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Sunday, January 13, 2013

2013 is on it's way.....how to heal a broken running spirit? and is there such a thing?

Hello friends!!
as much as I dread writing I thought I should get on here before everyone writes me off as dead, or just having walked off the face of the earth. I wish I had some software that I could just talk into and it would put it into text for me, b/c those who know me, know I can talk like nobody's business...especially about RUNNING! but writing?? errr...not so much. I'm lazy. really lazy with writing.

SO, what can I tell you? well, I had some surgery, not running related, don't worry but it required me to take 3wks off. So I did. I didn't think it would effect me TOO badly, but apparently the week before when I only ran twice didn't help my situation..prob more like 4wks off...and since I wasn't in very good shape before that I am REALLY feeling it. This feels worse than after taking 2mos off with each of my stress fractures.
Let me give you some examples so you empathize with me as I whine;)
I ran 4 times this week:
Monday-5miles. ugh. legs tired. just blah. FELT SORE the next day. yikes.
Wednesday-5miles on bark mulch/golf course....avg pace 9:40! no offence to anyone who runs that pace but for me, it is ridiculous. For you regular 9:40 pacers...it would be like running 11-12min miles...you wouldn't be too impressed about it right? and this 9:40 avg did NOT feel easy. just for the record. talk about a wake up call.
Thurs: 5 miles...a bit better..ran a good last mile
Sunday: 8 miles. felt like DEATH. Lungs didn't like me. legs didn't like me. I think someone put 20lb weights in each one of my running shoes:)

So there ya have it! first week back.
23 miles.

Oh..and ofcourse my calf issue I was having before flared up on day 1 of running again:)
I went to thai massage the other day and plan to keep on that and rolling myself at home, hoping ot keep it at bay.
Anyway...I'm really not upset about this...don't think i'm "down",...its more amusing than anything. I have a new found respect for the shape I was in last spring. I really should have appreciated THAT more, instead of always wanting to be faster and better. I was in GREAT shape.....20 milers at 8:00 pace and it felt EASY. aaahh..can't wait to get back there...BUT until then, trying to enjoy the journey.

So I have a  little something silly to share....i've sort of talked about it before, but I wonder if any of you have experienced this. Don't roll your eyes.....

I think my "running spirit" is broken.....or at least Injured. 

Now, I know we all have times when we're down...unmotivated.....have a couple rough weeks...but this is MORE than that. I am not being dramatic or exaggerating...this is really an issue.
Let me explain how I think this happened:

As I have mentioned before, (like 20 times), after having 2 stress fractures in 11 mos, I felt a bit broken.
Having put my heart and soul into Boston training, I was ready to show my stuff. though I should have been focussed on the journey, for me it was the DESTINATION....and I never got to go there....i never got to race, compete, show MYSELF and my family what all my hard work had accomplished.  I never had closure on that training cycle.
when I started running again in June (2012) I decided to keep it EASY. I was SO afraid of risking injury again , I was OVERLY cautious. I took so long to even get up to 20 miles and then all summer stuck around 20-25 miles. by fall I finally tried to hit 30..it's only happened a few times....and as fall approached, I had one good 5k, followed by a whole lot of nothing. IN all this time, I had no mo-jo. the normal Nicole, will do anything, to a fault, to get her run in. I would get up despite fatique, sickness to run at teh butt crack of dawn if it was the only time I could do it.
Always charged...motivated to race, motivated to train....it all just sort of whithered away....gone.
I thought it would come back as I just continued to take it easy and rest but i realized as winter approached that It wasn't coming back and my fitness was disappearing before my eyes. discouraged....more out of shape than I was even back in the beginning of summer, I felt like poop.
Then, when I ran the 5K on thanksgiving and ran a 20:30 and realized that was the same time I ran 6wks back into running after 2mos off in July, I felt even MORE discouraged. I have made NO progress...and why should I have? I haven't done ANYTHING!

ugh, frustrated with myself, I threw around the idea of maybe just quitting running all together. for 2yrs i've dedicated to hitting some very important running goals and have ended up injured every time I get close to success. Why should I go on? why bother? I don't really run for fun...I run to feed that part of my spirit that needs to push, to accomplish, to progress........SO...I guess the 3wks off came at a good time...
but now hear I am.
I have decided to NOT quit running, for now;), and I am supposed to start training for the eugene half with Niki Raffie at the end of this month. let me note that YES I love to run and YES I want to run. I am not forcing myself to do something I don't want to...but i'd REALLY like to find that motivation and FIRE I always had before.

