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