Renewing WHY I run
How a charity bib at Marine Corps Marathon will bring back my motivation.
Coming back from an injury is tough for so many reasons. I have been cleared to run by my physical therapist, but I have a lot of work and maintenance to do in order to keep the pain at bay and prevent the injury from coming back again. I still want to run – to lace up my shoes, perform my warm-up routine and head out onto the road. But where the fire sizzles out a little is in the recovery process. Twice a week I go to PT and I’m forced to do my core and glute work, but the rest of the week it’s hard to find the motivation to continue the strength work on my own. Why? I have been dying to run for over seven months, so why is it so hard to find the drive to make that happen?
Life has drastically changed over the past seven months. See the full story here. When my injury happened, I was amidst marathon training in the beautiful September weather. Then came fall, winter, spring. Three seasons of a harsh change in my routines. For the first month or two I did almost nothing. Too afraid to make it worse, whatever it was. Injuries can entirely derail your normal life. No longer popping out of bed excited to reach for my shoes in the morning. No more Saturday mornings of getting up for my group long run and seeing friends. No more post-run well deserved big breakfast and afternoon ice cream. No more outlet and release of stress from my job. There is no denying that life has changed.
Some mornings I find it hard to get out of bed, sitting and scrolling through social media for 20 minutes before sitting up to roll out my foot on my massage ball. Lazily eating breakfast before doing some haphazard therapy work. Putting off yoga to write this blog post.
Some people say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Others say 66 days. No matter what the correct number is, I haven’t exactly tried to form new habits to get myself out of bed and do the work. In reality, they aren’t even new habits. I have to re-form old habits. Yes, I’m spending two days a week at physical therapy, but that leaves five days. I should be spending one of those days doing the same PT exercises again. One or two days should be yoga heavy. And somewhere in there, three of those days should be out on the road running. Everyday should include foam rolling and mobility work.
I remind myself that there are friends in my run club with three and five children that have qualified for Boston. Out on the roads by 4:00 am just to get their miles in before work. If they can do it, I can too right? While that is inspiring, comparing yourself to others isn’t always the healthiest or most satisfying way to get yourself out there. I think what may work better is finding your WHY. Why do you run? Why do you train? Why do you push your limits? After half of a year of changed routines during this injury, I need to find a new reason why. I can’t look back at what my reason used to be. I need new motivation, new goals, renewed passion. Quite frankly, I need a swift kick in the butt.
A good friend of mine from THE Run Club has a 15 year old son with Von Willebrand Disease. His type is the most severe and rare form of a bleeding disorder that requires frequent transfusions, and often he performs the transfusions on himself. His mom has become one of my favorite people over this past year since joining the club. When she told me she was running Marine Corps Marathon in October with a charity bib to raise money for Hemophilia Federation of America, I signed up to join her within minutes. I told myself I wasn’t going to try a marathon again in 2018; it was too much with this injury comeback. But here I am because these are my people, and there is no way I’m not going to support her on this journey and create a journey of my own along the way. (And also because our run club is incredibly good at peer pressure).
My physical therapist isn’t thrilled. The coach that I’m hoping to get some help with training also isn’t thrilled. I have a little over six months and my longest run right now is four miles. But a large part of why I enjoy running so much is the community and running family that I have found. If not for this friend and her forming our run club many years ago, I would not have a running family. And if that’s not enough motivation to get myself ready to toe the line in October for 26.2 miles, then I don’t know what is. The goal is to form new habits over the next few weeks. I have my WHY, now I need to put the plan into action. Sometimes all we need is a reason to get out there. A reason to wake up and put the work in. Last fall the goal was to run my first full marathon for myself. Then injury happened. This year the goal is to run my first full marathon with a friend and FOR her family. I couldn’t think of a better reason WHY, and I’m not going to let them down. Sometimes all you need is a quick jump start to get your engine running.
If you’d like to donate and help me support those living with bleeding disorders, I would be forever grateful. No doubt there will be sweat, tears, and blood over the next six months of my training. We take for granted that our scrapes can be covered with a bandage to stop the bleeding. Help me raise awareness for those who don’t have this luxury.