What I can and can’t handle

Missing my racing days terribly

Last night I did #runchat on Twitter. Ever done it before? It’s an hour’s worth of Q & A about all things running related, led by iRunnerBlog and RunningBecause. If you haven’t tried it and you’re on Twitter, the next one is two weeks from now at 8 p.m. EST.

I was surprised that I could mentally handle taking part in any kind of running discussion, because frankly, I’m down in the dumps right now with this injury. There are definitely areas running related where I’m having a hard time these days.

For instance, I can’t face meeting up with all my running friends for coffee after they’ve run together. Just. Can’t. Do. It. Nor can I go cheer friends on at a race I might have done. Ditto for volunteering at such an event.

But I can handle blogging about running, supporting other blogging runners, being race lead at my club’s weekly series, or joining in Twitter discussions on running.

What’s the difference? I think it comes down to the tangible and intangible. Meeting up with my friends post-run or race makes me too sad, ’cause it’s what I would be doing given the choice. Cheering a virtual friend on in their big race is different, as is being race lead at my club’s weekly race because I’ve never done one.

I wish I could face the other things head on, but there you have it–I can’t. It may be a shortcoming, but it’s who I am/what I’ve got, and I’m not going to push it.

If you’ve been injured before, what did you find tough to face?

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  1. says

    Watching others race and talk about their experiences was especially difficult. I actually forced myself to do it though, but perhaps the biggest admission was having to hear about my peers improving and getting faster while I was standing still.

    Stay the course, focus on what you can control, and positive thoughts still coming your way:)
    Adrienne recently posted..Rising AboveMy Profile

  2. says

    i remember when i was out for the achilles…it was hard to even read blogs let alone see people running. i passed a runner out of the road one day and broke down crying in my car. no one expects you to be happy go lucky about something you miss so terribly…do whatever feels right for you.
    Denise recently posted..Quakerman 70.3 Race ReportMy Profile

  3. says

    When I read this post, it makes me want to come to your house and give you a great big hug. I wish I lived closer to you girl. I hope you get back to running soon. I have you in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. says

    i wouldn’t be able to do it either. no way. that would be too difficult. i am really hoping i am not injured right now, but i have serious sharp pain in my leg and i am limping. i woke up several times in the night from the pain. i pushed through some pain yesterday to run 18 miles. i know better than that! why would i make that mistake again? it’s hard to decipher my pain and i ask myself, “am i just being weak?” if you even have to ask, you should stop. but i didn’t. my marathon is in 26 days and i am hoping that this isn’t serious.

    wow, sorry to talk about myself on YOUR post about YOUR injury. clearly i need to vent. i know how much you miss racing and i cannot wait to see you back at it again!

  5. says

    I remember working a water stop when I first injured my knee. I thought that being out there supporting runners would help me feel better. No it doesn’t. A friend of mine told my wife after the fact – you could tell it was “killing” him.

    Get better soon so you can be on the receiving end of a cup!
    Jamoosh recently posted..Own Your Own RunMy Profile

  6. says

    I ditto Adrienne…seeing my friends go faster and farther is torture. Cheering for them at my goal race made me cry. Hearing about them run races that I ran last year and planned to run this year also made me cry.
    Watching them head off on their group run during our kids’ cross country practice is hard. I head off in another direction, much slower for a much shorter distance. It sucks.

    Even though I have the go ahead to run, each step is filled with worry. But I refuse to give up. I will work as slowly as I have to so that I will make it back and be better than ever.

    Hang in there. It will get better, your feet will get better and you will be back on the roads again.

  7. says

    Don’t think of it as a shortcoming or that you ‘should’ be able to handle some things but can’t. it’s just where you are now and it’s perfectly fine and understandable.
    Of course it sucks to not be able to do the things you wanted and watch others do them. Don’t force yourself into situations that make you sad.

    When I was injured (ha when am I not?) I focused on what it took that minute/hour/day to put me closer to my goal of being healed. Definitely not easy sometimes but that’s what matters most–getting you healed and up and running.
    I hope you registered for Boston today! 😀
    Teamarcia recently posted..Fort2Base Race ReportMy Profile

  8. says

    Thanks for the shout out! I had an injury a few months back. Was told to take 6 weeks off. Hated it. But, I came back stronger and pain free. Stay positive!

