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So back to running

So I went running yesterday. For the first time since the Little Rock Marathon. IT Band held up much better that I expected. But the hardest part, was allowing myself to run, and then allowing myself to walk. Once I got out the front door it was weird, like I had no idea what I was suppose to be doing. Couple that with the fact that I didn’t really WANT to run and I was scared I would get just far away enough from my house and my leg would be in pain again and then I’d have to walk back like a big fat loser… and it was just a weird experience.

So I just started off and quite possibly over analyzed every step I took. Does this make it hurt? Am I going to hurt it? Do I need to slow down? Should I walk? Does that hurt? Wait, was that pain? Am I hurting? I made it down the block, around the corner and I was off. I knew there was no turning back at this point. I kept going and crossed the street by the fire station, down the alley way, and onto the main street to the path that I run through the park. I hit one mile. I cautiously continued waiting for the familiar ping of pain in the IT Band region. Nope. Nothing yet.

Oh but since I hadn’t run since the beginning of the month, sucking wind was pretty awesome. I continued on, up the hill to wind down the path in the park. When did it get so hot out? Still optimistic, I kept running, no pain in the IT band. Would have been cool to have some water. Alas, kept going, now I was on the back stretch and knew even if I walked home from this point, I wouldn’t consider myself a failure.

I hit two miles. I knew I would only have to make it one more mile and then I would be back home and I would have completed my first run “back” pain free. I decided to stop and walk and stretch. Most likely because my lungs were on fire and I thought they were going to explode. I stretched and my IT Band was sore, but not painfully sore like I had previously experienced. I started running again and hit my stride. I felt good. I felt like I remembered what I was doing. I didn’t feel like a giant sloth! I wasn’t in pain and didn’t want to quit!

So I cautiously exited the park and traveled back on the street, making the familiar turn by McDonalds to what I like the refer to as the home stretch. Where I envision the finish line to be the tree in front of my house, and I know I can make it that far. I can hear my high school cross country couch telling me in my ear that I have to push to the finish! I run as hard as I can to the tree and then I stop. I stop to look around to make sure no one noticed me sprinting for no apparent reason, stopping and panting like a dog trying to catch my breath.

I did it! I ran again! I didn’t want to stop running and cry on the side of the road. Running isn’t always fun, you don’t always have these brilliant life changing moments that make you always want to run. When it comes down to it, running is fricken hard. It hurts, it makes you sore, you get injured and guess what I’m never going to the Olympics. I’m not that fast. I’m usually ALWAYS going to get beat, unless I run a super small (read: 40 people) 5K or 10K and maybe I’ll place in my age group.

But you know what, getting my feet back under me, walking and running nice and slow and not feeling like my hip was going to snap apart, well I will give myself a pat on the back for that one.


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  • Reply Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    Love this part:

    ” Running isn’t always fun, you don’t always have these brilliant life changing moments that make you always want to run. When it comes down to it, running is fricken hard. It hurts, it makes you sore, you get injured and guess what I’m never going to the Olympics.”

    So true. It doesn’t seem to get easier sometimes, but it’s so worth it in the end.

    March 22, 2012 at 9:59 am
  • Reply Danielle @daniruns

    I just read this quote like 5 minutes ago. It reminded me of this post :
    “This is how it works: training is doing your homework. It’s not exciting. More often than not it’s tedious. There is certainly no glory in it. But you stick with it, over time, and incrementally through no specific session, your body changes. Your mind becomes calloused to effort. You stop thinking of running as difficult or interesting or magical. It just becomes what you do. It becomes a habit,” Jeff Edmonds.

    The part that Julie quoted in your post is what reminded me of this. Running always seems to suck, no matter what stage you are at, but you did 3 miles! You are an inspiration no matter how much you run. P.S.- Seal Beach is April 21st if you’re feeling up to a 10k :)

    March 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm
  • Reply Lauren

    I LOVE your honesty!

    March 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm
  • Reply Kelly

    So glad your IT band didn’t act up! Way to go friend :) Running sucks

    March 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm
  • Reply Leigh

    So glad that your IT band didn’t hurt during your run! Running is such a mental sport especially when you have taken time off from it. Makes you realize how much you almost need to respect running

    March 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm
  • Reply jenny

    oh danica, you are one funny lady. i didn’t start really running until i was 40. i am totally addicted to it now. i’m not sure why and cannot pinpoint why either. i just love the way i feel after i ger in a good 3 miler or longer. i feel like i’ve accomplished something and feel so good about my body afterward. i, too, have so many days when i get in a slump and just don’t feel like getting out there. another thing, i know i will most likely never be the fastest in huge events but being in the “master’s” group i have a better chance. lol.. i have actually one a 5 miler in my age group last year and was the third girl in. made me feel pretty good. i only did a 9.45 pace too. so, i figure since i wont “win” the big races, i should just make sure i look cute. ha! have a great day.

    March 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm
  • Reply Spike

    Glad you made it pain free. There is something so nerve-racking about that first run back, the fear of the injury sparking up. We always get to learn something new about ourselves.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm
  • Reply Mrs. C.

    I loved this post. Running can be awesome. But it can also be so so hard. But in the end, the feeling you get crossing that finish line, makes it all worth it.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm
  • Reply Nicholas

    Glad to hear you’re getting your confidence back and running. I totally know what you’re going through(knee not IT). Be patient; and you nailed it right on the head, it’s not always fun or easy. And that’s the truth- dedication isn’t always easy, but it’s easier when you put things in perspective and look at a longer timeline and bigger picture than the “right now”. Sending my best!

    March 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm
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