The No Good, Horrible, Really Bad ‘No Running’ Blues

My alarm goes off. I press snooze. I doze off. It rings again. I roll over, grab my phone and swipe the screen to the right. I check my notifications. Roll out of bed. Walk to the bathroom. Proceed to scroll through Instagram while I brush my teeth. See that a half dozen people have already finished a run before I pressed snooze — but more importantly — see the people who could run, without ya know, injury.

As I wrote in my weekend update, I started to feel some pain and tightness in my calves/shins again, and like the responsible runner I am trying to be, I stopped running. I foam roll. I stretch. I ice when I have time, and I rest. I don’t run. And it’s making me a little crazy. 

I could be having a truly wonderful day, and yet I can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. Then I remember: I can’t run. I throw pity parties like a prime hostess and dream about the time when I could run without pain like I linger on thoughts of a beach vacation or winning the lottery. It’s a little crazy; I know.

If I were a cartoon, I’d be followed by a little, grey, unhappy cloud, which dampens any attempts at positivity. I think, “My legs will heal! You’ll run soon!” and then the cloud envelops my head, and those thoughts turn into, “Why does this always happen to me? What am I doing wrong? What if I can’t run for weeks?”

Rationally, I know that these thoughts don’t help, and that it’s not healthy to wade into the negativity — I have the power to end my whining. I understand that a couple days of rest is infinitely better than getting really hurt and sidelined for longer. I have been there; and it’s a lot worse than taking an intentional break.

As I write this, I know that my legs have improved with the rest and attention I have given them, and I hope to be running again soon. I just needed to purge how these “no running” blues feel. It is frustrating to sit on the sidelines and resort to a plan B, but it continues to humble me.

Tying a bit of my happiness to running isn’t a sure bet 100% of the time, but when those big + little milestones come rolling in — they really are worth dreaming of and working toward. 

How do you stay positive when you can’t run?

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