Tag Archives: running

Running Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Bridge

(Repost from one of my favorites, Adult Ballerina Project)

I haven’t talked much about my running recently, but HQ and I recently got back into it at the end of the August and have been running an average of three times a week, slowly working our way back into it (and trust me, it’s felt like a struggle some of the time in Philadelphia’s […]

Source: Running Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Not what I expected…

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This was not the result I was hoping for when I registered for Sunday’s half marathon last spring. That’s a DNF (did not finish)…or more accurately, a DNS (did not start). If you’ve been following along, you already knew I made the tough choice to sit out the race following my injury flaring back up in November.

I’ve had to work through some emotions during that time, and the past few weeks were pretty tough watching everyone else get excited about their races. It felt like when you got passed up by the cool kids in middle school. I wanted to be happy for all my friends, but I’ll be honest that some days, I had to work at it more than others.

I began to wonder if this was a sign that my days of longer distance running were over. “Maybe I should stick to 5k and 10k races,” I thought. This was the result of having a challenging training season prior to the injury’s re-emergence. I was doing well until October, when I had all the car drama. That took me away from the Houston Fit group on Saturdays as I was consumed with selling the old car and buying a new one. Solo runs on Sunday felt harder. I tried to follow the plan of running without music, but that is hard on your own, and without the neat routes they select for us. By the time I got through that, the injury flare popped up.

And then this weekend happened. Thanks to all the activities I was still a part of due to my Ambassador duties. I felt a part of the running world again. It started with hearing Meb Keflezighi share how hard it was for him to sit out of a race when he was injured, and using that to come back (and then having him tell me personally that I would come back…and to focus on my cross training and what I could while I heal).

Saturday’s EXPO reinforced this. Seeing the joy of so many people gearing up to race the next day began to give me hope that I could be among them. A quick spin around the booths led me to find a race in Galveston in April that not only looks like a lot of fun, but has a 5k option.

So I thought, “Hey, I can do that. Even if I don’t start training in earnest until Charity Ball is done in 3 weeks, that’s about the same amount of time I trained for my very first 5k.” And the bonus? I have running experience I didn’t have 7 years ago. I have the backing of all I learned in physical therapy to improve my form and work to prevent further injuries.

But it was today, race day, which really brought me back to thinking I could do longer distances again. I decided to cheer from the finish line, instead of sitting at home and moping (Thank you Eileen for the pass!) To see the runners crossing the finish line took me back … to my first half here in Houston 3 years ago, and even to my second in Galveston 2 years ago. The sense of accomplishment, mixed with exhaustion and all kinds of other feelings, is just awesome.

And I want to feel that again. And I will.

Church tonight reinforced it. This week’s readings included the ones where we are told our bodies are not our own, and that they are a temple. I felt it was God’s way of telling me that I need to do all I can with the body I have been given, while I’m young and healthy enough to do it!

Other than the 5k in three months, I’m not sure when or where I’ll attempt a half, or maybe even (gasp!) a full. Houston is high on my list…you can’t beat running in your town with friends to cheer you on. But I’ll have to see how my return to running goes. When I’m closer to getting ready, I’ll make a decision … but it would be great to be running one of those distances a year from now.

Sounds like I may have just come up with my first Before 40 bucket list item.

Adjusting expectations

Sometimes, life throws us a curveball. Months ago, I would have thought that today I would be just about two weeks away from my third half marathon.

But, it’s not meant to be. After successfully completing physical therapy in November, my injury flared back up just 2 days later. I was in mile 4 of what was supposed to be a 9-miler that weekend. Logically, all I can attribute it to is walking around a bunch the day before at the UH Homecoming game … I had been warned before about not using the muscle too much back-to-back.

Spiritually, I think it was a sign to slow back down again. 2014 was a year of my life where I stepped back and started making changes in my life. I hired a personal trainer and began to get more serious about making healthy nutrition and fitness choices. I ended or cut back some volunteer commitments to make room for new adventures. I went through ups and downs with my vehicle.

And perhaps the biggest change came while I spent the past 6 weeks resting my leg: I adopted a dog! I’ve missed having a sidekick since my Lab, Buddy, passed away right before my divorce. I knew when the time was right, another pooch would come into my life.

And, Ava has been helpful in getting me active again. I think we’ve had maybe 1 day since I brought her home nearly 2 weeks ago that I haven’t gotten my 10,000 steps (and that’s because we spent yesterday watching parades and football!). 

I’m starting to see progress. I had a pain-free personal training session this week while doing some leg work. I ran for a full minute earlier this week. As you can see from the below, I haven’t been doing much of that lately (November 9 was the re-injury, and the rest are walks with the exception of 2 intervals of 30 seconds on Thanksgiving which led to some pain later in the day.):

I’m sad not to be running the half marathon with my Ambassador buddies. I’ll be honest, I was down about it for the past few weeks. But I realized what was more important was to listen to my body, and to help it heal so that I can run and do all the other activities I enjoy again. 

I just have to remember what I was told, and what I was experiencing, in physical therapy: an injury is a chance to step back and learn about how our body works, so we can build it up even stronger than before. 

I guess like other things in my life, God stepped in to say I wasn’t done learning my lesson yet. It’s not yet my time to be racing again. But my time will come. I’ve been known to work years to accomplish other goals in my life. Why is this different?

So friends, if you experience road blocks and detours, in running or elsewhere in life, know they are there for a reason, learn from them, and don’t give up!

And P.S.: I will still be there marathon weekend cheering everyone on!