Setbacks

I could have just cried.

Actually, I think I did a little. And it’s all because of this seed pod.

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Running has become one of my favorite things to do. I love the wind, the sweat, the sound of my feet hitting the pavement. I love being outside and enjoying the fresh air, no matter the temperature. I’ve managed to maintain a running distance of 10-15 miles a week. I’ve successfully ran a 5K, a 10K, and a half-marathon. I’ve noticed pounds fall off and then watched my weight plateau as I build muscle. I fought my weak-from-lack-of-exercise lungs that refused to let me run longer than a few minutes of a time and built them up into powerhouses that allowed me to endure more than 2 hours of constant heavy breathing. I’ve learned to be proud of myself, setting and meeting physical goals I never thought I could.

But it had been nearly 3 weeks since my last run. The very day my mom came down for a visit (which would have normally given me the rare opportunity for daily runs sans stroller) I came down with a head cold. Anytime I’m sick with anything it seems to go straight to my lungs, making breathing more laborious. Walking downstairs or kicking the ball with my daughters for a few minutes is enough to force me to sit and catch my breath for a while.

It’s extremely frustrating, because I’ve learned that if I don’t baby my lungs a little and rest as much as possible it will inevitably result in a 3-day cold lasting 3 months. Basically, I can’t run until those simple activities no longer make me lose my breath. And then, I have to start all over again – a mile here, a mile there – until I can build up my lung strength to handle the longer distances I’d worked so hard to achieve before.

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There’s a mental aspect to it too. Do I really want to go out? What if I can’t go as far as I used to? Do I want to start all over?  Every day that I cannot run it’s a constant battle to stay motivated to go once I’m better… to convince myself how much I miss it… how much I need it… how everyone has setbacks… how many people overcome their setbacks.

Because of that silly head cold, I hadn’t run in nearly 3 weeks. And I was scared. Scared I’d be slower, tire more quickly, give up. But I sucked it up, convinced Julia that we should head out, and laced up my sneaks. And it was great, at least until about halfway through my run when I stepped on a seed pod. My right ankle completely twisted over until it was lying flat on the pavement, causing me to stumble quite a bit. Pain shot throughout my foot, and I had a pretty hard time getting myself upright.

IMG_6978I was about a mile away from home, and planned to walk back but I ended up running a bit due to the massive rain cloud that appeared over my head out of nowhere.  Julia had had a fever the week before and I didn’t want her to get rained on, so Mommy instincts won out over potential pain.  For some reason my ankle hurt much less when I ran than when I walked, so it wasn’t so bad.

IMG_7006I iced my ankle for a while, and tried to stay off of it as much as possible.  I didn’t think there was any major injury, but I definitely thought I should wait a few days before trying to run again. Gotta love the egg-sized lump on my right foot – I think there’s an ankle bone somewhere in there. Grrrrrrr….  I was just so bummed that I’d finally beaten the illness and the mental hurdles only for this to happen.  I guess the positive thing here is that before each of my running events (especially the half) I was terrified that something like this would happen – better that it did now than before an event I paid money for!

IMG_7016Lesson learned: seed pods can wreak havoc on ankles.  Avoid at all costs.  Oh – and that setbacks happen to everyone, but you gotta keep going.

In the words of the great Annie Lennox – yes, I know she didn’t write it, but it’s my favorite version:

Don’t let it bring you down 
It’s only castles burning
Find someone who’s turning 
And you will come around 

Here’s hoping I can hit the pavement again soon!

 

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7 thoughts on “Setbacks

  1. Sanne Williamson says:

    Ugh, that sucks!!! I’m so sorry!
    Just remember that you CAN do it- you’ve proven that to yourself over and over again. Still can’t believe you did the big 13.1!!!
    I can only imagine how frustrated you must be… But just take it easy and you’ll be running again before you know it! 😘

  2. I’m sorry to hear about your ankle and your cold, but I love your frame of mind!! You’re really pushing through the negativity and I know you’ll get to the other side!!! 🙂 🙂 Have a great weekend and feel better!!

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