Rebuilding

I am working hard to stay positive, and in that spirit, the best thing I can say about this week is that it’s almost over.  I officially deferred my marathon entry until 2012 yesterday, which was the right decision, but was depressing nonetheless.  For the last few weeks I’ve been struggling through the IT band pain, telling myself that if I could just get through X number of miles, the marathon might still be possible. I’ve been stressing myself out in every workout and feeling more and more upset when things didn’t go well.  Even though I had ostensibly decided not to do the marathon last week, I knew deep down that as long as I still had my race number waiting I was just going to keep torturing myself with the possibility.  I was hoping that once the pressure was off I’d be able to start enjoying my runs again, but I think I’ve stressed myself into a case of the running yips.  I know I’m probably in the best shape of my life right now, and yet I have to fight through even short runs. To top all that off, my office had layoffs on Friday and a few of my close friends lost their jobs.

I guess the flip side is that I’ve realized how much I have to be grateful for this week.  I’m still gainfully employed, which is feeling like no small accomplishment at this point.  The IT band injury isn’t anything serious and will just take time to heal.  I’m thankful that I’m still able to work out, even in a much more limited capacity than a few weeks ago.  The hard part of this has been that I generally work out my stress and anxiety with running, and that outlet is less available to me right now. Running until I’m completely exhausted and too tired to worry about whatever is bothering me isn’t a prudent option at the moment. I felt like I really need a good hard workout today–the kind that would leave me sore, aching, and tired.  I ran a slow 3-miler on the treadmill and then committed myself to doing some good, hard strength training.  I know that I neglect strengthening and I’ve paid for it with the IT band problem, so it seems like a good opportunity to work on building strength and power. I worked until my quads were shaking and my hamstrings were on fire, and it felt good. I know that getting through this setback will make me a better runner, and I just need to stay focused on that.

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