My Month of No Running… A Year Later

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This past Thursday, I came back home after housesitting in Sycamore for two and a half weeks.  Other than seeing my husband and my cats, I was most excited to run along the lake again.  It’s an awesome experience.  To one side you have the lake and the beaches, and (if you run as early as I do) the beautiful sunset.  On the other side you have lake shore drive and all the early morning commuters zooming by.

It’s the perfect balance of zen and chaos.  I love it. 

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Friday morning rolled around and I popped right out of bed when my alarm went off at 5:30 am.  Yes folks, I wake up that early on weekdays.  It was the perfect day for a run.  Not too hot but not too cold.  There was a slight breeze, not the winter gale force wind I had been experiencing for months and there was a gorgeous sunrise.  It was one of those runs where you don’t even realize you’re running because everything is just perfect.

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As I was blissing out over this run, I started to think back to last year.  About this time last year as I was on one of my runs my left knee started to hurt.  Then it started to really hurt.  Then I had to stop running and walk and then sit down in the middle of a country road and wonder how I was going to get back home.  It was the first time that I had a real running injury.  I had gotten my share of blisters and chafing and other running maladies but I had never had a full-blown, can’t run it hurts so bad injury.

I was devastated.

Not because I was hurt or because it was really painful but because I could NOT run.  I tried to trick myself and took a few days off thinking I would be fine after the weekend.  Yeah, no dice.  There was no way I was going to be able to keep my regular running schedule with that knee.

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It was a really hard month.  I was mopey and crabby and pouty.  Adam should get a medal for being around me because I was not a pleasant person to be around. Running felt like the only thing that defined me as far as physical activity.  I had fallen in love with running and it had helped changed me inside and out and to suddenly have it ripped away really took it’s toll on me.

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It sounds dramatic, but I know other runners will feel me on this one.

But here I am a year later, running along Lake Shore Trail despite my dark moments of despair when I would cry and ask Adam if I would ever run again.  That month of no running taught me a lot of things and they have stuck.

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1. I am not just a runner.  I have so many other things going for me

2. I don’t have to run every single day to be physically fit, in fact I shouldn’t run every single day

3. Running isn’t the only form of exercise that I enjoy.  I actually like lifting heavy weights and want to lift even heavier

4. I can handle adversity, but I need to learn how to do it with a little more grace.

5. I need to be thankful every run that I can do because sometimes I can’t

Sometimes things happen in life that knock you down so that you can pick yourself up and be stronger.

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I think experiencing a month of no running helped me to get to where I am right now.  And where I am right now is pretty awesome.  I am truly blessed to be living the life I am and I love being able to do things that I believe in and help others.  I have an amazing support system and I learn new things each day.  I have pushed my limits more than I thought I could and I am ready to go even further past my comfort zone.  Running has given me so much but not running gave me more than I thought possible.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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