In my last blog post I wrote about Voyageur 50 mile and the case of cellulitus that followed. Once I began the meds the redness went away but pain and inflammation hung on. After a week my doctor made an appointment for me to have an MRI. I learned that I had excessive tendonitis and tibial stress reaction.
I feel like my body has been giving me clues, well, maybe red flags, for quite some time. Perhaps it might be in my best interest to cut back on ultrarunning. At first I wasn’t listening but as I meditate on this, think about this, pray on this, I realize I need to listen to my body. I am only going to have one. I need to respect it, nurture it, heal it. Ultrarunning may not be a part of that plan right now.
Amazingly, even to me, is that I feel OK with this. I am at peace. I am embracing the fact that I am not running 75 miles a week right now. I am OK with hiking, with yoga-I am really enjoying yoga- I am biking, I am walking..yes, just walking through the woods, through my neighborhood, and it feels good. I am running with Heidi and April on Wednesday after school for 5 or 6 miles or whatever mileage they are running. I am running on Saturday with Jenny at Whitetail or at Lake Maria solo or Elm Creek .. on Sunday I’m running at Blue Hill after service, or before, or in the afternoon sometime. No real schedule. I’m going to the gym to lift a few days a week..or not..depending on how I feel. It’s pretty incredible, really. Yoga has become an every day treat.
I chose to volunteer at Superior 100 instead of run. I was nervous about the recovery from Voyageur. I did not want another case of cellulitus or any other problems. I didn't want the long recovery. It was a difficult decision for me to make, but once I made the decision I didn’t feel mournful or full of spite or depressed. I felt relief! I was excited to volunteer. I marked the trail with Bonnie and Greg on Thursday, I worked Beaver Bay with Bonnie, Nancy and Tom and their team on Friday and with Bonnie and Maria and her team at Crosby from Friday PM to Saturday AM. It was great! I made a difference in other’s races. It felt good to give back.
I feel like I am moving away from exercise compulsion. It is something that has consumed me for years. Do I need a title to cover the ultrarunning that I’ve been doing? No, I don’t think so. I can remember when running changed from something healthy to something that was breaking me, to something that I abused myself with. I had difficulty in finding that line between health and obsessiveness and found that I would cross it every so often, then cross often, then find myself on the other side, not finding my way back. It began to look much like my alcoholism.
Running began as a way to lose weight in addition to dieting. When I began to run Troy was 6 months old. I had more weight than ever to lose. I've always dieted, my whole life, until recently, when I stopped. That is another post. An important post.
Running became a tool that I felt I needed to stay sober. I've been sober 20 years now. Running was a part of that. It was all connected. Running, weight loss, sobriety.
I’ve had a great run at ultrarunning, I’ve loved it, I’ve spent a zillion miles alone on the trail, in my own head, with Topaz, I’ve raced, I’ve been last, I’ve come back from injury, I’ve created friendships, I’ve won, I’ve had a blast, I've felt true joy; but I no longer feel that NEED. That NEED to have it that has driven me for so long. It is such a relief that the NEED is gone. It wasn’t gone when I suffered herniated discs and didn’t run for 5 months. It wasn’t gone while I recovered from neuroma surgery . It wasn’t gone when I broke my ankle. It wasn’t gone when I fractured my tibia. It wasn’t gone when another neuroma reared it’s ugly head. It wasn’t gone when I was first diagnosed with cellulitis, excessive tendonitis and tibial stress reaction. All I thought of during those times is that I needed to run. I couldn’t wait to recover so that I could do it all over again. But, it is gone now. That need is gone. I am so thankful. I’m so grateful. It may come back or I just may feel like I again want to run a 100, who knows. I have IceBox on the schedule and I'll run, but the need, it's gone. For now it's gone. I feel blessed.