“Aren’t you going crazy?”

“Do you like, go crazy when you can’t run?”

“Oh my gosh, you must be going nuts!”

“I bet you’re trying to run even though you’re hurt, right?”

I hear statements like these a lot now that I’m hurt. Because I happen to run a lot and I happen to be injured, a lot of people assume that I’m basically a ball of nervous energy and I’m over here rocking back and forth like a crack fiend who can’t get their fix now that I can’t run.

I’m not. And I kind of feel bad about that. Like less of a runner, in a way.

We hear stories about people who “need” their run every day: the moms whose kids tell them to go for a run if they start nagging more than normal, the stressed out businessman who has to run after a crappy day at work. For the most part, I’m not one of those people. When I was going through my separation/divorce, I was, but I’m not anymore. The fact of the matter is that I don’t need to run.

Of course, I miss running, and there have been plenty of days since I was told I have a stress fracture that I’ve found myself thinking “man, I wish I could run today.” But that’s mostly because I’ve been visiting cool places that would be great for a run, or because the weather is particularly nice, or because I basically hate all other forms of exercise.  It’s not because I’m losing my mind without an outlet.

As embarrassed as I am to admit it, this break from running has been kind of nice. Training hard can be mentally (and physically) exhausting, and I get pretty wound up over adhering strictly to my training schedule. If anything, I almost always overshoot my goal paces and distances, and I rarely miss runs. But that’s an addiction to training and excelling, not to running, and so finding out that I was being forced to take a break from that for awhile felt strangely like relief.

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Whatever, I’m not denying it.

And that makes me feel bad. I have friends who are much more seriously injured than me right now who would kill to go for a run, and I don’t miss it as much as I feel like I should. Maybe that’s why I’ve been able to be so positive about the whole thing – I was kind of looking forward to the mental break. Of course, I’m looking forward to getting back to running and training hard and seeing how much faster I can get (without breaking another bone), but in the mean time, it’s nice to have a little less pressure. On that note, it’s sad that I need a fairly serious injury to take pressure off myself, but whatever.

Anyway, I was just thinking about that this weekend. I guess I realized that I run because I want to, not because I need to, but I find myself wishing I “needed” to. Isn’t it funny how a few articles in running magazines can make you feel like you’re not a real runner just because you aren’t losing your mind if you have to take a break?

Moral of the story: I put too much pressure on myself about really absurd shit. That is all.

LEAVE A COMMENT: How have you handled an injury that left you on the sidelines? Did you go crazy or were you relieved by the break?

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