They say patience is a virtue, but unfortunately it’s not one of my virtues. Patience can mean many things and in today’s culture there is certainly a tendency towards instant gratification. I certainly experience it in some aspects of my life. For example, when I first met my husband, I got tired of not knowing whether we were more than friends and asked when he was going to kiss me already. This was after about 3 “dates”. So yeah, clearly no patience, but can you blame me in this instance?
When it comes to running, I relish putting in hard work and seeing progress, but I also want to be able to do all the big adventures I have my heart set on right now. So when my doctor, coach and I decided to take about 2.5 weeks off running completely to deal with lingering issue, it felt like my life was completely derailed. In the grand scheme of things, I know 2 weeks off of running is barely a blip on the timeline, but each day without running feels like a prison sentence. The great thing about trail running and is that every single long run on the weekends is its own adventure. I had been missing these adventures with friends the past couple months as I tried to focus more on road running to prepare for Boston, and so when I was denied that which I had been looking forward to, it felt like an extra harsh slap in the face. I know a few weeks is not the end of the world and taking care of these problems now will help the rest of my adventures this year be even better, but it still sucks.
Funnily enough, it’s a lack of patience that landed me here in the first place. Since Boston, my lower left leg had been bothering me even when walking. After several days off, one sad attempt at a trail run and some tough talk from my coach and doc, we agreed that the lower leg issues are being caused my glute weakness of the left side..still. After I told my new doc that I had been doing focused PT / strength on the L glute for about 9 months and that it still wasn’t firing correctly he said something that really resonated with me. If your glute isn’t working correctly even after all that work, something is still wrong. Your body is trying to tell you something and you should listen to it. In this case, he thinks the high hamstring tendonosis I allegedly have is impacting he ability of the glute to fire. So, instead of trying more PT, I am going to get what is called Prolotherapy which will hopefully help the tendon heal itself so my glute can start functioning correctly. The point of all of this is that I thought I could rehab this injury while also running, but in the end it resulted in some form deficiencies which caused other issues. My lack of patience last summer is coming back to haunt me now.
This process is forcing me to learn to be patient and to prioritize the long-term goals versus the short term gratification that comes from racing or running long on the weekends with friends. My new mantra is “OCC, TNF, OCC, TNF” and most of the time it helps keep me focused. However it can be really hard when you live in NorCal and it’s 70 degrees and sunny all weekend and all you want to do is run along the coast in the wild flowers. When 99% of your friends are super active, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Strava are all constant reminders of all the fun you are not having and how long you have until you can have the kind of fun again. I am lucky enough to only be out (hopefully) for a few weeks, but in response to my post about Instagram being torture for an injured runner, Amelia Boone joked that she may have to give up all social media for the next 12 weeks while she deals with a stress fracture. We may have both been tweeting in jest, but at the same time, if an external factor is making rehab harder by shifting my focus from rehabbing, it may be worth cutting it out. On the flip side, it could be a really good character building lesson that teaches me how to accept my current limitations, be happy for my friends having all the fun and have the confidence to know that I will back at pushing towards my peak soon. I may just need to have a wine induced temper tantrum first.