Being OK with being injured

When I reread some of my past entries about being injured, I think, “Wow, was I really that mad?”

Just as I’m sort of becoming used to the dull knee pain I experience every so often, so is my status as an injured runner.

It’s been nearly 13 months of not running and about 15 months of being injured.

I’ve cried three times (that I can recall) during this whole “injury period.” Once was after one of my doctor appointments. The other two times were actually at races.

Bryce and I were in the Bay Area in May for a friend’s wedding. We spent the weekend in San Francisco and Bryce was in the middle of training for his upcoming 40-mile race. It just so happened that we were in SF the same weekend as Bay to Breakers. Bryce did a recovery Sunday run in Golden Gate Park while I went for a walk. I stopped mid-way through my walk to watch and cheer on the Bay to Breakers runners. It was pretty entertaining with so many people in various costumes and get-ups.

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Then without realizing it, my eyes started welling up. I was overcome by a feeling of sadness that I could not do what all these people were so easily doing. I quickly pulled myself together though. And, focused more on the man dressed up as the Pope who was “blessing” all the runners that went by.

Then, the same thing happened at Bryce’s 40-miler! By no means was I jealous that I couldn’t run a 40-miler. The longest distance I have run is a 50K and I have no desire to do anything longer. So, it was weird that I started producing tears at the start of his race.

We arrived at the race with plenty of time for him to get ready. As most races go, the porta-potty line was long. While Bryce was using the restroom, the race director started making announcements to runners about the course. I walked a little closer to the huddled group of runners to catch anything important to relay to Bryce. As I stood there in the back of the crowd, again that deep feeling of sadness hit me again.

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Emotions can be weird.

Yet, through it all, I have tried to remain calm and positive.

Ask me again tomorrow or in a week, but, I’m OK with being injured.

It’s all part of my narrative.

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(Blog) check – 1, 2, 3 … Is this thing on?

What can I say, I’ve been so busy not running that I haven’t had time to write!

Let me provide an update on those new year resolutions I talked about last month.

  1. Do at least 20 minutes of strength and core each day – I’ve altered this goal. Because, see below.
  2. Join the YMCA before February – YES! I am now an official member which has become so convenient because I live right in the middle between two Y locations so I feel like I have a lot of options. I’ve become a slave to the elliptical and have gone to quite a few yoga classes. Today I went to my first Pilates class and hopefully I will make my way back to the pool again. (The pool has been so crowded so I haven’t quite figured out an ideal time to workout there). So, on days when I go to the gym, I do not adhere to my “20 minutes of strength/core” rule. If I don’t go to the gym, I definitely do a workout at home for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Continue journaling – Check!
  4. Read one book a month – Shocking but (so far) I am on top of this goal. What am I reading? January’s book was Lauren Graham’s Talking as Fast as I can and currently I am reading Hidden Figures. Yes, so far I am only reading books that have been a movie or has been written by someone who stars in movies and TV … but, books are books are books, right??

So, a month-and-a-half into the year and things are going well! (Or, as well as they can be while you are sidelined from running).

New year resolutions for the injured runner

New year resolutions seem good in theory but I don’t know if I really stick to them. I usually come up with a list of a few goals at the start of each year, but I also change the goals throughout the year as the months change and the shape of my year also changes.

Here are my current goals. Note, that at this time, I know I won’t be running again for another four months or so.

  1. Do at least 20 minutes of strength and core each day — Yes, you read that correctly. Every day. I gave up on my walking goal since Seattle has gotten so freaking cold! I started this new goal on Jan. 9 and have so far stuck to it. What honestly helps me do this is following along with random YouTube videos. I just do a search for “core workouts” and do whatever comes up. If you have any specific video recommendations, please send them my way!
  2. Join the YMCA before February — Regardless of when I can run again, I need to continue working out and cross train. Swimming is my “substitute” to running. And, once I am running again, I will continue to swim as cross training days. (Something I never did regularly before and will help in my plans to never be injured from running again!)
  3. Continue journaling — I used to keep a “dear diary” type of journal. No, I did not write “dear diary” but I had been keeping journals since I was in sixth grade. I’d just write about what happened that day and my feelings. I didn’t write daily but was very consistent with it. About a year ago (so even prior to getting injured) I stopped for some reason. I guess I just got too busy. I was tired of always writing “I’m feeling tired” countless times in my journals. Now my plan is to not write the details and all my feelings of the days, but to just write one sentence (or more if I feel like it) to describe one positive thing that happened that day.
  4. Read one book a month — This is really hard for me. Bryce always jokes that I never read. But, I guess it’s true so it’s not a joke? I enjoy reading but always say I don’t have time. I’m going to make a habit of reading before bed or instead of those minutes where I am aimlessly scrolling through social media on my phone while I sit at home, I will pick up a book instead! This is honestly going to be my hardest goal of them all.

