Just Because I'm a "Runner", Doesn't Mean Running is Easy

LMR running in Joshua Tree

Some people think, “She’s a runner, so she loves every run and it’s easy”. That is not true at all. Running has been difficult both physically and mentally lately and I’ve had my share of those times in my past.

I don’t enjoy every run. I don’t want to get out there every morning. I struggle to complete the miles I am supposed to. My cardio strength is currently not strong. I used to be able to hold conversations during my easy runs and right now it is a struggle to not sound like I’m hyperventilating. My hips have been getting sore and feel really tight. My left foot, although better, still is sensitive. I live in fear that my foot and/or hips will be in such pain that I will have to stop running again. The slightest twinge of ache gets me worried and it might just be a little soreness. Being forced to stop running for 3 years really has me cautious and sometimes a bit paranoid about injuries.

But I look at it as a new challenge. It will take a different mental toughness to not try to run my old paces and to be smart in each race that is on my calendar. I was feeling excited after Chicago Marathon that I might be able to get back to my old speed, but I ruined it by not being consistent in my running and taking care of my body.

It feels defeating sometimes not being able to run the paces I used to, but I know that it took me years to get to those times. Starting from scratch means time and a lot of hard work. It will also be knowing when to say no-like running LA Marathon. Maybe I could have walked/jogged it and survived but I know would have gotten injured. I don’t have all the money in the world but losing a race fee over a long term injury is worth it for me.

Right now I’m focusing on being healthy and smart with my training and that means building consistency and listening to my body. I plan on working on having better self control to pace myself better during races and runs. I’m working on building up my routine and habit of a good balance of strength, mobility, running and rest.

Running isn’t easy for me but it’s the journey and accomplishment of overcoming challenges that keeps me going. My next race is Boston’s Run to Remember. My goal will be to treat it was a training run. I may try to run slightly faster than a training run if my body feels good but if not, I’ll be in it for the miles and experience of the spectators!

Have any of you struggled with getting back after injury?