running

I Never Have Been One To Give Up

Late October of last year I was having a crummy day and took off for a run. I needed the fresh air and movement to calm my mind, and I don’t use the word need lightly. There’s nothing absolutely nothing like a run to organize both my thoughts and my day and give a hefty lift to my spirit.

At the end of my run I limped up the driveway and decided to call the doctor and take a month or so off, just for good measure. The crankiness in my knee was becoming downright ticked off, and running was the obvious culprit.

Fast forward to today, a year later, and I have attempted two runs since then.

Darn.

In August, I decided to quit going for walks too.

I had been beyond worried that it would be a surgical case, that I’d be laid up for several weeks. Instead it’s a complex scenario of bursitis, patellofemoral syndrome and IT band syndrome. None of them are particularly severe, but none are readily treatable.

We tried two different types of injections in two different places, and I’m none the better for them.

What more is there to do but rest? This particular malady, or combination of them, isn’t awful, in fact, when I just sit around, it calms right down.

Alas, that’s easier said than done. Running not only keeps my mind on track, it tones and sculpts my body. It’s my go-to for managing stress, grief, joy, frustration, my ADHD and my weight and health. I have literally been self-medicating every part of my physical and mental health with intense and prolonged exercise. It’s like the snake oil of yesteryear, guaranteed to fix everything from the vapors to sleep.

And now, like dust in the wind, it’s gone.

Not that there is such a thing as good timing, but during the first year after losing our daughter to an overdose, I was in a lousy position for losing my primary coping mechanism.

I prefer to keep a positive attitude, but in this case, I have been just plain pouty. I’ve lost my ability to run in the past, and against the odds, worked my butt off getting back on my feet. I just wonder aloud why me, when there are millions of people who would no sooner run than be swarmed by bees. A knee that only gets cranky with exercise would be no burden to many, why, once again, do I have to suck it up and give up something that I love and that’s good for me in so many ways?!

I won’t BS you and try to say that I understand any of this. But I will tell you that I’m not about to stay down.

Instead I’ve been seeing a counselor and learning new and more coping skills. I’ve developed many new hobbies like collecting maple sap and making syrup and tending chickens, as well as cultivating my largest and most productive garden yet and canning and freezing the bounty.

I’ve enjoyed living the slower pace of homesteading, and it’s indubitaly beneficial to have my pocket full of coping skills to better equip me for whatever life throws at me.

But. . .

I won’t give up on running.

My shoes have moved to the back shelf in the garage, and they’re mighty dusty, yet I’m clinging to them with just a tiny glimmer of hope.

I never have been one to give up on anything.

running

A Not Running Runner

Hi, my name is Lee, and I am a not running runner. My knee is funky and my thyroid is wonky and running just isn’t in the cards lately.

I don’t know how many runners you know, but when a person transforms into a runner, truly a runner, it’s like getting a factory reset. It’s an identity change, which transcends everything. Being a runner changed the way I eat, sleep, drink, and think. It gave me community and a vision of myself that shifted my paradigm.

But mostly, running keeps my head on straight.

It doesn’t matter how long my to-do list, how frustrating my circumstances, how chaotic my environment, and how upheaved my emotions, if I can bang out a few miles on the pavement or trails, and especially if I can squeeze in a 10+ miler at some point, I can hold it together, no matter what life throws at me.

And when I’m not running, the opposite is true.

Just as my shoes sit in this disheveled pile, gathering dust and cobwebs, my mind stagnates for need of a run.

I wonder what the doctor would (will) say if (when) I tell him that I would let him sell a kidney on the black market if he can get me going again. I suspect that the sports medicine doctor has heard it all, the endocrinologist might be a bit appalled.

I try not to whine, I know it doesn’t help but I just want to run! When can I run again? Will someone please tell me?

Please tell me this condition isn’t terminal!

dog · running · Uncategorized

Do You Want To Be A Runner?

pexels-photoYou know how it goes.  You decide to start running, you make the commitment, you run for a week, two weeks,  or even a month or so, then next thing you know it’s been two months since you laced up your shoes.  This isn’t the only time it’s happened, you want to be a runner, but you just can’t seem to make the habit stick.  Here are my tips for getting running to be a routine.

  1. Run with your dog.  If you have a high energy dog, chances are they will love it, and want more.  Committing to run with your dog means that you have someone counting on you.  Of course, this only works if you have a dog.
  2. Put it on your calendar.  If you get that alert and email on your phone, it’s harder to let your run slide.
  3. Try running farther.  It’s counterintuitive, I know, but I didn’t get hooked until I ran longer distances.  I suspect it’s because of the endocannabinoids, but once I got that runner’s high, there was no going back.
  4. Find a human running buddy.  Again, instant accountability.  If your friend is counting on you to get out of bed on a Saturday morning, you won’t oversleep and ditch her.
  5. Sign up for a Race.  You paid money, you’re committed; now train.
  6. Join a running group.  Almost every area has one.  If you don’t know where to find one, ask at a local running store or check their website.
  7. Download a training app.  Again, reminders, accountability.  The Couch to 5k is a popular app, but there are many others to choose from.
  8. Just Do It.  Decide and commit, keep deciding, and keep committing.  It’s not easy, if it was, everyone would be doing it.

Running has come and gone in my life many times throughout the years, so I understand where you’re coming from.  But believe me, if you commit, and keep running, you won’t regret it.  And if you’re a Pokemon addict like me, you will seriously improve your game!