For more than a year, I had stopped running. I’d injured my lower back during my training for my first marathon, and I hadn’t had the sense to have it checked up. In the past year, I have undergone physical therapy, did my core strengthening exercises, and taken alternative therapies like acupuncture and hilot (deep tissue massage).
|Running by the beach ©Aaron|
In the time that I stopped running, I didn’t remain idle. I swam in Puerto Galera, dived in Batangas, and hiked and walked whenever I could. I attended yoga classes, went to the gym, and used exercise home videos to keep myself fit. Given all these, however, I couldn’t take running off my mind. I couldn’t wait to get back.
Now that my self-imposed sabbatical is about to end in July, I couldn’t help but ask myself: why go back to running and be at risk again for injuries? I can always continue with my other sports. Why do I have to run again?
The answer lies in my blog’s name: Running and Happiness. There’s something in running which really makes me happy. I’m aware of the role of endorphins and the other neurotransmitters, but for me, it’s something more than just brain chemistry. When I run, I feel so free, so unattached and yet so connected to everything and everybody.
Running is indeed my natural mood enhancer; whenever I had felt bad, I would only need to lace up my shoes and get out the door, and my dark mood would be gone. Yes, I certainly can’t wait to run again.
In preparing for my comeback however, I realize that I have a lot of things to do. I need to prepare myself for being “weak” again. I must realize that my yearlong vacation will naturally have an effect on my endurance. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself if I can no longer run continuously for 10km. Yes, I could run for 3 straight hours before, but that was because I have had a lot of training. I must give myself some time to get back in shape again.
I must also equip myself with the right gear to avoid injuries. It’s been 3 years since I bought my last running shoes, a size 6 ½ (US) for women. I’d always gone with New Balance, loving the way the shoes seemed to push me off the ground.
In my post Why do you run? I said that I run simply because I can. I have never realized the truth of that until the time when I couldn’t.