Some runners get really depressed when they can’t run. I admit that I got a little blue at the prospect of taking a little break from my favorite means of acquiring endorphins. However, there have been some good things that have come out of my running hiatus, including:
1. Not running a crazy hot and tough trail marathon on Sunday. According to KP, who ran the Big Basin marathon, it was 90 degrees at the start (!) and they ran out/were very, very low on water at the first 2 aid stations (!!). It was so hot that KP said she kept overheating, making running nearly impossible and reducing her to power walking for a majority of the race. This was on top of the fact that the terrain was full of small, irregular stretches of ascents and descents, which made it very difficult to establish any kind of running rhythm. So, yes, it was a very good idea that I sat out of that race — it sounds like it would’ve been a strugglefest even if I was completely healthy. With my relief came a heavy dose of guilt at making KP sign up for Big Basin and then not accompanying her on race day. Sorry again KP! Hopefully this will take care of all of your hot weather running karma for a little while.
2. Letting my legs reset. It hit me this weekend that it’s been a LONG time since I’ve woken up without pain and/or soreness in my legs… I think the last time I had zero pain or soreness was in December 2013. No wonder they needed a break! Constant soreness and fatigue might be normal during peak weeks of marathon training, but I had forgotten that they shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence. DUH.
3. Letting my mind reset. I’ve been stuck in marathon training mode physically AND mentally for many months now. Even though I decided to DNS Big Basin last Thursday, I still had the mentality of going balls to the wall with my cross-training and exercises… until I realized how sore I was (see above), and that rest and recovery were probably more crucial right now than maintaining fitness. Sleeping in on the weekend and hanging out with people who I care about — also more important than working out. Double DUH.
4. Developing and accomplishing non-running goals. I suck at swimming, but I’m slowly getting better at it and it’s been fun to hit new benchmarks with every swim. The nice thing about being terrible at something is that improvement is around every corner! It’s definitely a nice feeling.
5. Hiking and taking long walks. When I was running a lot, especially on weekends, I would be too tired after my run to also go on a long walk or a hike with the Gypsy Runner. This past weekend, we took advantage of my non-running status and went on a nice hike on the Coastal Trail in San Francisco. It was awesome!
6. Maintaining perspective. Even though I’m at times angry or sad that I can’t run, I’m still grateful for my health and the ability to be physically active in many other ways. Things could definitely be worse, and my prognosis could too! My injury seems relatively minor and will hopefully resolve in few weeks. (Fingers crossed!)
I would say the only really “bad” thing about not being able to run right now is that my appetite has not adjusted to the decrease in activity. I still feel like I get regular bouts of “runger” even though I’ve run less than 10 miles in the last 2 weeks. All things considered, it’s a minor issue and one that should be remedied with a little bit of self-control, I hope!