Remembering I Can

Stonyfield Boston Marathon Jersey | happyfitmama.com

Last weekend as I was digging in my workout clothes drawer for a shirt to wear on my bike ride, I came across a shirt I hadn’t seen in 3 months.

My Stonyfield jersey from Boston.

Instantly, the memories of that day and what was supposed to be came flooding back.

I hesitated about wearing it. I haven’t been able to wear my Boston jacket or anything else that I got to celebrate such an awesome race. There’s just too much baggage with it. Did I really want to go there?

But I put it on anyway.

As I pedaled on my ride, my mind was all over the place thinking about the events of the day. I even teared up a bit. Three months ago I was full of hope, excitement and overjoyed with the possibilities of where my running was headed. So much has changed in 3 months. Gone are all those feelings. I’m left with just a big question mark.

The one thing that hasn’t changed in 3 months (to the day actually)?

I’m still not running.

When I was first injured, I thought 6-8 weeks, tops, would be the length of time I spent not running. I’d still have plenty of time to soak in all of summer running’s glory – runrises, long runs at the beach, trail runs – and not to mention all of the summer and fall races.

Sunrise Run | HappyFitMama.com

But here I am, 3 months later, not running at all. And the bigger question if I’ll be able to run any races at all for the rest of 2015 is floating in my brain. I already dropped out of Zooma Cape Cod, will Reach the Beach be next?  And who knows about Chicago. I pretty much know I won’t be able to run the race with Marina.

Last week, my foot was feeling better. I’ve have been able to walk longer with no pain and it doesn’t ache after being on my feet all day at work. One morning while out for a walk, I thought I’d try a little jog. At first it didn’t feel too bad, although my stride was not anywhere close to my normal. That lasted all of 30 seconds before the familiar pain was back. Yup. Not ready.

I mentioned it to my PT the next day during my appointment. She had me try to hop on my left foot. I did one hop and had shooting pain that did not go away as soon as I stopped hopping. Not good. Not good at all.

We agreed I needed to see the orthopedic doctor again. She thought I’d be back to running by at least 10 weeks and if I’m still having pain, there’s something still going on in my foot. It could still be the posterior tib tendon or something else. She didn’t think it was a fracture (and neither did the ortho) but maybe a tear or another tendon that’s injured.

On Friday, I had an MRI. I don’t find out the results till Thursday this week when I’ll discuss the plan of action with my orthopedic doctor.

Not running sucks. I don’t even feel like myself. My body feels different physically and mentally. I’ve been feeling frumpy, foggy, drained, sad and just plain antsy. Cycling, walking, the elliptical, yoga, lifting weights – there’s no comparison to the runner’s high.

Fix my ponytail and find my strong | happyfitmama.com

I’ve been trying to down play my feelings about my injury. I don’t like to complain and I don’t like to whine (but I do like wine). I know this is temporary, but it’s been the longest I’ve gone without running in the past 5 years. Me running is the only way I can tolerate my kids. Kidding. Sort of.

A few days ago, I was digging through a cabinet and found an article that I tore out of Runner’s World Magazine about injuries. I stopped to reread it and one part stood out to me –

When injured, stop focusing on what you can’t do and focus on what you CAN do. Use all the energy and focus that you put into training for a race into your rehab exercises.

As simple as the statement is, it was my AHA! moment.

So I’m going to fix my ponytail and try to focus on the CAN rather than the CAN’T. I’m sure I’m still going to wallow as I scroll through my Instagram feed and see all the wonderful runners celebrating the love of the run. I’m sure I’m going to feel pangs of jealousy as I hear my friends tell stories of long run escapades or complaints about running in the heat and humidity. I’m sure I’m going to whine about if only I could just go for a run. If I didn’t have these feelings, I wouldn’t be a runner.

And I am still a runner.

