Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Needing to Rebuild

It is time to rebuild.
My running has been, terrible. I don't remember the last time I had a great run---at this point, I would even take a good run.

I seriously don't even remember the last time that I came home from a run and thought--those miles felt good, they flew by. My weekly mileage has been decent--not great. I am averaging between 20-25 miles a week.
I was really frustrated with myself this weekend on my runs, so I made a decision that I would start from scratch. Running is so mental, and I often think that it it more mental for me than many others.

Growing up playing soccer, I always had to run. Every single time I messed up, or a teammate messed up, our punishment was running. In college, I played at a Division 1 school, and it was the same story just at a higher level. Every time someone was a minute late to practice or a team event, it was a 50 yard sprint for each minute. Don't make me go back to the time when a freshman was 30 minutes late to team dinner because she went to her dorm to shower. The next day after practice we got to run  30 50 yards sprints.

Sometimes, the fact that I have run multiple marathons amazes me. Again, so much about running is mental, and right now, I am losing that mental battle.

Sure, I have had some physical setbacks that have hurt my running. Namely, the gigantic planters wart that has grown on the ball of my foot. I have had it cut out twice, because it keeps coming back. I had it removed in December, and its already back, and it is o so painful. (Please don't be intimated by my sexy talk of warts.) My visits to the podiatrist have gone something like this:

Me: Why do these keep coming back?

Dr: I don't know

Me: What can we do to keep them from coming back?

Dr: Cut it out

Me: How long will it take to heal?

Dr: About a week.

Me: Ok lets do it.

During the cutting process (Again, with all the sexiness) each doctor has felt obligated to talk inform me that if I had been more careful sexually, I might not have contracted this virus that causes warts.

Me: Um, doc, I have had these since I was a small child

Doc: O, well some people are just born with the virus that causes this.

After each procedure, it took nearly 3 weeks not 1 to heal, and almost always hurts.

And now, its back again, and flippin huge. And it hurts with every single step. I have used that pain as an excuse to stop running and walk for a bit.

This morning, I ran 3 miles. I told myself I could go as slow as I wanted, but I was not going to stop. I ran 3 miles in 28:00 minutes, and that was the very best I could do. A few months ago I was running the sames distance in about 24:00 minutes with no problem. I ran without music, which is something I never do, and I hated hearing myself breath and struggle, but I really needed to tune into my body.

Yes, I had a ton of excuses for running that slowly. My foot hurt, it was already 80 degrees, the humidity was really high, the wind was blowing really hard. But I kept going, even when my legs felt like lead. I kept running, kept struggling, and came home a sweaty mess.

This week is going to be all about the short distances for me. Its going to be about reconnecting with my body. Listening to my body, and defeating that little whisper of doubt telling me I can't do it, I can't go faster, I can't go farther.

Its time to put the doubt monster to bed.


Holly KN said...

I'm down with your plan. Go for it! Sometimes, it's hard to face up to where we are now vs. where we were. And while it's important to know what factors contribute to our struggles (warts, heat, etc.), it's important to differentiate between considerations and excuses. Be kind to yourself, and remember that every workout is a gift - from you, to yourself. You'll move past this point, slowly but surely.

I'm not sure if this would help, but have you tried something like Dr. Scholls corn cushions? Basically, they're a layer of padding with a hole cut out (ostensibly, for the corn) - perhaps such a thing would put less pressure directly on the wart?

And don't discount the heat - it matters! But you will, with time, acclimate. Hang in there, and don't give up!

Denise said...

I get this but...

if you are in pain I'm not sure why you would continue to run - will it make it worse?

anytime I have been injured I have had to completely stop running in order to heal - that is harder than the running sometimes.

I trust you know the difference between good and bad pain...

and, 3 miles in 28 minutes is still impressive :)

Jeano said...

Aye, that sounds really painful!! I don't think I'd be able to run with pain like that, especially if it were on the ball of my feet. I would totally recommend "starting from scratch;" I did that this past fall and have come quite a long way since then! I think I was so focused on "this is what I should be running" that I didn't allow myself to run what my body needed me to be running. Not that you're doing that, but it could definitely help!

Also, 3 miles in 28 minutes is a "fast" run for me.

Brooke said...

spring time running is always difficult for me. i admire you for trying to get back in the habit during allergy/humidity season

The Budgeting Babe said...

Oh we have so much to discuss.

1. I'm doing 20-ish miles per week now. I started a running club and initially it was great, but now I'm back to running by myself. (Working towards that first marathon.) There is something beautiful about running solo that I miss when I run with buddies. Whether it's counting my breaths or feeling my feet hit the ground, I love doing a three or four-miler to get in tune with myself. Everybody has those slumps; how you break out of it will make you a better runner. Maybe even take some time to try a few other sports. I found that moving to triathlon was a great way rekindle my love of running. Plus, when you get foot warts, you can just bike.

2. OMG WITH THE DOCTORS AND THE SEX QUESTIONS! It happens to me too! And every time, I'm like, uh, I started getting warts when I was in high school sports, jerk. This virus has been with me forever. I have left several doctors because of this. I've had doctors accuse me of it without even knowing anything about my sex life or if I even have sex. It's so intrusive and annoying. There are something like 100 kinds of HPV strains and only a small fraction are sex-related. We need to STOP THE MADNESS about accusing people that they have an STD when it's been picked up from a locker room in childhood! End rant.

Well, I hope you start feeling better. I say, if the runs don't improve, take some time off completely and try some new things. There's no sense in doing something that you don't love because you feel you have to. That's a pretty good way to burn out. Listening to your body involves listening to the physical and the mental sometimes.