I actually ended up running the half marathon in 2:11:49. I was very proud, please, sore, excited, and felt ready to try for a marathon. I made a mistake though; I stopped running for a few weeks to, "Recover." I should have taken a few days and then taken it easy for a while. But I stopped. And then I pushed myself too hard when I started running regularly again. I signed up for a few races for the fall and I ran them, but slowly. My times decreased with each race.
By the 3rd week of November, I was hurting from just standing on my leg. I swore that I had a bone fracture. I went to the ER and the doctor assured me that it was just shin splints. Apparently, "Just shin splints," hurt like hell. They told me to, "Take it easy," and ice it, but didn't provide any clarification about what, "Easy," means. I decided that it meant that I shouldn't run for about a week. The next week, when I started running again (barely), the pain got much much worse and it hurt to walk. Still, I have had no guidance from a doctor about exactly what I should be doing to recover. I decided to rely on the advice I found online from other runners who have had similar injuries, which was not to run until there has been no pain for at least a week. That week ends today.
Not running sucks. Seriously, truly sucks. It is much more difficult for me to care about what I put in my body when I am not fueling myself for a run. My stress tolerance is practically non-existant. I have less energy. I wish I had a better word to describe this feeling than, "Sucks," but it's the best that I've got.
I AM GOING TO RUN TOMORROW!!! I bought new running shoes and this time they recommended shoes with more arch support. I even got a gym membership so that I am not taking the risk of running on icy sidewalks right now. I am so very ready to run again. Emotionally at least. But I am nervous that I am not physically ready. I plan to take it easy...like only running a quarter mile at a time until I am sure I am not aching easy...but I do not want to injure myself again. Now that I have running, the idea of not having running is thoroughly depressing.
As I've mentioned before, running was something that I always said I could never do. I didn't think I could run 1/8 mile. Then I did it. And then I ran a freaking half marathon! And I want to run a full marathon at some point in the next 2 years. But the past few months has made me wonder whether I was right from the beginning. Maybe running isn't right for me.
However, in the fall, I also spent about a month following the Turbo Fire program. Turbo Fire involves a lot of jumping and slamming and hopping and whatnot. So it is possible that Turbo Fire was the problem and not the running. At least that is was I am trying to tell myself.
I gained back about 10-12lbs in the past 2 months. I was less than 10lbs from a healthy BMI. I am now more than 20lbs away. The holiday parties didn't help, but the lack of exercise was a huge problem. I didn't care what I put into my body because it didn't matter if it made me lethargic or heavier. My migraines and tension headaches, which were down to about 1-3x/month came back. In the past few weeks, I have had a migraine almost every day. This is due to increased stress (work, personal life, etc...). But decreased exercise and binge eating did not help the cause.
So this is my recommitment. I'm making a promise to myself. Not a promise to obsess over my weight and only eat health food for the rest of my life. Not a promise to hate myself every time I eat cake. A promise to try to make better choices and to think of my health and my future. A promise to treat myself and my body with respect. A promise to occasionally eat pure sugary goodness and not tell myself that I, "Might as well start eating crappy because I have already failed." A promise that even if I cannot run, I will find a way to exercise and take care of myself.
Yes, I am doing this because I want to be skinnier and I will still be tracking my weight. But this is about more than just my weight. It's about my sense of pride, my stress management, my health, and the sense of joy I get when I finish a run.
I started this blog with a post about the fact that I did not view myself as a runner. I am choosing to change that perspective. When I get back on the treadmill tomorrow and I struggle to run again, I am going to remind myself that I ran a half marathon. I ran more than 10 races this year. I am going to repeat, "I am a runner. I am a runner," in my head until my mind believes me. And then, I am going to repeat it until my body believes me.