Not running sucks! It’s as simple as that. For the past four years, I have worked at improving as a middle-aged runner, nurtured friendships by running, maintained my weight by running, and relieved stress by…running. After my big fail at the Derby Mini, I took two weeks off. I had read that one shouldn’t really take more time off than that because then the IT band tightens up, and it could become worse. I thought that was good news. My plan was to take those two weeks, which happened to be extremely busy anyway, and then be satisfied with three to four mile runs for about six to eight weeks. Once I was healed, which I would be, I could add miles, and then train for another half in October.
Apparently, God has other plans, which I have yet to decipher. When will I learn? I patiently waited my two weeks, and one Saturday morning, hit the streets. By mile one, my knee hurt. Crap. By mile 1.75, it was unbearable. I hobbled back to my car, and still thought that next time would be better. The following Monday, I wanted to run with my friend, Jennifer. She had been out of town for a few weeks, and we needed to catch up. We managed three miles, but they were slow, painful, and broken up with walk breaks. Because I had managed three miles, I was slightly encouraged. The next day (I am persistent, if nothing else), I went out again. It hurt. I made it about two miles, but it hurt like hell. I was irritated. I finally had to give into my body. I couldn’t keep trying when clearly it was not getting better. The top of my foot also began to hurt, which I later found out was because of the awkward running I was doing because of the knee pain. If I kept it up, I was really going to screw myself up. I had to stop. So I did.
I made the decision to take six long, and I mean terribly long, weeks off running. This comes right when I am off school, and could do early morning and late night runs, which I LOVE! However, if I ever want to do those runs again, I have to quit being so stubborn. It’s been a little over a week since my decision, so since April 27, almost a month, I have run three times. And I have already gained five pounds despite doing other workouts. I don’t mind supplementing running with Zumba or Biggest Loser team workouts, but I dislike having to decide what I am going to do for exercise every day. I am hopeful that since school is out, Addison and I can play tennis, ride bikes, and hit the gym. The problem is nothing is as efficient at burning calories as running for me. I can’t do Zumba every day. I plan to do the Spartacus workouts on a regular basis, but am afraid that’ll soon get old. I should go to spinning classes, but it just isn’t much fun for me (sorry to my spinning friends and husband). In a couple weeks, we are heading to Virginia Beach to see my step-daughter and her family. I absolutely love getting up early and running when we are there. It looks like this year I will have to be satisfied with early-morning walks. What a bummer. Gary and I had also found an 8k race that was taking place while we are there, but now I know there is no way I can run five miles. Not even close.
One thing that is helping me get through running abstinance is that when I had a hysterectomy two years ago, I couldn’t run for six weeks, and was able to come back and run a half marathon 12 weeks after surgery. As long as my knee actually does get better, I will be back. I just hope this knee heals. It still hurts, and deep down I fear I will have problems with it from now on. When I began running, a coworker told me that running was really hard on the knees. I thought ‘Not me, my knees are fine’, and I thought about all of the older people I see at races. I truly didn’t think I would be affected. Wrong, again. I might have to change the name of my blog to ‘Grandma Walks’. How boring is that?