Let me begin with an apology...this is a fairly lengthy rant that most will probably find to be really whiney and boring. I think I just woke up this morning and needed to vent, and poof, there lay my computer...
Don't you hate it when you can't do something you love?
I do. And I'm really struggling with it right now.
As you might recall, on New Year's Eve, I committed myself to my new year's resolution by registering for the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon in April. I was a little unsure if it was such a good idea, being so far out, but I knew if I didn't sign up right then and there, I probably would put it off long enough to let the goal once again slip away.
At the time, I hadn't run in over a month in an attempt to nurse a stress fracture in my left shin back to health. It was really hard for me to stop doing something I had come to enjoy so much, but I took December off, knowing once January rolled around, I'd be in good shape to go at it again.
My primary fear in signing up for the half marathon wasn't so much taking the time to train or suffering through an intense training regimen. In fact, I was really excited to watch myself grow in endurance and finally prove to myself that I had the strength and willpower to set such a lofty goal and then see it through. What scared me the most as I spent that $90 to register, which doesn't even go to charity by the way, was the likelihood of another injury cramping my ability to train and reach that goal.
Well, for a good while, things were going great. It definitely took me awhile to get my lungs back in the swing of things, and I struggled at first to even get through a 2 mile run. Eventually though, the endurance returned, and I felt great. My shins felt great too, thanks to my sexy new Asics the Benjamin gave me for Christmas. I call them sexy because the guy who sold them to us did...and I won't even lie, they do look quite good.
Three or four weeks into training, however, I noticed a dull pain in my right quad muscle. It was really strange, and at first I just attributed the hurt to general fatigue...I was running a whole heck of a lot after all. I kept at it for another week or so before realizing that the pain was not going away, and in fact was getting worse. Walking even was becoming difficult.
I guess you could say it all culminated last Friday morning as I ran an early 3-miler on the treadmill. The pain was awful, and I knew I had to stop or the injury, whatever it may be, would never heal. It was terrible. I broke down. I thought it was over. I came back to my room and called the Benjamin bawling. I was so excited about this goal. And I was so on track to achieve it, but my body just wasn't cooperating.
I know it sounds crazy petty for someone to get so upset over some pain in her upper thigh. And I realize that not running for a week or two might not put everyone out there down in the dumps. But it is killing me. I talked with my mom about it last weekend, and she made me feel better about being upset. She herself used to be a frequent and avid runner, until hip problems stopped her from high impact exercise altogether. She told me it is still hard for her to see other people running though, and I can completely understand why. Yesterday the Benjamin and I went walking over at Sequoyah, and every time someone passed by jogging, my heart died a little more.
I had just come to love the activity so much. As much as I dreaded checking the next run off my training schedule, I found myself having a hard time even taking a day of rest. It's almost like I'm addicted to it or something, but not in a bad or harmful way, just because it makes me feel so free and empowered. I love running through God's creation and savoring the strength He puts in my legs. It was such a joy, and I truly miss it...even though it's only been a week. Hah.
And I'm struggling-hard core-with why this is happening. I have been learning in Bible study this semester the joy of simply delighting in life and delighting in the Lord. Delight is my new favorite word by the by... I thought I had reached a strong understanding of God's purpose in everything in my life, and then this hits. Could it be that I was starting to idolize my running and He wants me to step back and see that? Could it be an ever-needed reminder that He is in full control and I was beginning to take too much into my own hands? I really don't know, but all I can tell you is I'm a little frustrated.
I know I don't deserve anything from Him, but I'm just struggling to fully understand that and fully give up control I guess. But I wish I could let things go because it's seriously toying with happiness. I hope I can just continue to come to know a greater happiness that doesn't involve running...
I haven't gone to a doctor, by the way. It just takes so long, and in my experience, the only thing they can tell you is to stay off of it for 4-6 weeks. Well I don't have 4-6 weeks, so I'm hoping for a faster recovery, but we'll see how it goes. It seems like I've got some bigger stuff to take away from this experience, so hopefully I'll be able to focus on that instead. Or I might just run today. That would be wise. Psh.