I was published on Oiselle – my all time favorite running apparel company. What an honor!!
The dread word. Injury. The diagnosis? No running. How is this possible? It’s devastating for a runner. It’s not just the run. It’s the companionship, the socialization, the decompression, the release we get from running. I was having pain in the ball of my foot. A lot of pain. Some X-rays and an MRI later, it’s a stress fracture and strained tendon. What that means is Physical Therapy and bitching. A LOT of bitching.
My podiatrist is a marathon runner who has succumbed to his own stress fracture in the past, so he is very empathetic. I heard him in a nearby room tell his assistant, “Wow. I don’t want to walk in that room and have this conversation with her. She is not going to be happy.” Well, no shit I won’t be happy. 8 weeks of PT and NO running, NO biking, NO squats, deadlifts or ANYTHING that creates pressure on the bottom of my foot. What can I do? Swim. Great. Other than being pissed off, swearing profusely and wanting to throw the temper tantrum of the century, what can you do when you’re sidelined from running?
- It doesn’t matter if it’s illness, injury or a tsunami. Being sidelined from your True Love (aka running) sucks. Embrace your anger.
- Get over yourself. It’s temporary and this is pretty much a first world problem. Stop your bitching and look at the options. Swimming. Contact the swim coach you know and get in two months of bad ass training. It will help you stay in shape (or lose the 8 pounds you accumulated when you had to stop running), stay sane and work on the weakness in your triathlon.
- Listen to your doctor and PT. LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR AND PT! (I said it twice and got shouty because I know you’re like me)
- Remind yourself that this too shall pass. It’s temporary. You didn’t LOSE your foot, you damaged it. Also, when you’re getting back into the run, remember #1. Anger. It’ll come back when you’re trying to rebuild mileage and speed. You should ask yourself which is worse – anger that you can’t run or anger that you can. Then see #2. Yes, get over yourself. Again. And sign up for a race. Because you can.
Obsessed? Want a partner in crime? Wondering how to recruit your friends, and even your kids?
How to get people to join in your insanity isn’t as easy as it seems. I ran for years, built up my endurance and considered myself a glutton for punishment. Then I signed up for my first race – a half marathon – and had a plan.
Training sucked. It wasn’t fun, I felt alone, out of shape, slow and would have never told anyone I was a runner. Honestly, I didn’t feel like a runner. I felt like a runner wannabe. Then I ran that 13.1 miles (slowly for sure), crossed the finish line, then went behind a vehicle and threw up. When I stood up, heard the music blaring and felt the energy surrounding me, I looked down at the medal hanging around my neck and realized: I am a runner, and I wanted more.
My 13 kids have grown up with a crazy badass mother runner. I’ve brought them with me to races. They have learned how to crew me from a stroller to a bike, and 11 of them have run at least a 5K. The rule is that they have to volunteer for one out of every run I pay for. They can create an aid station that would bring tears to your eyes and are exemplary at cheering and holding signs. They usually volunteer at two aid stations a year and run two races a year. I try to be the one holding the signs and screaming like a freaking maniac at least once a year. I love watching them cross the finish line. As they’ve gotten older, some have maintained running, and some have not. They know what it’s like to cross that finish line, stand on the podium and kick some serious ass. How did I do it?
1) Include your kids in your training: I slowed down or biked, so they were always running with me.
2) Give them control: They mapped out routes based on where their bus drove and took me on many adventures.
3) Make their race your top priority: I’ve made sure I didn’t enter races so that I could support them.
4) Keep track of their times: For every race, we use a Sharpie to write their PR on their wrists. Not only does this tactic encourage them to beat their PR, but also it keeps things in perspective. It serves as a reminder that if a race wasn’t great, they have run some that are better. When they beat that written time, an outstanding celebration follows.
5) Help them write training plans: One of my girls runs on the track during recess. She knows that it’s 12 times around.
6) Support them: I encourage them to compete in every other sport they’re interested in. Running will be there when they want it again. They know how. It’s the lifestyle I wanted to pass down, and I enjoy sharing my love of fitness with them.
Getting your kids to join in on your running insanity may take bribery, blackmail, threats, cajoling, begging, pleading but most of all, it takes your example and the genuine desire to have them involved. Expose them to it, make it seem normal, let them know there are rewards – medals and cupcakes (keep the beer for yourself!). What tactics do you use to convert your kids or others into runners?
There was a period of time in my life that I was single. Ten years ago I found myself divorced. Continue reading