38 comments on “Remembering I Can

  1. You are so brave, in every way my lovely friend. I can’t even imagine how hard this has been on you as the words you shared today do not even begin to cover the heartbreak you have been through, BUT you have been SUCH an inspiration, and you have discovered a lot about you, that you otherwise would not have. I know it is hard to believe right now, but I KNOW you are going to reflect on this time at some point in the future and think that you are glad it happened as it made you a stronger person. You are TOUGH you have proven that, and I am going to give you all the hugs I have wanted to these past few months in october, so be ready :)
    Tina Muir recently posted..Meatless Monday- Chickpea and Vegetable Coconut CurryMy Profile

  2. I am right there with you. I got a stress fracture in my L foot in January, and I haven’t run since. Since JANUARY!!! Running totally helps me keep the mommy crazies in check too, and it’s been tough. Once I let go of a deadline to get back out there, it became easier. I’ve accepted that the most I might be able to do for the entirety of 2015 is maybe a 5k turkey trot or reindeer dash. Most days my foot feels fine, and I start to think about developing a plan to get back out there, but then I’ll have a day that it hurts for no reason. So anyways, you’re not alone.

    1. Yes! The deadline of I will be running by xx date really plays with your emotions. For me, my return to running date keeps getting pushed further and further back. I just need to let it go. At times I do and think I won’t be able to run races in 2015. Then I get a little greedy and think, maybe something in October? I hope you are back to running soon, for your sake and your kids! 😉

  3. I 100% get this post! I pulled my hamstring last December (2014) and was in physiotherapy for 4 months and still did not get better. I went to a massage therapist and saw some great improvements but still was in pain. I couldn’t run 4k outside without lots of pain! I even saw an Osteopath – which helped again but didn’t get me 100%. I started in May with a new sports physiotherapist and finally started to get better late June!!!!!!!
    So basically for 6 months, I couldn’t run the way I wanted to and I was lost. That feeling after running, I couldn’t get from any other form of activity either.
    Worst of all, it was so hard to see others running, being successful with their goals and me just sitting on the sideline trying to be really happy for them….when really I just wanted to be running with them.
    One day at a time became my motto. One run. One workout. I got to focus on other things in my life more – including my two little girls. I’m sorry to hear you are not running yet but yes, YOU are still a runner :)
    Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted..MRW Half Marathon Training Week #4My Profile

  4. Oh friend. Now you’ve taken the words right out of my mouth. I totally feel this and feel for you. I don’t feel like myself and my body feels so incredibly different. Injuries really do suck. Hang in there. You’ve been through so much and you’ll be stronger. And we WILL be back out on the road!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up: A to ZMy Profile

  5. I’ve had plenty of experience in the no-running-due-to-injury department and IT DOES SUCK. You have a great attitude though. I hope you get some answers with your MRI results. As soon as you know what to fix, everything will fall into place. Hang in there!
    AmyC recently posted..New Running Partner and New GearMy Profile

  6. Angela, I just hate this for you. It makes me sad and mad for you as well because I know how hard it is (as I’m sitting here injured as well). I have to say, I had the PTT and mine healed up with just a couple weeks rest. Maybe consider going for a 2nd or 3rd opinion since there’s still so much pain? I wish we lived near each other so we could chat. I’m struggling right now. I keep trying to remember that I can ride the bike, lift weights, managed the arc trainer. But Chicago is looming ahead …

    1. Oh, Heather, my sister in injuries. :) I wish we lived closer to share our frustrations too. Imagine how much anger we could vent on our bikes? I hope you are back soon. I’m holding out hope for you with Chicago.

  7. I’m feeling your pain on this one. It has been a long time, and you have every right to still be ticked off about it. Hope you are able to focus on something else until you come around again, which you will :) And I get the comment about you tolerating your kids too! It’s all about balance.
    Hope the MRI results gives you some direction.
    Lisa @ TechChick Adventures recently posted..Working for that vacationMy Profile

  8. If only I could think this way in all areas of my life! Seriously, it seems simple but it’s really hard to truly feel that way when you’re struggling with injury or any sort of setback. I love that you end saying that you’re still a runner, because OF COURSE you are, but it’s easy for others to see that yet tough to remember when injured. Great thoughts on this, and hopefully you’ll be running again very soon!
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted..NYC Marathon Training Week 1 + PRO Compression Giveaway!My Profile

