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Emotion Sandwich - Best Served Cold

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Yesterday was awful. I had a million things to do and I got nearly nothing done. I was dizzy and sore and just not feeling well. I took the day off from work to rest, but I ended up spending the whole day worrying about everything I wasn't doing, trying to do things I shouldn't have tried to do, and eating too much out of emotional stress.

There. I said it. Yesterday was a bit of a failure for me. I'm not proud of it. But you know what? I'm not mad at myself for it either. I didn't want to scream and cry and throw a tantrum this morning when the scale said I gained 4 pounds yesterday (mostly because I know that's major BS on the part of the scale).

But I'm struggling...again.

Same old, same old with me. Want to run. Can't run. Hate myself for not being able to run.

Yesterday evening I finally put on my shoes and headed to the gym. To say I waited until the last minute would be an understatement. I didn't leave the house until 8pm. The gym closes at 9pm. I got there about 40 minutes prior to closing. I needed to swipe my card.

"Just a few walking laps around the track," I told myself. And then Ethan starts running. He's 8. He has boundless energy. He wears me out most days, but I'm also completely jealous of his ability and freedom.

Five laps completed and he comes back to recover by walking for 2. He's faster than me. I judge the hip and realize it's not hurting. A slight twinge now and again, but I might be able to do a few laps of running if I take it really slow. I tell him I'll join him on the next running segment and see what I can do.

1/4 of a lap. Our indoor track is small and you have to do about 17 laps to equal a mile. And after 1/4 of a lap I'm bent over in extreme pain. My left knee tried to go out as I turned the corner and my hip tried to correct the knee and pulled the same muscle in one brief, but all too memorable moment. It was like a snap in my lower body.

I wanted to cry. I had let it heal for a week and a half. I bought new running shoes that I actually got fitted for in person. I tied my shoes the special way my runner sister showed me. I paid attention to each step I took. And none of it helped.

I stretched to recover almost immediately. Last time I tried to walk it off, which actually did more damage. The stretching to recover REALLY helped, so I have to remember that for next time.

I didn't cry this time when it was over. I didn't mourn my running career because it's been weeks since I had any hopes of one. I will tell you what I am feeling:

*Confusion -- Why was I able to do weeks of running. I ran for about 5 weeks, off and on, increasing in time spent running vs. time spent walking to recover. I ran on all different surfaces. I had pain in the hip in the very beginning, but why did it come back now? Why all of a sudden? (My theory -- my ST has been lax lately...which coincides perfectly to the pain returning in my hip. DUH!)

*Anger -- I tried to come back to it too soon. I didn't do enough in between to prep myself. I haven't been working out lately because I've been both sick and busy. Sick to the point of falling down and nearly passing out at my desk. Busy to the point of not getting hardly any sleep.

*Jealousy -- I wanted my 8 year old's power. I watched him run 15 more laps around the track and while I was extremely proud of him, and I gave myself a twinge of credit for teaching him about discipline and about pushing yourself, I was jealous of his freedom to do what he wants, and his child-like ability to heal quickly.

*Acceptance -- I've been working on this one lately. I've asked myself "What are my goals?" And, yes, while one of them is to be a runner, I have many many others. One of which is to keep losing weight and make a stronger body for myself. I know better than anyone that running is not the only way to do that. There are a million different ways to work out, and by simply forcing myself down this one path, and continuing to injure myself, I'm getting nowhere pretty fast. I'm starting to accept that running isn't my bag. Not right now. Not yet. Maybe later.

So plans have changed, yet again. A HUGE reason why my front page still says that I make plans, but I keep backup plans, just in case. Sometimes what we think we can do or what we think we like don't work out as well in reality as they did in our heads. So we need to have the flexibility within ourselves to rework the plan and create a new plan altogether, if necessary.

The plan now is to hold back on the running.
The plan now is to work on walking again.
And in walking perhaps I will make it a goal to work up my walking speed.
And I will work on walking fast enough to complete a marathon in the time limit given.
And I will not have to abandon my racing goals, just the method I take to complete them.

The plan is also to get back to ST.
I will start as soon as possible, trying to make the gym at the hotel this next week work for me.
And when I get back, I will refocus myself to strengthen all my muscles.
I have the silly notion that you can still have runner's legs without being a runner, and I'm going to test that theory.
When my equipment isn't available, I will arm myself with at home ST exercises. I already know that crunches and walking lunges and squats and push-ups are the best form of friendly torture.

