I am starting to run again!

The “featured image” on this blog is me nearing the finish line of a half marathon I ran in September 2013 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I finished just 52 seconds over my goal time of two hours. I was never a runner but always fit. In the course of life, I gained weight and at some point I was near 250 lbs. Through eating right and exercising, that weight slowly came off. Running was a big part of my life, I ran every other day for almost 3 years, give or take a few injuries.

After the half marathon, it reinforced my ultimate goal of running a marathon, it would be the apex of everything I accomplished and my commitment to living healthy! I had already run a few 13 mile runs prior to the half marathon so I just had to build my mileage up from that point. After a week off to rest, I slowly started adding mileage. Soon I was running 14 miles, 15 miles and then when I hit 16, things started going downhill. I had a pain in my left knee and pain in my right foot. By the following weekend, I felt better and ran an 18 miler. When I got home, I had the same symptoms. I used compression, I used Ice, I used a roller, I shortened my distances. Eventually the knee pain went away the day after all of my runs, my foot felt like it was broken!

I probably mentioned this in a previous blog but I went to my doctor and after mentioning all the pains she said “You’re getting to be of THAT age”, but I know so many more older and faster people who are of that age and seem perfectly capable of doing what apparently I am having a hard time doing.  Anyway, my doctor sent me to a Podiatrist and I was diagnosed with a Morton’s Neuroma in my foot. It is just an inflamed nerve but wow! it hurts! over the course of 3 months I had 3 cortisone shots, each one made it feel worse. The doctor said that either I should have surgery to remove it or live with it. I decided to give it 3 months to see how things felt and they felt better.3 months turned into 6 and now I’m slowly getting back into it.

I always wondered about “running plans” like the Couch to 5K (10k, Half Marathon, Full Marathon) because I always felt like it was more than I could manage at times. Are these plans made for everyone? a 20 year old, a 30 year old?… This year I will be 46 years old (damn, where did the time go?) I am taking the wisdom of my doctor, I am taking my own trepidation about these running plans into consideration and will likely go slower, add more rest days and be more conscious of injuries.

Yes, I was running every other day. Yes, I was running through “slight” injuries. No, I really didn’t drop mileage as much as I should have. Did I over train? No…err maybe. For my age, I probably over trained. I am a bit disappointed, I deferred Chicago last year and could have “ran” it this year (Oct 2015) but there is no way I can train to run 26 miles in the amount of time I have. Sure I could probably walk part of it but I wanted to accomplish running 26 miles! –I’m sure there is a Buddhism link here somewhere “There is Suffering”-  I have to accept that the training for this may be something out of my reach physically. Maybe training smarter will bring me closer but I will be a realist now, just enjoy those runs and not push the envelope.

Running can be a great deal like meditation. It helps clear the mind and it keeps you physically fit. I’m glad I’m back!