“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.
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?