I have been looking forward to spring pretty much since the time change last October, when I took my last run outside. Being outside is so much more fun to me than running indoors on a treadmill. Inside, I need my iPod to keep me going. Outside, the world is my oyster and I want for no other motivation. I can turn left or right, I can cruise my neighborhood and see what there is to see. I can visit the forest preserve and be wowed by nature. Fitness-wise, there is no greater joy than getting my heart pumping in the great outdoors.
So it's not a big leap to understand that getting injured is pissing me off. I ran the St. Paddy's Day race and got a muscle cramp that lasted a week. Then yesterday, I took a run with friends and I have a horrible pain in my Achilles. Some heavy research (also known as "reading the March issue of Runner's World") tells me it's Achilles Tendinitis.
This is not something one can run through. I have to rest, get this baby on ice, and take care of it. In other words ... I can't run.
I've cried off and on since it happened. My focus, as always, is on the next race - April 10, the Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago. It's an 8K - my longest road race to date - and I'd really like to do it well. That, however, is probably not going to happen, because I will likely be resting and rehabbing the ankle until the week of the race. This has thrown my training plan for a complete loop and left me an absolute mess.
I was not prepared for the setback. I am not remotely happy. There is much to do to get me on the road to recovery, but none of that currently includes training for a race that's less than three weeks away.
Will I be able to run? I don't know. Will I be able to finish? I don't know. Is this dream of becoming a runner obtainable?
I don't know.
I need to focus on the big picture and move on. I need to accept that, for awhile, anyway, running isn't going to happen, and then I need to find other activities I can do to keep up my cardiovascular strength.
I need to remember that this is not a crisis; it's an opportunity to find the fucking bright side.