As a lot of you probably know, I was training for a marathon at the beginning of this year. I was 4 months into my 9 month training plan and boom, injury. This has been part of running that I’ve struggling a lot in the last few. years and has completely changed my relationship with running from something that I loved and enjoyed to something that was stressful and disappointing. Since these injuries keep popping up I’ve gotten a lot slower than I used to be and enjoy it a lot less. I know that I shouldn’t equate my joys of running to my times but I know what my body used to be capable of, so when I’m putting in all of the time and effort into marathon training then I want to at least feel decent doing it.
As fate would have it, the marathon this year wasn’t in the cards and my ankle made sure I knew that. So after I was completely healed it took me a while to even put on my running shoes again. I was discouraged, disappointed, and over it. And yet, I knew that over it the last thing I was.
I didn’t want to jump right back into training for something else in fear of getting injured again. I had a lot of hiking trips this past summer and they were more important to me than running and training for a race. So I took an unexpected break.
When I knew that it was time to get back into it I knew that I had to do it differently. Gone were the days of following training schedules and adding up my weekly milage. I knew that had to at least go out the door temporarily if I was going to repair my dull and dreary feelings towards the thing I adored for years previous.
So I started going for timed runs instead. I know this is a common thing for those just starting out and even for some who are seasoned runners. But this is something that I never imagined myself doing. I saw myself as too much of a go-getter. Too type a for that. And that’s exactly what I needed!
I started with 2 days a week, 20 minutes each day. Totally doable. Enough to get back into the habit but not enough to dread and overwhelm myself. I didn’t care about the distance. I cared about the time. Ten minutes out, ten minutes back. Tuesday. Thursday.
I loved it.
I started to look forward to my runs and I’d be out there running with a smile plastered on my face. I was “that person.” But I didn’t care because I found something that worked from something I least expected and it gave me so much, it gave me back something I love and enjoy deeply.
If you’re struggling with whatever it is, try to do it differently. Do it in a way that you never thought you would. Do the thing you love, just show up in a way that’s unexpected with an open mind. You never know what will happen.
Someday I’ll get that marathon. But right now I’m enjoying things from exactly where I am.