And when I get back I will try to give myself one night a week to work out at home using the Kinect, the Wii, at-home fitness DVDs, and walking with my boys and the dog. I need more home time, and this is how I'll get it.

And I will refocus my food as well and get myself back to batch cooking on the weekends. The best cook is a prepared cook, so I'll make the plans I need, shop where I need to shop, have the items needed on hand, and let the flavors do all the talking.

As for this week?
I leave tomorrow morning at 5:30am for a flight to Las Vegas (with a layover in Charlotte).
I will walk a ton.
I will watch my food intake.
I will remember it is a desert, I MUST drink water.
I will properly sunblock myself.
I will enjoy every minute of it.
I will explore and enjoy as much as my bank card will allow.
And I will refocus myself for a bright and happy 30th year of life.

YEAR of LIFE! You hear that? I'm not planning a birthday. I'm planning a YEAR of LIFE! And I plan to do a TON of living this year!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh Esther. You really touched my heart in this blog: we're both struggling with hip pain. Then, add salt to the injury because we can't run and running (it seems to me) is what we're both keen on.

    I'm glad you're not giving up, just going to Plan B. I have no doubt we will:
    1) become amazing runners
    2) get to run together in a 5 or 10K
    3) talk like a couple of giddy teenagers the whole way
    4) wear the biggest smiles on our faces when we do.

    Thank God we have killer smiles!

    Keep up the good work, my Friend. You are awesome!
    3769 days ago
  • _DASH_
    so sorry about the hip. i can hear your frustration in your words and constant desire to keep moving forward. you are getting there. keep listening to your body and finding reasons to celebrate. i love those little moments like you mentioned with your son- where you think about it and hten there's this sudden little impulse to go harder or do better - i often hit the gym with just that little "just go and do x, it's okay ot take it easy" then i get there fueled on that and there are little moments to seize opportunities and you leave feeling better than ever. you are creative and determined and riding the ebb and flow and life is moving constantly. here is to your year of LIFE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! hope Vegas is so much fun!!!
    3773 days ago
    Have fun in Vegas!! Maybe we'll run into each other, ya never know!! I'll be leaving tonight! =)
    3775 days ago
    being injured and frustrated about not being able to run means something important - you already are a runner! a non-runner wouldn't care, wouldn't mind having to do something else. but you are already a runner, so that's what makes this so hard!

    and someday soon (though, you know, let yourself heal like you plan on doing), you will be able to get back to it.
    3776 days ago
  • KARVY09
    I'm sorry about the running but there is no doubt in my mind that *someday* you will get there.
    3776 days ago
    I think you're amazing for making this detailed of a plan. I had an injury last year that made me give up. It defeated me and I am just getting back. You're right, running is not the only way to get in the shape you want. You'll get there... you have the attitude and determination for it. Good for you. I hope it feels better soon.
    3776 days ago
    I'm so sad that yout hip is bothering you STILL! The good news is that you will be in Vegas where I heard walking is the best form of transportation, and you will have plenty of wonderful things to see while you're walking.

    I would suggest talking to someone or google stretches for injurted hips, and see if there is any stretching you could do that would help eleviate pain and strengthen the muslce.

    You are going to enjoy this next Year of LIFE!
    3776 days ago
    Holy cow! I have been through a very similar thought pattern regarding my running injury that has been with me throughout the entire year... so yeah, I get it!!! It sucks and it's worse when you get back, it's okay for a while and then bam.. back ther again. It's sooo frustrating, but you'll get there and I trust, I will, too.

    Thanks for reminding me that I don't need running to make me happy! I want it, but I don't need it and I cannot hang on to it in an unhealthy way. That is something, part of a lesson that I have learned, unlearned, re-learned.. and need to be reminded of.
    3776 days ago
    "you can still have runner's legs without being a runner." That's what I'm going for!
    3776 days ago
  • MAGPIE17
    I'm sorry to hear your hip is bothering you again! Something to think about - maybe there's something in your technique that's causing injury? I just started a runner's bootcamp (with approximately *no* running) - 9 weeks of drills to strengthen running muscles and teach technique so that you don't injure yourself. Maybe you can discuss technique with the trainer when you see her next?

    Have a blast in Vegas, Esther!!
    3776 days ago
    Have a wonderful trip. And in all that WORKING - try to relax some too. You need the break from the daily stressors!
    3776 days ago
    I hope your today is better than your yesterday!
    3776 days ago
  • MAIA2011
    You are living! I admire that you aren't beating yourself up about the running. I'll bet you will get back to it. I want to, too.
    3776 days ago
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