My question is...how do I fix this? and no the answer is not to stop running...that just won't work for me. I've taken enough breaks, I've taken 8mos of "easy"....I need to figure out how to find that Beastly self motivated ME that has always been there...i'm not sure where she's gone......

Ideas? thoughts?


  1. Go to a competitive track meet or road race. You'll get the mojo back. As an example, I was at the Dempsey indoor meet this weekend and got some autographs from some elite athlethes. I also ran the 60m dash and got some good feedback on my technique. That will carry me all year.

  2. I think injury makes me want to run even more (I guess you take things for granted?).

    Watching Youtube videos of elites (even if they are not runners) makes me want to go out and push just a little bit harder.

    Also signing up for a race helps as well.

    1. Lisa, why would u say that? I don't take I for granted at all.

  3. I don't know a sure way to fix a broken running spirit, but I am sorry you have one. I definitely think it's possible to have one and to fix it. Maybe sign up for a short race and that will help you remember what you love about racing. Maybe try a different type of race, like a short trail race.

  4. I barely know you but I would like to offer my thoughts for whatever it may be worth.

    I did the Nike Womens Marathon in the fall of 2010. That marathon is a benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I have a family member who survived Leukemia and a best friend who lost her mother to complications of her Lymphoma treatments. I asked her to do this with me as a tribute to her mother. We became Team Verna.

    I was prepared for the grueling training schedule and the sore body. I was ready to push myself to the brink and back. I was not ready for this to be a life changing experience. I was completely unprepared for the overwhelming emotional journey that NWM takes you on. Wearing that purple jersey is so humbling I could break into tears just thinking about the experience. My point is--If you are digging deep and struggling, have you thought about doing it for someone else? Taking the pressure off yourself and giving it over to something else? A charity marathon might be something to get you over the slump. I can tell you that watching the sunrise over the Golden Gate Bridge at mile 6 is breathtaking...
    But the moments of true awe come from the thousands of cancer survivors and family members who stand on the side lines to offer their thanks, appreciation, high-fives, and encouragements. I have never stood in such grace. There are many charity races out there...maybe you've already done one. I'm not saying this is your solution but just an example of getting outside of your own head. For me finding something that made me feel like a very small piece of the puzzle gave me more than I could of ever given myself.

    The clincher: February of 2011. I am in the best shape of my life after the huge marathon push. I go to the gym every morning at 4:45AM. I am thrilled with my physical being! On the 26th I broke my arm in a very silly accident. I broke my arm so badly that not only did I have reconstructive surgery but I almost lost my shoulder. I barely escaped having to replace it. So this meant- 2 months in a recliner, 6 months of physical therapy, 9 months of no physical exertion (no more than 1 pound lifted) until my bone had fully fused at the reconstruction site. What else did this mean? I gained 30 pounds for all that lack of activity. I should say lost 30 pounds of muscle really. I was afraid for a long time to do anything. I still favor that arm even though its probably like The Terminator now for all the screws and plates. I still haven't gotten back in shape and I don't go to the gym anymore. I know that when I'm ready I will. It may be 5 years before I see another finish line but I wouldn't change a thing. Life happens and we do the best we can. Cut yourself some slack and be kind to your body. From a girl who has seen the glory of the finish line and the heart break of injury.

    ~Listen to your heart, it knows what it wants.

  5. have you thought about signing up for a fun race? like a color run or warrior dash or something like that? races seems to provide the motivation/desire/fun for me!


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