On Not Running

So many of us who struggle with weight stuff get into this constant mode of “exercise exercise exercise you need to exercise if you want to be healthy GO GO GO It’s good for your body and good for you RUN RUN RUN WHY ARE YOU NOT EXERCISING? Oh, I guess it’s because you’re a lazy butt GO TO THE GYM.

or something

But way more important that exercising, I think, is to listen to your body, and, when this is what your body is telling you: maybe stop running so much in the vibrams.

I’ve got some tendonitis in my pinky-toe foot tendon area, and haven’t been able to run for almost a month now. I’m best friends with my foot doctor, and after the cortisone shot I got on Wednesday and the anti-inflammitories I am poppin’, it should be better within the next week or so, which is great.

My initial frustration with getting injured was very brief, and, to be honest, I was pretty proud of myself for not being a dramatic baby and curling up with a pint (I’m talking ice cream, but if you’re thinking beer, that’s fine, too) & a box of granola on the sofa, taking this as a sign that I was destined for eternal fathood.

There is no question that I was running too far and pushing myself to advance too quickly with the Vibrams — half marathon training is a lot of work even when your feet/legs are fully adapted to the way you’re running! I kind of got what was coming my way–I’m really glad that it’s only tendonitis, and not something more serious. I’m psyched that I got up to 8 miles & a 22.5 mile vibram week, and am looking forward to getting back to the running (and here’s the key) when my body/foot tells me it’s time.

I have still been pretty active, but the workouts have changed a lot since “Feet :(” and “foot is broken or something” first showed up on my “The Exercising” refrigerator tracker.It would seem that the “‘rest’ slash foot ef ef ef” is the real gem of an exercise day, here. Oh, it’s been fun to bike, though. Really. Really. Really fun.

After 3 weeks of foot pain & not following the half marathon training schedule, I accepted that I wouldn’t be running the half. There is so much time for me to run, but only if my body is feeling good. Not running this half means that there are a ton of other halfs that I will be able to run.

But then this came in the mail yesterday:My normal response?

“WHEEEEEE THIS IS GREAT & SO EXCITING!” followed my some snarky comment about how nice it was for them to include a pocket size map incase any runners get lost during the half. And then drooling over how lovely it is that my name is on my bib so that people can cheer for me in ways other than “Go, Red Shirt, go!” 

Red Shirt’s got one hell of a finish-line-approaching face.

Despite the earlier maturity, wisdom, and acceptance of sad-faced-foot, I’m staring at this pile on my kitchen table longingly. Yes, of course I thought for a brief moment, “Oh, Sarah, you can do this run anyway. Just do it. Who cares if your toe might fall off. Do it”.

Because I grew up constantly being told I should exercise, despite all of my excuses, whenever an excuse to not exercise pops into my head now, I try my hardest to ignore it, because I know that Exercise Is Good For Future Sarah’s Well-Being. I spent SO long coming up with reasons not to exercise, that I associate making those excuses with living in an unhealthy way. So when I accept that I am not running this half, part of me thinks, “Oh, is it because you’re lazy? Is it because you want to be fat for ever? Do you want an excuse to sleep in instead of run? Your foot isn’t that bad — you’re just making excuses. You could do this — stop being a wimp, you turd.”

But no. I am injured. My foot hurts a lot. I am not making excuses not to run this thing — I have a valid reason to sit it out. There will be future half marathons (and eventually marathons!) for me to run, but only if I get my foot working again.

Fitness is good for your body, but only when it truly is benefiting your body.

When obstacles get in the way of your training or exercise plan, it’s so important to just view it as something else to take care of and overcome, rather than a reason to return to the sofa. There’s no point in exercising if it’s not the best thing to do for your future health & ability to exercise. Right? Right.

So, on the morning of October 9, I will not wake up at 4am to start the process of getting my body ready to run 13.1 miles. I will not sit on the subway with all of the other bib-number-wearing runners hesitantly eating bananas and wondering if they should have drank more water before they left the house. I won’t spend 10 miles running behind a lady wearing a cape, and I won’t be one of the few vibram half marathon runners on the course. I won’t cross the finish line, I won’t get the finisher’s medal, and I won’t get the awesome tech-wick shirt that finishers get.

Oh, that blows. It’s such a nice shirt.

It will be fine, though. Because, soon enough, I will run another half. In vibrams. Feeling strong and great. Oh, I can’t wait for that day. Plus, my running shirt drawer is already kind of jam-packed.

Ah! Guess what just changed?Sometimes, a little blogging with the foot hanging out the window and some good coffee is all it takes. Oh. And a recent pill taking. (Nope, us vibram runners do not have the cutest feet, but we do have highly-functioning ones!)

In other news, it’s Apple Pumpkin Oatmeal time again, and I do hope you have as much luck finding canned pumpkin as I have!

(I was going to paint my toe-nails before taking these pictures of my feet, but I felt like that would be somehow lying to you all, so I did not)

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3 Comments to “On Not Running”

  1. That whole canned pumpkin remark MUST have been for me. I’m still working on it.

    And I’m so sad about your half! I’m running my first 5K in 21 days and I’m already a nervous wreck about it. I want to love (and miss) running as much as you.

    • You will!

      It’s totally addictive — 5ks are a TON of fun! I just love celebrating fitness like that. By running side by side with a ton of people. and 5ks are awesome, because they bring out a huge range of people — you have the folks like us, who are just getting into running, the people who run the whole race in the time it takes us to run a mile, old people who have been running forever, old people who just decided they want to run, walkers, kids, everyone.

      gah, you’re going to have a blast! Just remember that you’re doing it for YOU — it is YOUR 5k and it doesn’t freaking matter how you compare with anyone else

  2. That’s such a sad little toe! I’m happy to see that you’re keeping your spirits up and letting the little guy get better, though! You’ll be back in action in no time!

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