Long time, no write. And now I owe you all a heck of an update. I was last seen around here musing on whether breastfeeding is slowing me down and worrying about increasing plantar fascia pain. Well, my foot got worse and I ended up taking 6 weeks completely off running, not even a test run in that time.
What I didn’t mention in those posts was that I was also struggling with feeling overwhelmed by my work and other life responsibilities. I was lacking motivation for many runs, especially those confined to the treadmill. Even before the foot pain started, I was counting down the days until my post-marathon running break and even contemplating whether I really wanted to continue marathon training.
Certainly I had some muscle weaknesses that predisposed me to injure that foot, but I am convinced that the PF was a physical manifestation of my mental state. After all my day-to-day duties, my body had little energy left over to attend to recovery.
And running had turned into a duty itself rather than the pleasure it had been. This was more worrying to me than the broken foot: I had broken willpower.
I abandoned my spring marathon plans without a pang of emotion. I acquired a stack of library books and plowed through. I spent unhurried time with JB before bedtime and stayed in pajamas as long as possible on the weekends.
After six weeks, I hopped on the treadmill during one of JB’s naps. No pain increase. (Granted, he napped for a whole 15 minutes!) Then a couple days later I tried again with similar results. I felt awkward and breathless, but I felt good. I initiated PT to address muscle imbalances and built from 7 miles per week in mid-May to 20 mpw and now over 70 miles per week again.
My willpower has recovered, too. The trick now is to keep feeding that fire. I’m highly motivated by daylight and socializing and fortunately my summer work schedule has been great for that. I’ve registered for a slew of fun 5ks and my favorite 10k. I even registered for the Columbus Marathon again – not to chase a time but to run for completion; I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since my last marathon finish!
Finally, I’m planning on more significant downtime this winter and will not be forcing myself onto the treadmill or risking falls and frostbite on dark roads. Sure, I’ll probably emerge from winter without much running fitness, but this time I’ll be physically and mentally healthy!
Have you ever had an injury that was connected to your mental state? How have you coped with a lack of passion for running?