Running, like life, is full of transitions – the excitement, anxiousness, trepidation of moving from one thing to the next.
My adventure with running first began when my life was in the middle of a huge transition. My divorce was finalized in December of 2009 and within two weeks of the conclusion of that chapter of my life I felt like it was time to begin something new – a new challenge to celebrate the new me (cliche, I know). I had always been interested in running but I had a number of surgeries on my leg between 1997-2001 and doctor after doctor had told me that running just wasn’t in my future. So, like any other stubborn, independent female, the best way to make sure I’ll do something is to tell me I can’t. December 2009 – that’s when I decided to become a runner. I started a run, walk program that winter and joined my first Rogue program in July 2010 to train for the San Antonio half marathon.
Following my first half marathon in November 2010, I was met with my first running transition – the transition from runner to injured runner. Still on a high from finishing my first half marathon I rolled immediately into training for the Austin marathon without much in the way of a break from running. I ran longer distances, faster paces and was looking forward to tackling the marathon distance in February 2011. But, those plans were thwarted by a pelvic stress fracture. 12 weeks totally off from running . . . I was devastated. Transitioning from a runner to an injured runner was difficult . . . over the past year running had become my “thing” . . . my sure-fire stress reliever. Without it, I wasn’t sure how I’d fill my time. But fill it I did – with simultaneous life transitions (moving homes, a new job, a new relationship) . . . and after months of physical therapy, in mid-March of 2011 I was ready to start running again . . . slowly and cautiously at first. Gradually a 3 mile long run became 5 and then 7 and then 10 . . . and in May 2011 I decided I was ready to try training for the marathon again. Another transition . . . back to a runner.
Training for the San Antonio marathon was exciting and nerve wracking. It was great to be back with my Saturday and Wednesday morning crew at Rogue . . . but my transition back to a runner, training for a marathon was riddled with anxieties – would I be able to complete the training program? would my stress fracture come back? would I actually make it to the marathon this time around? . . . and 10 weeks in . . . I had my answer . . . an IT band injury – too much running, too fast too soon, a weak core, not enough strength training . . . I started to doubt whether the marathon would happen for me . . . to doubt whether or not I could to do the transition from runner to injured runner and back . . . AGAIN. But I worked through the injury and somehow . . . fast forward to November 2011 I made it to San Antonio – my first marathon. FINALLY.
San Antonio was a running disaster for me . . . I ran the first half too fast considering the weather, spent 15 minutes at a medical aid tent around mile 15 dealing with heat exhaustion . . . I’m not sure I would have finished if my significant other (Chris!) hadn’t met me at mile 20 on a bike and ridden next to me for the last 6.2 miles – my own personal cheerleader. But I finished – exhausted, hot, sweaty and worried that our hotel had kicked us out of our room since they weren’t willing to accommodate late checkouts. And . . . entering another running transition.
What was next? After being humbled and physically challenged to the extreme I wasn’t sure if another marathon was in my future . . . nervous, anxious, and excited for the next running thing . . . transition from having a running plan to not . . .
Even though San Antonio was a disaster for me, I woke up the day after the marathon ready to run again . . . and, more importantly, wanting to tackle the marathon distance again. So I enrolled in Rogue’s Austin marathon training program . . . Wednesday mornings and Saturdays – my old stand bys. This transition has been exciting – I know what to expect with the marathon now, I’m ready to learn how to run a marathon without the anxiety of it being my first . . . I am ready. So . . . here we go. Two weeks of easy runs, the Turkey Trot, lots of time with friends and family, a 10 mile run in the rain with Rogue . . . two perfect transition weeks of thinking about and getting excited for that next running thing.
I started back with Rogue on Wednesday morning . . . my body was screaming at me by the end of the workout – why was I doing this again already? I left the workout wondering if I’d made a mistake . . . was this going to be too much too soon? I figured Saturday’s long run would tell the tale. Saturday was the Run from Hell . . . my first really long run since the marathon . . . and it happened – I ran the hills, I finished strong, it was a run I felt good about. And as I finished, cold and wet, I realized that this latest running transition was over . . . I thought to myself you’re in it now, back in to training mode . . . this is happening . . .