After we moved to Boston in 2014, I pretty much quit running altogether. I hadn’t done much for a year before that move, first because of training injuries, then because of abdominal surgery. After we moved, though, I quit altogether. I was new to the area with none of my normal training routes and a heck of a lot of depression, anxiety, and other mental health and family issues. I only ran once the entire year in Boston, at the end of May 2015. It was entirely unexpected. On the short walk home from my doctor’s office, I decided to pass my house and keep walking because the weather was so nice. I was wearing regular clothes/bra, boots, and makeup, my hair was up in a flimsy clip, and I was carrying a purse. In the middle of that walk, for no reason at all, I just started running. For a mile. It was probably stupid in many ways, but I made it through an entire mile of running and I was so proud of myself despite how stupid I looked during and after, ha! That’s my excited-but-also-chagrinned face above, after said run.
My family moved back to San Antonio that summer (2015), and I broke my foot shortly afterwards. They thought it was just a sprained ankle, and while it healed, I tried to strengthen it by doing my indoor C25K again. [Note: this was suggested by my doctors, about twelve weeks after the sprain, when they thought I should be fine to strengthen the ligaments and tendons.] Needless to say, this didn’t work out well. Nor did it work too well when I retried in the fall of 2016, another indoor C25K while living in Wisconsin. My foot just kept hurting – and it also kept going numb like when I had that first stress fracture I mentioned in my last post – so I finally insisted on an MRI and they discovered the bone was actually broken. For six months, I wasn’t allowed to do any exercise but yoga, but my foot finally healed after that. (Yay!) I went to the track a few times and did running intervals (above), but then we entered our Summer of Nightmares and started moving across the country again, so running came to a halt.
It was a fitful thing, this running restart. Back in Texas, I did the first couple weeks of C25K out on my local trails. Unfortunately, by then my weight was too high for the impact on rocky ground and all the hills. One of my feet hurt with what I thought was plantar fasciitis, but which turned out to be a lower back/hip issue causing strain on the foot. I put running on hold, worried about more injuries, and focused on yoga and walking.
This spring, I began back at where I started the first time: indoor C25K, laps around my bedroom, easy pace, low impact, slow slow slow. Then construction happened, and of course like everything else, my program was put on hold for five months. I got in a few runs – this picture is from the day I made it through the hardest C25K day (jump up to 20 mins nonstop running) – but mostly I had to quit after mid-May. After vacation last month, I picked back up, and finally made it to the end this week. Of course, I’m not running a full 5K indoors – probably more like 2 miles max. And it’s nothing like running outside, which still kills me right now. But it’s a start. Hopefully once I can lose some weight, I’ll get back out to my trails and start making myself a true, outdoor runner again. Maybe next spring.
I cannot wait until I’m out there running 5Ks again. I’ve already made a goal to do one 5K per month during the school year (walking is fine!), and I hope to one day be back to that peak running self that I discussed in Part 2. Perhaps one day, there’ll be a Running Part 4 post to discuss that success!