I have never been a “runner”. Some people find running naturally easy, relaxing or enjoyable. I never got any of that from running. For me, running is hard. However, I’ve always wanted to be a runner. You see those people running through the river valley, they look like the epitome of health and fitness and I get that urge to run. For me to run I need to set a goal. So I decided to set a bucket list goal of running a half marathon.
So in July 2011 I did my first half marathon – the Stampede Road Race. My training for that race was dismal to say the least. The longest I ran during the training was 11 km and I did that once….
So to state the obvious the race was hard for me…REALLY hard! I remember fantasizing for about 10km the different ways to pretend to twist my ankle so I could bow out “gracefully”. However, despite wanting to quit I continued to run, repeatedly singing Destiny’s Child’s “I’m a Survivor” in my head…..I had forgot my iPod. By some miracle, I finished that race with a time of 2:24 under my goal of 2:30.
After that race, I felt content. I could say I had run a half marathon; I had no desire to try again. And so I stopped running. Until the following summer when my friend asked me if I wanted to go to the Rock n’ Roll Marathon in Las Vegas. I’m not sure if I heard her say marathon I just remember saying “Vegas Baby!”
And so I started running again. And to my surprise, this time I liked it. I really, really liked it. I was getting all those feelings of pleasure out of it like everyone talked about. I was finding myself running longer than my training plan called for, faster than my target pace. And then it happened….an injury! I finished up an 8km run one day feeling fantastic. I sprinted at the end of the run because I was filled with energy and just loving life. Later that night I tried to get off the couch and I almost fell to the ground from the pain in my foot.
For about a week I hobbled around before I realized it was time to see a doctor. I went through a series of doctors, physiotherapist, x-rays, bone scans, etc. And no one seemed to know what was wrong with me. It seemed like tendonitis but wasn’t showing classic symptoms. It seemed like a stress fracture but didn’t show up in the bone scan. Finally a podiatrist decided the best course of action for me would be a cast and crutches for 3 weeks… And when those 3 weeks ended and I didn’t feel any better it was decided I needed another 3 weeks
By the time I got out of my cast and crutches it was 1 day before leaving for Las Vegas. Needless to say…I didn’t run. However, my friend, her husband and my husband did run – a FULL marathon! They all did so amazing and despite my pity party, I was there to cheer them on in full force.
Now after considerable time healing from my injury, I got back in the saddle and started training again. This summer I completed two half marathon’s with my sister! (to be discussed in a further blog post) The training was not without some hiccups (a glute tear that sidelined me for one half marathon). Now I’ve officially been bitten by the running bug. I am already looking at my calendar for next year and setting a new bucket list goal….a full marathon!
Have you had injuries that caused you to quit a race? Are you signed up for any races next year?