Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pain is Temporary, Running is Forever

I am at the peak of  my fitness: I have done everything I can to get myself at this level of my fitness, i run my first marathon in 3:11 then second marathon within 6 weeks in 3:09, life couldn't be better at that time... I am thinking about huge PRs, thinking about running Utrecht marathon as an Elite runner, I am visualizing it, i am dreaming of it and maybe Olympic games down the road… then went out on a run 2 weeks after the marathon and came home limping.  One day, a dark day, I get out of bed and all the sudden my left knee starts to kill. Something happend, and I can’t run anymore.

A flood of emotions hit: I am scared, confused, upset, angry, and nervous all at the same time. It’s an icky feeling. I felt that my world is collapsing. I found myself going through the 5 stages of grief:

Denial – I’ll be fine tomorrow! It’s just a little ache. Nothing major. Or I’ll even go run on it anyway because there is no way it could be anything bad. January 1st i did run anyway with a pain in my knee...

Anger – Why me? Why me? WHY ME!!? I don’t deserve this.

Bargaining – I can make it through, I will run Egmond and take few weeks off then I will run Schoorl and I will be ready for Utrecht Marathon. I can run through pain It can’t make it worse, can it? I’ll do whatever I can!

Depression – Why do I even try to stay in shape? Why do I even bother to run in the first place? I’m a failure, my life sucks, nothing is making me happy, nothing is giving me energy. The sun should just stop coming up…. 

Acceptance – I’m injured. There is nothing I can do about it but let myself heal. This too shall pass. So at least I better enjoy the moment...

With my current injury, I was in denial until I visited 4 phisio and they all came with the same answer. Then it was difficult to get past the middle three stages. When I went to Schoorl and watched the race I started thinking about what time I would have liked to run and in what time I would have finished. I would start bargaining. I would start bargaining because it killed me to know that I am not there at the start of the race. I would start to feel almost depressed and negative which is against my personality, because I am a very happy positive person in normal life. Then now, I am allowed to run again, although only for a short amount of time and slowly, and I am finally accepting it. It took me a long time to reach acceptance.

Dealing with the emotional side of injury is half the battle. It’s probably more like 3/4 of the battle for us runners or at least for me. I can tolerate physical pain, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t enjoy running if I couldn’t. But the fact that running has such a heavy influence on my emotions is what makes it so difficult. You know how they say the “Runner’s High”. That’s because running is so cathartic and it boosts my endorphins! It’s hard to feel good everyday when one of the things that usually boosts my mood is taken away. 

Life is more then just running but I love running so much that’s why I still get upset that I am injured! I miss it so much! No one would understand unless you are a die hard runner.
Many days already, when looking at the sun on an early morning on my way to work or on an early sunday wanting to run with the sunrise or looking at the moon wanting to run under the moonlight,    I cried and cried my heart out!!

Today it was a great emotional motivational day. I biked the Utrecht Marathon course behind the top runners! I was very emotional because i should have been also running with them but motivational because talking to other runners about my injury and hearing their thoughts and advice sometimes is what i need to stay motivated! My short term goal is to be able to run again and my long term goal is to be running in Rio in 2016.... I want to go to the Olympics because i can... I am lucky enough because i only have to run a sub 3:00...I have the time and i know i can and for now let the time heal let it be!!

" I will be back running and even stronger…."

I just heard this song by Cold play " fix you"it Illustrates how I feel sometimes!!