I’m back! Yes, I’m running again. After 16 months of absence, x number of consultations with the ortho, one acupuncture session, x number of deep tissue massages, x pounds gained, nine sessions of physical therapy, and six sessions of osteopathy, I’m finally confident enough to pound the pavement again.
|Sangkhlaburi has the longest wooden bridge in Thailand.|
I was in Sangkhlaburi, Thailand last July when I broke my abstinence in running. I had just finished a three-day training session, I was dead tired, and I had a very nasty migraine. I wanted to have a Thai massage, but like an epiphany, it suddenly came to me: why not run instead?
So I changed into my running gear—unused for over a year, they had nevertheless gone with me everywhere I went—and my excitement at the thought of running again filled me with so much energy that I was almost hopping when I went out of the hotel. I reminded myself, however, that I had to go slow, that I was expected to have lower endurance, and that there was no expectation from me aside from just going out the door and moving for at least 20 minutes.
As expected, I was very slow, and after 9 minutes I had to stop and catch my breath. I didn’t want to stop at first—my mind was tell me that I should be ashamed of my weakness; if I could run for 3 ½ hours straight before, why couldn’t I run straight for 20 minutes now?
But I immediately stopped the negative thought. I reminded myself that my weakness was understandable, and the goal for that day was not racing but just to keep moving. I remembered what Bill Dellinge said in a site full of running quotes: “Good things come slow – especially in distance running.” I was and will be a distance runner again, so I had to take things slowly. If ever there was a lesson I learned from my injury, it was to respect my body’s limitations.
So I stopped, then ran again. And I stopped, and ran again. When I made my U-turn at the post office, though, I was surprised at what came over me. I suddenly felt so strong, so free! It was as if I could run forever. I couldn’t believe I was feeling the beginning of a runner’s high! It lasted less than a minute, but it reminded me of the numerous times I had experienced it during the peak of my running career.
I walked-ran the rest of the way back to the hotel, but the fleeting moment of that runner’s high filled me with so much energy and happiness. What a way for running to welcome me back!