On Never Giving Up and Facing Fears

Yesterday was officially nine months since I fell running and broke my arm in three places. This has undoubtedly been a long, tough year for me and my body. I’d love to report that I’m back in the best shape but it’s HARD to get back in shape after a long injury. Especially when the injury had you immobile for months. Especially when your pre-injury baseline was marathon shape. I try my best not to compare myself to myself but sometimes it’s inevitable.

All smiles at mile 17 of the 2013 New York City Marathon!

All smiles at mile 17 of the 2013 New York City Marathon! And, yes, I finally bought this picture one year later.

With the New York City Marathon last weekend, it’s hard not to think about where I was one year ago and where I am now. But I continue to try my best. To work hard. To fight for what I’m passionate about. What makes me feel alive. What makes me feel like me. To fight for what I love. It’s not about how many times you get knocked down it’s about how many times you get back up. It’s cliché. But it’s true.

This is my best buddy! She ran the marathon last week. Have you congratulated her yet?

This is my best buddy! She ran the marathon last week. Have you congratulated her on becoming a marathoner yet?

To say this training cycle has been less than ideal would be an understatement. Full of injuries and intermittent great runs; it hasn’t exactly been what I had hoped for. Runners knee from muscle imbalances and weaknesses. A muscle spasm in my back from opening a window. A little bout of runners knee again. It has certainly messed with my emotions, as you can imagine. But you have to start somewhere after an injury, right?

So wise that Kara Goucher!

So wise that Kara Goucher!

Although this training cycle hasn’t gone smoothly, it’s been a learning experience. It’s humbled me. It’s challenged my positivity. It’s certainly made me stronger mentally. It’s taught me how to have more patience. It’s taught me to be grateful for the little things. It’s taught me to never take running for granted; even the bad runs. 12 weeks ago I was scared to run in the rain for fear of falling. I thought about falling all the time. It consumed me. And last weekend I ran 12 miles in the rain. Two hours, three minutes, and 58 seconds and I barely thought about falling. To me that’s a huge victory.

The Richmond Half Marathon is next weekend. I haven’t run a half marathon in a year and a half; since the Brooklyn Half Marathon in May 2013. I have DNS’d more races than I’ve run this year. I’m excited for next weekend. I’m NERVOUS! I hate that my friends can track me. Not that I wouldn’t text them immediately after the race but somehow knowing they are tracking me makes me way more nervous. Let’s be honest, I’m not breaking any records next weekend. Some of my friends have asked me what my goals are. I only have two. Get to the start line and get to the finish line. And run with gratitude knowing where I was nine months ago and where I am today. Nine months ago my friends and family had to shower me, dress me, and brush my hair. Yesterday, I ran eight miles including all of the Central Park hills; some of them twice.

Not bad for running all the hills, right?

I shouldn’t have shown this to Coach! It’s giving her some crazy ideas for my race plan for next weekend.

When I compare myself now to myself in early 2014, how can I not feel grateful?

Also, how can you not feel grateful for fall running?

Also, how can you not feel grateful for fall running?

In a recent Runner’s World article, Meb said, “If it can’t be today, maybe tomorrow. If it can’t be tomorrow, maybe next week. If not next week, then maybe next month.” It’s a reminder to always have hope. To always look forward. And to never ever give up. I will think of this next weekend and do the absolute best I can for where my body is at right now.

Isn't this the best thing you've seen all week?

Isn’t this the best thing you’ve seen all week?

Everyone has to start somewhere after an injury. This is my starting point. I’m finally getting excited for my first half marathon this year. My first half marathon post broken wing. I will believe in myself and my body this week and have faith in its ability to run this race. I know I’m ready mentally. I’m ready to run Richmond. But please don’t track me, deal?

Tell Me.

Have you ever run a race after a long injury? Were you nervous?

Do like when people track you or fear it like i do?

More importantly, what’s on your running playlist right now?

 

 

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10 thoughts on “On Never Giving Up and Facing Fears

  1. Eeeee, I’m so excited for you, even if I don’t actually track you – promise 😉 I started smaller than you by returning to 5Ks and Falmouth first, but I absolutely felt what you’re saying in my first half-marathon this October. The ENTIRE time I was thinking “the Internet knows I’m running this”, “how can I NOT upload this to my Garmin so no one sees my splits?!”, ha ha! But we all love you and are cheering for you as you come out of this crazy 2014 challenge. You are so much stronger, in so many ways! XO

  2. So good to read this post. I tore every ligament in my right ankle about 2 years ago just when I was in pretty top shape. It was a year of recovery, rehab and patience. I found ways to to work around it, stay in shape, but not running (for me) is a total downer. Good news is I’m back, although it is always a consideration. It’s noticeably less stable than the other ankle, and always will be as a result of the high ankle sprain.

    Congrats on the training for your first half this year! It’s very exciting to be back.

  3. Oh my goodness, I HATE that people can track me! (And hate even more when people post MY split times to their Twitter of FB without asking me!)

    You are going to do great in Richmond and you’re exactly right, you’re only goals should be to get to the start and finish lines – you’ve worked on and reached enough goals this year working through and coming back from an injury!

    Good luck!!

  4. Since I’m reading this a week late, I totally tried to go look up your results, but you’ll be happy to know that they have the runner tracking so buried behind multiple sites and login creations that I ended up not figuring it out. So maybe others were deterred as well 🙂

    Hope you had an absolute blast this morning – I did the Richmond half a few years ago and loved it!

  5. I LOVE THIS POSTTTTTT!!! And I love you. And your attitude. You are incredibly inspiring and strong and I’m so thankful to have you as a friend. Also, I love that Meb quote and the photo of the duck. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Richmond Half Marathon Recap: My First Half Post-Broken Wing | Once in a Mile

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