March 1, 2018
Yesterday I made a big and difficult decision. After 1,033 days of running every single day, aka a run streak, I knew I had to stop. I knew this was coming because I’ve been nursing an injury for over a week that was making running difficult and creating more pain after the run. Thanks to the wonder of the internet I was able to read some other injured runner’s blogs and articles which helped me realize that I, too , would survive this unwanted rest period. It was a bit scary though, reading how depressed some people get when they get injured. I was afraid that would happen to me.
To put it mildly, change does not come easily me and I resist with all my strength. I had good friends telling me it was time to take some rest and recovery days but I didn’t want to hear it. Losing my streak when I was so close to hitting the 3 year mark was really hard. And my daily routine and identity were totally involved in my running goals and processes. What would I do with my life if I can’t get up , stretch, and run every day?? I will gain 500 pounds if I don’t run! Fear and grief overwhelmed my mind. I could think of nothing else. Thanks to the actual physical pain , though, I went through all the Grief stages very quickly. I denied (I can still run one mile a day, it’s getting better!) , I got angry ( ask my husband) , I bargained (please God!) , I got really depressed ( life sucks and always will) , and now I am in acceptance (shit happens!). It actually took a couple of weeks of denial before I hit the angry stage. I also took the intermediate step of telling my Facebook friends what was going on and asking for prayers. That was a relief to admit that things were going badly. Not sure why but I don’t like publicly admitting my weaknesses. Instead I will just whine and complain to my closest friend.
The unexpected thing is that within hours of making the tearful decision (on the phone with my husband) to end the streak, I was feeling quite good about it. My husband went through the same process after he had to end his streak due to severe knee pain. At first he was devastated, then he said he felt a sense of freedom from the streak requirement of running at least one mile per day. As much as I loved streaking, there were some days it was inconvenient or very painful. I had a few times when I was literally grunting in pain for one mile, especially after running an ultramarathon. I also had some days when I was sick or really didn’t feel like running. Once I ran in an airport which was kinda fun, but also not fun. And then I started having this nagging Achilles pain and the first few minutes of the run was painful.
What does this have to do with 100 miles?
Well, woohoo ! I ran 100 miles from December 30-31, 2017 at the Snowdrop Ultra 55 hour race in Missouri City, Texas. I still have pain on the top of my right foot from that 31 hours of running on a part dirt, part concrete 3/4 mile loop. Those miles didn’t help my already inflamed Achilles tendons. I am sure this helped me sustain the current acute ankle injury that forced me to take a break from running. Was it worth it? YES! I am super proud of that accomplishment and have great memories from the experience.
This BEA-U-Tiful buckle was worth everything it cost me. I would like to run another 100 miler when I can train properly. I took this one very easy and just had fun. I spent 3 hours resting in my tent during the wee hours, which I would probably not do again as it really wasn’t needed. My training leading up to it was not the best so I had low expectations. I ran a very hot 50 miler in October and a fast marathon at the beginning of December that I had to recover from. Besides that I really didn’t do very many long runs. I did manage to PR all my ultra distances in this race . My fastest 50k and 50 miler and 100k . You have 55 hours to finish 100 or as many miles as you want, so it’s a good race for slow people. http://www.snowdropfoundation.org
When I look into the future, I am not sure what I see as far as running. When I’m on Facebook, I see all my friends’ running related posts, race photos and plans and it’s hard to imagine not doing that anymore, so I assume I will go back to it once I heal and rehab my ankle however long it takes. But part of me wonders if I am done with that world. Only time will tell. I’ve been running almost daily since April 2011. Maybe God has something new for me to do.
I am trusting God with my past, present and future. I am not afraid.