I’ve had a quiet week over here, mostly because I’ve been in denial that I’m injured. Not in a risky or dangerous sense; I’ve been following doctor’s orders, wearing my boot, have semi-permanent compression sock marks in my calves, and have been very good to my stress fracture. But I’ve been in denial in the sense that I don’t want to talk about it. And I really don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to consider the effect that it will have on my June and August races, or acknowledge how much time I’ll have (or won’t) to safely get back into running the distance and pace I need in order to be prepared for the season I want.
My denial is helping me get through days without dwelling on these things that are truly unproductive, and luckily I’ve been pretty busy so I haven’t had a lot of quiet time to let negativity creep in. But it has been hard to set up my bike up on even days and pack my pool bag on odd days, knowing that usually I’d be doing a progression run or recovery run or long run or run off the bike right now. This week has started to feel like spring, and my friends head out for sunshine runs and compare their training for spring marathons. I smile with (kind and friendly, of course) jealousy. And I force myself to be thrilled with the fact that I had a whole lane to myself and that no one interrupted my rocking sweat session to Vh1’s Jump Start Video.
Needless to say, I love so many things about running. So so so many things. Lots of them. Even all the laundry. Except the laundry.
But aside from missing running, the most difficult part of having a sidelining injury is that as each day passes I feel less and less like an athlete. Each day that I can’t run I feel farther away from what I want and less like who I am. I acknowledge that it may be slightly unhealthy that I so much define myself through my running. Especially because I’m not even that fast! But I pride myself on being dedicated to the things that I adore (yes, things other than running, too) and it’s hard to feel dedicated when you can’t even participate.