  9. says

    I am so sorry to hear about the injuries of everyone, but thank you for this post. I became a runner about five years ago and have fortunately never been injured until about a month ago. I had no idea how hard it would hit me, how much I would miss it and how I would do all the things described above (avoid runner friends and hearing about their longer and faster distances, hate random people I see running outside of my house, stuffing my copies of Runners World deep into my closet where I don’t have to look at them, bursting into tears when my mind wanders to how I will miss my favorite running season – fall). It is nice to know that while this reaction sucks, it is totally normal. Unfortunately I don’t think my husband sees it that way when I am yelling at him because he came back from a run a little too chipper…but it’s still a small consolation.

  10. Elizabeth says

    As someone who benefits from your virtual cheering, I’m happy to take you however I can! You’re such a huge boon and support to so many in the running community. Just think of it as taking mental space to nurture yourself back to health. I can’t thank you enough for what you do. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  11. says

    I think that distance that blogging entails makes it easier to “participate” when you aren’t able to physically participate in the things you love. Hopefully in some ways it’s a comfort for you in allowing you to still be a part of things while waiting to actually compete again. hugs!
    Kate recently posted..Family Survivor GamesMy Profile

  12. says

    Oh suck. I’ve so been there sister, and I know there aren’t many words I can say that will make it better. When you DO get back out there though, you’re going to appreciate evry single step more than you ever have before. That, I can promise you. Sending big hugs..
    Meaghan recently posted..I DID IT!!!!My Profile

  13. says

    Great post, interesting reading the post as well as everyone’s comments.

    I’m with you that it is difficult to be totally involved with running when you are injured. I’ve gone to 2 race expos injured, and overall I thought it went okay at the expo. But no way I could have watched the race on the side of the road, that would have put me over the edge. Even watching highlights of the race on TV kind of put me over the edge, it was just hard to watch because I wanted to be there.

    My friends still play soccer every other week or so, and while they’ve asked me to come watch some weeks, not sure I could take it without wanting to get into the game.

    I hope you get back on the roads soon!
    Nelly recently posted..Football is back!My Profile

  14. says

    I honestly think you deserve a freaking medal and an all-expense paid vacation for the way you have handled your injury thus far. It makes total sense that there would be limits to what you could emotionally handle in terms of dealing with it. I have felt very testy this past week as I’ve only run 2 miles, and I’m trying to keep things in perspective but it is hard when running is a part of life. Hang in there!
    Raquelita recently posted..The Uncertainty of InjuryMy Profile

  15. Char says

    The thing I’ve found hardest to face is accepting that I will probably never be able to push myself like I did pre-overtraining. My head thinks it can still run as fast as before but my body has put the brakes on and sometimes it’s hard to be at races with the rest of the squad knowing that you can’t do what you really, really want.

  16. says

    I’m the same way… it’s difficult for me to spend time with my running friends or volunteer when I’m recovering from injury because I desperately want to join in on their running fun. Hang in there!

  17. says

    so sorry about this injury and what it has done to you, as such an incredible runner that you are. I feel for you so much. Wish there were better words for you, but I don’t have any…

  18. says

    Thanks for taking part in #runchat. Having been injured in the fall and having a slow comeback for a couple of months, it was so hard to moderate the chat when so much of it is positive. Staying involved with running through the virtual world kept me focused on getting better, so I wish you a speedy recovery. Glad to find your blog, too — I’ll be adding you to my Google Reader now!
    David H. recently posted..Product review: Tommie Copper sleevesMy Profile

  19. says

    Oh, I feel for you. My husband is going through recovery for an injury and so I see it every day. Of course, I’ve had my share of issues, as you know. I really love the way you honestly know what you can handle and what you can’t. It’s good to talk about these things since we all feel these feelings during the tougher times.
    The good and healing will come and you will be SO grateful. I promise.