  9. I think of you every time I see my orange tank, too! I’m glad you gave us an update- I’ve been curious where you were at with the healing process and how you were holding up emotionally. The comeback from injury process is one of the toughest things I’ve had to go through…. and then when it continues to be even longer and more drawn out than you think, it’s so easy to drain every last drop of patience and positivity!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..10 Takeaways from BlogFestMy Profile

  10. I appreciate the honesty in this post. I have been injured and it’s hard to maintain the happy attitude all the time. Part of me thinks you shouldn’t have to, because it does suck. It’s a frustrating process to work through.
    Thanks for sharing and take care. I hope you get some resolution soon.
    karen recently posted..Theme of the Week ~ Down TimeMy Profile

    1. Thanks Karen! I don’t think I’ll have a 100% happy attitude about not running, but commiserating over not running isn’t really doing me any good.

  11. Of course, the medical person inside me shouted, “finally”! when you said you had an MRI. This is a long time to recover from your injury, and I can’t help but agree that there is more going on in that foot.

    You have my hugs and sympathy. It could be any one of us. Not running is so hard. I hope you get an answer soon. Meanwhile, focus on what you can do, but allow yourself to be sad too! It’s ok!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted..And so it begins…My Profile

    1. After 8 weeks, I kind of thought something else was going on. But then I saw a teensy bit of improvement and thought I was on the upswing. Not so much…

  12. Oh, I feel for you! When I got a DVT a few years ago I ended up not running for 6 months. I would have been crushed if the doctor told me that on Day 1, but by the time I figured it out (when I still couldn’t run at month 3) I had gotten used to my new set of activities. I hope the MRI gives an answer and your healing doesn’t take much longer.
    Coco recently posted..Getting Back On Track RunningMy Profile

  13. Wow, this injury has been such a show stopper (I couldn’t think of an appropriate word that didn’t start with an “F.” :-) I feel so bad you’ve had to experience this, but all in all you really have been amazingly patient. I think you’re so smart though, by following directions, you will come back and work your way to stronger than ever.
    Debbie recently posted..Blogfest: My Top 10 Takeaways LinkupMy Profile

  14. I have so much empathy! I haven’t really run since I pulled out of Boston either and I don’t feel myself. I have good days and bad and my good days are all about when I focus on the positive. I can’t control my injuries, but I can control my attitude. Thank you for a lovely post this morning– such a great reminder to accept where we are with grace and style. Love you sweet friend!
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Arnold Palmer Cookie Recipe and the Perfect Start to a Coronado Island VacationMy Profile

  15. Honestly? I think it’s fine to admit that not running sucks and to whine a bit. You have held your chin up beautifully and no one can do that 100% of the time in a situation like this. It really reminds me of when I was out for six months with my high hamstring/achilles combo–finding the right PT and doing the right exercises got me back. You can and you will, hopefully sooner rather than later.

    And the one thing you can feel free to punch me on is this: take your races off the schedule. Just focus on getting well without the temptation to do too much too soon b/c you have a race.

    XO
    misszippy1 recently posted..Black bean salad recipeMy Profile

    1. Haha! Thank you Amanda. Actually I need someone to punch me to get me to not focus on the missed races. Right now the only one that is looming is Reach the Beach Relay. As sad as I am to say, I probably won’t do it. I could always ride along with my team and be obnoxiously loud with a bullhorn like a woman on another team did last year. She looked like she was still having a really good time even though she couldn’t run! 😉

  16. I think that is such good advice from Amanda… Take the races off the schedule and lift the burden of feeling anxious about them. It really does stink, but wrap yourself in swimming (aqua jogging!), biking, strength training, core and your PT exercises.
    Those are the things that you CAN do.
    I haven’t run since the first week in December and sometimes it hurts inside so badly.
    I feel like I don’t even know what it feels like to leave the house and go for a RUN anymore.
    But, I have to keep stepping forward. One day at a time. I have been throwing myself into reading all about running. Thinking, dreaming about running. Preparing myself for that glorious day. You can do it too and I’ll be rooting for you!!! Stay strong friend! :)

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  18. I am sorry you weren’t able to run, and I hope you are doing a bit better by know. Sounds like a bit of rest and physical therapy should help, How long it would be depends on the results. Good luck on getting your foot healed if it isn’t already!

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