I know I’m late to the game in establishing my new year goals. But hey, better now then never, right?

Life Rules

When I walked into the restroom, I didn’t think I was going to meet someone who would make me think … like, really think about my life.

It was the second night of Potlatch. I was probably expecting some poor Ultimate Frisbee player to be passed out under the sink or throwing up inside one of the stalls. Nope.

I took care of my business and started chatting with the woman in the stall next to me. She said she was from Mars. Now this was someone I wanted to talk to. After disclosing more about my sad little life than she wanted to hear, she told me about her “life rules.”

Make no decisions based on fear. Learn to be OK being alone. Nothing in life is free.

Those were the ones I could remember off the top of my head the next morning. It’s a good thing she had a smartphone and emailed me the complete set of rules.

She asked me what I wanted in my life. What are the details? I didn’t know. I only knew that I wanted to get the heck out of my current work situation. But, I also told her I am not a quitter. She told me I knew what I needed to do.

There was a time when I enjoyed my job. I had improved substantially since I started. I was proud of my work. I thrived on the deadlines and stress that came with it. Now, I turn in stories that I know could be better if I had just had the time to track down one or two more sources. But there is no more time. I am constantly working more than 40-hour work weeks — without getting paid for it. I’m fine with having responsibilities. But, when you have more than your own fair share of responsibilities? Maybe I sound like I am complaining — which yes, I am — but, this is no longer a normal healthy situation or environment.

I’m tired. I’m so tired. I’m sleep-deprived. I’m tired of working my butt off and not getting anything in return. I’m emotionally drained. I’m tired of repeating myself over and over again when people ask me how my job is or how my job search is progressing. I’m tired of my friends and family having to put up with this version of myself that I feel is not my best version any more.

Make no decisions based on fear. Learn to be OK being alone. Nothing in life is free.

If I were the type of person to have a quarter-life crisis, right now would be a good time to have one.

Get.me.out.of.here.

For quite some time, I have really been wanting to get a new job.

I know, I know! I should be lucky to have a full-time job in this economy!

But when your inbox is getting filled with emails that include messages like: “Although we are impressed with your background, we wanted to let you know that we have extended an offer to another candidate who has accepted the position.” OR “We have decided to pursue other candidates who appear to match (skills and experience) our requirements more closely at this time.” AND  “The quality of applications for this position has been particularly high and we regret to inform you that we will not be moving forward with your application.” you start to feel worthless.

I know, I know! I should be satisfied to have a job in what I actually studied in college (journalism!) rather than feel sorry for myself.

But when the editorial staff has become smaller and suddenly you have more responsibilities (which means more hours of work) and you are not getting a raise or paid overtime, you kind of want to find a better option.

I know, I know! I should be thankful that my immediate boss is understanding and has a good sense of humor and colleagues who are helpful and funny!

But when you work 12/13-hour days more than one day in a row, you become exhausted. You don’t have time to run (and you love running!) You get really stressed out. (And with that stress, you gain weight and your face breaks out.) And you start thinking about all those emails you received in the past few days and begin to feel sorry for yourself. And then you think you are going to be stuck in this situation for a long while longer because “the world hates you” and if you are still here in the summer, then you will miss out on lots of ultimate Frisbee because most games are in the weekdays for the summer months. And then you get mad because next to running, ultimate is your favorite.

I know, I know! You’re telling me to shut-the-hell-up and stop acting pathetic. That’s exactly what I plan to do.

Over a recent conversation with a friend, I recalled all of the above thoughts. He had none of it. He told me if I wanted to change the situation I am in, I need to change it. I am the only one who is going to get myself out of here. Yes, it may be difficult, but it will happen. Instead of making excuses of being too tired to write another cover letter, I’ll just do it. Instead of going out with my friends every weekend-night, I’ll spend it at home scouring the inter-webs for more job openings. After all, once I am in back in the city, I’ll be able to hang out with my friends any day of the week.

And yes, I’ll stop Google searching “please get me a job back in Seattle.” It’s of no help.