I could write a book about what I've learned in the last six months about injuries and recovery. Running teaches you a lot about yourself. So does not being able to run. And so, apparently, does returning to running.
Here is what I learned last night as I headed out into the rain, the wind and the rapidly dropping temperatures for my 50 minute run:
- when you haven't been able to run you become so grateful when you finally can that pesky little things like weather no longer matter
- you actually can smile as the wind and rain try to beat you down. Smile, wave to the gods and carry on as if it were the perfect day
- when you haven't been able to run you return to it with a whole different outlook. Now I no longer check my watch to see how much longer I have to run or how much farther I have to go. I check it to see how far I've run and how long my legs have been carrying me. It's a subtle difference but it changes everything.
- I now celebrate what I can do rather than mourn what I can't.
- I let down my guard a little bit last night and guess what happened? My love of running saw the wee crack in my armour and blew it to pieces. I have been cautiously optimistic about running since I started back in December. I refused to let myself get too excited in case I had a relapse. Last night I galloped through my run as if it were speed training. I felt strong and capable and I finally let myself imagine what it might be like to run a half marathon in June.
- all those annoying strengthening exercises I've been doing religiously for months actually work. Seriously. Tying bands to the couch legs and doing countless repetitions to build up my thighs, my calves, my shin muscles (whatever the hell they're called) - I can actually feel the difference all that work has made. Thanks Geoff.
- Oh, and remember how I told you that I'm working from home for a month? Well I had my work laptop open and this picture of me is on my desktop. It was taken 2 1/2 years ago.
Doug saw it and said that I don't look at all like that anymore. I thought he meant I looked different because my hair is so much longer. No, he said your body has completely transformed in the last year.
I don't have any current running pictures but this was taken last September so it will have to do. I guess I HAVE changed a wee bit haven't I?
I am runner. Hear me RAWR!!