Break Time

As you might (not) recall I injured myself last November.  I told myself I would stop running after one.last.race.  I was in so much discomfort that it hurt to sit, stand, or sleep.

But that didn’t happen.  I kept running.

A week after my injury erupted, I should have sat on the bench for the Women’s Half Marathon.  Despite running PRs at the Jingle Bell 5k and the Say No to Drugs 10k, my injury wasn’t feeling any better.  You would think that I would call it quits, but I began training for yet another race – the Gasparilla 15k.  And let’s not even talk about the 5k that was nothing more than an expensive jog a few weeks ago.

Nearly 6 months later, I still haven’t stopped.

I’ve seen numerous doctors, chiropractors and massage therapist.  I’ve had x-rays and an MRI.  I’ve been in physical therapy for months now.  Although I’m happy to report that my piriformis/sciatic/leg feels much, much better, I still feel shots of discomfort that is not normal.  When I go to bed at night, my left leg aches.

My running game is not improving right now.  My physical injury is not helping matters, but my attitude towards the sport is also limiting my progress.

It is break time. 

Recently, my friend Ed sent me this link to an article called “You know that shit you hate.”  I’ve always subscribed to the philosophy that “I just want to be happy.”  That has been my goal – personally and professionally.  When I’m happy, I can influence other people to be happy.

After some disappointing races (well, duh!  What do I expect, I’m injured), I decided to hire a Tri coach, thinking I wasn’t giving it my all and maybe a coach could help me train better.  I’ve been following his plan, 2/3 of which I enjoy.  Those running days though, I loathe.  I try to switch things up, head to a pretty spot to run, and hope I all of a sudden fall in love with it again.  I was running on Davis Island and found myself thinking, “I hate this.”  I kept going though till my garmin read 6 miles – not because I enjoyed it, but because that is what my training plan asked of me.

The next night I saw my coach at swim practice.  When he asked how my run went, I replied, “eh.”  I’m sure he could sense how I was feeling.  My coach immediately responded.  “Take the next week off of running.”

Thank you.

It was like I was pushing him to that point, but I didn’t want to pull the plug for fear of letting him down.  For fear of letting myself down.

In the article “You know the shit you hate,” this quote really sums things up

So, you know all that shit you hate doing? Stop it. Life is going to be okay, but not until you grant yourself permission to stop, because no one will grant it to you.

So, it’s break time.  I’ve been in denial.  It is time I be real with myself about my injury and my redefine my goals.  It is time that I let myself be free of rigid training plans and competition of something that I’m not enjoying right now.

That stuff will always be there.

I’d rather be happy.  



Filed under Life

11 responses to “Break Time

  1. You’re right, Carolyn. That stuff will always be there. Follow what makes you happy, and best of luck with the trials to come. 🙂

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  3. I had no idea you were still dealing with your injury! I think you’re right – take a break. Be happy. Be healthy! It’s much more important to keep your sanity (and love of working out) than it is to run. There are SO many other things out there, so do what you love. And if someday you want to focus on running again (whether it’s in a week, or a month, or a year, or 10 years) running will still be there. No sense in torturing yourself until then!

  4. Good luck Carolyn! Injuries are the pits, and I agree that some time off sounds like just the right thing to do. Running will always be there when you’re ready for it, but there is nothing wrong with enjoying and feeling better swimming and biking for a while.

  5. Sounds very smart to me! It is your time, why spend it doing something if you do not feel like you love it right now? You’re right, it’s not going anywhere. I personally would rather fall off my bike on the pavement than run regularly. Every now and then a run feels good, but I can imagine how much it must suck when it becomes a chore. Let your injury heal. (and come MTB with me!! 🙂

  6. Great post and you’re absolutely right – if it’s not making you happy then it’s time for a rest. Enjoy it knowing your making a smart decision. I usually takes these ‘signs’ as periods to get into more slower, meditative exercise like yoga instead and then eventually I the urge to get back at ‘er comes back when I’m ready. Work on your planks, walk the dog, enjoy yourself as you’ve worked hard; stop and smell the roses, whatever…you’ve earned the right.

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  8. Good for you! I got halfway through grad school and was so miserable I was gritting my teeth and doing horrible work just to get it done. I realized I needed a break and gave myself permission to do it. I just quit in the middle of a class and couldn’t believe how freeing it was. I took a year off and when I felt ready, I came back and now I’m almost done. I am so glad I gave myself permission to take a break. I am getting much more out of the experience than I would have otherwise. Good luck and I hope your injury heals!!

    • Maggie, I think that it is awesome you gave yourself a break and went back to school when you were ready and committed. It makes such a difference in performance when you are there both physically and mentally – whether training for a race or going to school or even working a job!

      I look forward to checking out your blog!

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