|I don't have one of these right now.|
But now, thanks to the parenthetically noted busted ankle, I am not following an official training plan. And as I noted late last week, my not-on-paper plan of three runs and three spins was just a bit ambitious for my out-of-shape self.
So I am without a plan. I feel lost and cold inside.
I can't be alone. I know that a significant number of us runners are injured every year. Something like every single runner ever is hurt and unable to run at least twice in their running career, according to a statistic I just made up. And this fake fact eats at all of us.
But the reality is that serious running and training eats up a huge part of your life and not being able to do it can damage your identity.
Running often becomes the only free time activity a runner does on a regular basis. However, we don't see it that way. Running is no longer just a "free time" pursuit but rather a way of life that must be maintained. We schedule our runs around everything else in our lives; we work our days so to fit in that extra run like it will actually matter in the long term.
For the 99% of you who read this blog and are not Kara Goucher (because she totally reads my blog), you aren't pro runners and your schedule isn't made to make your mileage more doable. However, we all try to make our runs fit into crazy professional/family/school schedules as if we were pros. I ran at least three 20+ mile runs during my last training cycle before 5am on Fridays before going work.
It is a sickness.
But I miss this sickness.
Just prior to my injury, I was in the best shape of my life. My thin clothing was too big and I purchased a killer Mad Man-like suit. Everyone I had not seen in a while said I looked great. But past the vain stuff (which totally matters and anyone who says otherwise is lying to you), I felt great. I was sleeping well and felt like I was making progress on something that was important to me.
Now, my not-as-thin clothing fits alright and that suit lives in the back of the closet. I am not tired in a good way and I don't sleep as well. And the fact that I can't just run 13.1 miles whenever I want is getting to me.
Clearly we need to allow our bodies to heal appropriately but this not plan-less running thing is going to take some getting used to. I was telling people I was excited about not having a planned race and being able to run whatever I wanted...but that wasn't true. I miss the schedule. I miss the pretending that I am pro-athlete when doing laps at the track. I miss the pain in my quads after a 10 mile tempo run on a Thursday and 18 mile Saturday run. I miss complaining about a hill repeats.
I miss being a runner. But I will be back.