Dealing with injury is tough for any runner, no matter what level. If you're like me, it's all you'll think about during your time on the shelf; hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Days seem like weeks and weeks seem like months, and the whole thing feels like a big, lifeless, lethargic blur. But after endless boring hours on the pool, bike, and the elliptical machine, one begins to realize why this whole thing might have happened for a reason. There's something magical about getting seriously injured (2 weeks +) for the first time. All crankyness, impatience and frustration aside, being unable to run inevitably teaches us a lesson. Like anything else in life, running is most appreciated when we cannot have it. When we start a new phase in our training, we are extremely motivated for the first few runs, then, everything becomes mainstream and we end up going through the motions without even realizing it. Sometimes, an initial and untimely fork in the road is what we need to make us fully appreciate our future running adventures.
Today was my first decent run since coming back from the dead and it felt great. Am I as fit as I wanted to be at this time of year? Would I be able to run a PB in any given race right now? No and no. But I'm finally on the right track and ready to work towards cross season and just that gives me more motivation than I had in a while.
Sometimes we don't realize how lucky we are to simply be alive and well enough to run. From now on, when I'll be hurting halfway through my race with the wind in my face while running up hills that just won't quit, I'll enjoy it, telling myself that it's a hell of a lot better than watching The Price is Right with my leg in a bucket of cold water.