I am Ryan Hall.
No…not because I have his speedy gazelle-like stride…
(Because…let’s face it…if I was Ryan Hall…I’d have endorsements and big money wins at races…and a much better race PR in ALL THE RACES…of which…I have none of those things…)
…or that my coach is God…
I am Ryan Hall because I seem to be running less…running easier…and getting hurt doing it. Continuously hurt.
I blame winter. Really. Every injury that I’ve incurred has happened in December through February…and it’s been because I chose to run outside…on snow…on ice…and just managed to hit something wrong. That’s how I strained my Achilles back in December. That’s how I twisted my ankle last week too.
And that’s why I’m sitting out a race I chose to run today in honor of my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary. I wasn’t even bothering to train for it. I have been running on a treadmill for short distances, which is really no way to train, but the weather this year has been SO awful for running outside. But…I also have been dealing with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), so…sometimes I just need to be outside. It’s been a struggle this year. I feel like my running is really starting to falter. Not only do I keep going out and getting hurt, but I don’t feel light and fast like I used to. I just feel…like I’m really starting to slow down.
And it sucks. Not being able to run this morning…SUCKS! Big time. I’ve cried all week over the possibility that I might not be running. I made the trip anyway…with ice packs and KT Tape. I went to get my packet. I limped my way through it all. But last night…last night I knew…I knew that no matter what…that ankle was not going to be up to par. If I ran…I’d do further damage. It would put me out longer…perhaps forever.
And while it wasn’t an easy decision…while the tears are still flowing as I type this blog…I know it was the right decision. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel like a disappointment and a failure. I do. Honestly. I do. And my confidence in my abilities and my running is more than crumbling at the moment. I’m down. I’m depressed. And I feel like I can’t…I won’t…come back from this.
And then…I find a quote from one of my running idols:
So, maybe this is just a bump in the road. It feels more like a sinkhole, to be honest. But…you know…I can sit here and feel miserable about it or I can do what I can do…it might not be running…but something…and focus on moving on…to the next thing. Sure, I can be disappointed…and I am. Sure, I can feel like a failure…and I do. But…I can’t let this defeat me. I can’t let this define me. I know I can run. I may not be the fastest or the strongest. I might eat too much gluten-free pizza and ice cream. But I’m a runner, dammit. And for a 5’3″ girl with short legs…I’m pretty damn fast when I’m on top of my game.
Life isn’t always fair. In fact…it more often isn’t. And life comes at you fast. Life is unpredictable. Life…can honestly suck at times. And it’s in these moments of darkness that you realize…there is a silver lining. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It may not seem like it…you may not see it…but it’s there.
My good friend, Jesse Hall, said this to me just now:
There is always another race, another time, another horizon. What there is not is another you, therefore there are people who look up to you and see a brave woman. You have taught us today that you do your best, and sometimes do your best is not doing anything. Sometimes it requires time to heal.
His words mean so much to me. I literally started crying all over again…but for different reasons. He’s right. I can sit here and feel miserable about myself and the situation…or I can continue to inspire those who tell me in small ways that I inspire them. I’d rather be the brave, strong woman who returned to race another day.
It is just all a matter of perspective.
It’s still not easy. And I’m still crying over it. But…it won’t define me.
However…I will be upset about it. I will shed tears over it. I will not let myself think I am weak for crying and feeling disappointed. It’s natural and normal. But I will come back. In time.