dave!  Look what we found!” pointing at me.  That made me laugh.  We ended up sticking together until around 22 miles at which point they left me in the dust.  One of the Mikes ended up finishing about 4 minutes ahead of me but waited around for me and gave me a hug.  I had such a fun time running with the Mikes, it reminds me how truly awesome the running community is.
  • I paced a friend through the 2009 Marine Corps marathon.  Pacing is an interesting thing.  I know how much pain I’m in at the end of a marathon and there’s a fine line between being encouraging and just being down right annoying.  So we were in the last few miles of the race and I was trying to encourage her to run and at one point she turned to me and said, “Tara I love you but I want to punch you in the face right now.”  I took that as a compliment, meant I was doing my job right. 😉  Still one of my favorite race moments ever.
  • The 2012 Marine Corps Marathon.  There are too many memories to even list.  It was my first Boston qualifier.  I had so much love and support out on the course that day.  Thinking about it still makes me emotional.  What an incredible day.

I could go on and on.  I love running.  I love racing.  I can’t wait to get back to it.


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