Thursday, December 13, 2012

the salts of the earth

In the past 21 days, I've ran a total of 5 times.
With a heel that has been hurting since September, it seemed best to induce a self-imposed running hiatus until the pain subsided. 

My speed has temporarily vanished. 
But in all reality, it's really been gone since late March.

My muscles feel soft, squishy, and weak.
Sore from toes to nose after day 1 back at it.

My endurance is in the negative.

And my body has forgotten how to run.
It's like it's a foreign language.

With 2012 winding down and 2013 lingering just past the horizon, it seemed best to give myself a bit of a break. Things haven't exactly been going my way on the running front this year, which I've pretty much had to come to terms with in order to keep my sanity. All signs begun to point to a bit of downtime after a very painful Saturday evening the first weekend in November when I actually thought there was a bone broken in my foot because I was in so much pain. There was an outrageous amount of swelling and I just couldn't bear weight on the dang thing.

Turns out that taking 2 weeks off of running wasn't so bad.

I made it through by shedding the salt of my wounds through hot yoga and tears, which in my opinion are the two most refreshing ways to cleanse the soul. Sometimes I don't realize how much crap I'm carrying around with me...

lust for Chicago.
anger for things that haven't gone my way.
annoyance for ignorant people.
anxiety for the things to come.
selfishness for my wants.
guilt for resenting those who would give their life for me.

I never thought not running would put me into a place where I felt vulnerable enough to have gratitude for my less than stellar running year. The moments where I felt angry with how I copped out, had to pull the plug, and even when I realized that I got myself into quite a deep pile of do-do...I find value in them all. 

There's nothing like a few moments in a 100 degree room with high humidities where sweat is rolling down my brow blurring my vision while bent over in Dabdayanaba Bibhaktapada Janushirasana (standing separate leg head to knee pose) to bring a bit of gratitude to my life. Standing in a pool of your own sweaty filth while silent really slaps your logic and brings to light that things could always have been worse.

So I'm starting fresh with running again.
No plans yet other than to just move soft and brisk ahead.


  1. I think you had a great year in 2012, but I hope that your pain subsides soon and you can return to running. I've been on a running hiatus for maybe 2 weeks too due to runners knee, I've been in the gym often trying to strengthen up and give my knees a rest.

  2. Oh I completely relate with this....I've taken time off for the most part since the marathon in order to heal...and while my knees thank me, I have found mentally it has hurt me to a point. So I've made myself trudge back to the gym and work out at least a few times a week to regain my sanity.

  3. Running breaks are supposed to be healthy, but it's hard to take them . Good for you for listening to your body, as hard as it was to do!

    Think of yourself as a clean slate, or a piece of clay. Now you can be reshaped or redrawn into whatever masterpiece you and the Creator have in mind!

    Whatever it's worth...the italics..."the crap"...I can identify with it all.

  4. "Dabdayanaba Bibhaktapada Janushirasana"? Are you learning Sanskrit? :-) In running, I'm constantly trying to find ways to stay cool. When I walk into a yoga class where there was just hot yoga, I can't wait for the room to cool down. BTW, I'd like for my speed to have vanished and set two PRs a few months later! :-) Good luck with getting back on-board with running. I'm sure you will be back to top form shortly.

    1. kind of, unofficially. really want to get that yoga cert to teach in the next few years. and they weren't official pr's, just 2nd and 3rd 5k bests...which is still pretty impressive i suppose. maybe that's the secret to 5k's for me, run less???

  5. Well, I guess I should take up hot yoga again. I am sort of on a running hiatus as well dealing with injury. Glad you've made it to a place of gratitude. I'm happy for you! I hope 2013 is a great year for you.

  6. I just came back from a 5 week non-running and non-exercising break. I enjoyed not running and actually having time with friends and also get ready for the holidays, but at the same time I felt guilty for not doing anything and I knew it will be so much tougher to start again. Yes, I notice a difference but it is actually not that bad. HAng in there and allow your body to heal, you will come back stronger!

  7. Sounds like plantar fasciitis? That's what I had this past year. Hurt so much I thought I had a stress fracture in my calcaneus. It takes a long time to heal : (. I took 5 months off from any consistent running (not all because of my heal....was also busy with residency), and it is now almost completely gone. Wearing a splint at night REALLY helped me as well. I know a really good foot doctor in Chicago if you need one.

    1. It is PF. It's been an ongoing battle since 2006, where I haven't had an issue with it since 2008. Seems silly that it decides to flare up when I'm running less, but it is what it is I suppose! The body wants what it wants, and this is a clear sign that rest is needed! If I need a doc I will for sure be contacting you. At this time I'm trying to self medicate and play doc to myself.

  8. I have been struggling with tendonitis in my Gluteus Minimus since I ran the Chicago marathon in October. Its been very hard emotionally and physically. But theres something to be said for letting the body rest and building it up in different ways. I appreciated this post though because I think I'm learning that being a life long runner is a lot about being flexible with yourself and your running goals.

    1. It's a hard reality to embrace to know that not everything comes on our timing. Rest is way underrated! Sending you healing wishes!