I put my best foot forward and ran a mile almost every day this past summer. Depending who you are, that may sound pathetic or extreme (probably, mostly pathetic). For me, it was what I had time for. Could I have ran more/further? Yes, if I wanted to prioritize it over other things on my massive to-do list, but I didn’t. I ran to lose baby weight and I did not like it. ha
Initially, I intended to keep running until I hit the goal weight I had created for myself, which meant losing 22 pounds. However, running and I apparently have a hate/hate relationship. Most people don’t deal with a ton of injuries when they’re running such short distances, buuuut me on the other hand….. I found out my body isn’t what you’d call a “runner’s body.” I took up running shortly after pregnancy and dealt with a couple unpleasant ingrown toenails. Off and on in the earlier running days I had shin splints and some knee pain. Things seemed to stabilize for a while, until I had my final injury sometime in September – runner’s knee.
I wrote a little about my runner’s knee in a previous post, so I’ll just give a quick update. I have continued seeing a physical therapist off and on. Although I have had some definite improvement, it has been very slow and both knees (particularly the left) are still bothering me to the extent that I can’t sit cross-legged, put weight on my left knee, go up and down stairs normal, or run. I have a brace and a knee strap and I always have one of them on the left leg during the day. Watching the kids with the knee issues has been…. well, as I have taught the girls to say when they’re served something they don’t like, “not my favorite.” It definitely has gotten old and I am definitely more than ready to have my knees back to normal. I have decided I will never run again if my knees will only get back to normal. I’m still hoping they will and my therapist is starting to wonder why it is taking this long – it has been almost three months now!! I have been faithfully doing all the nightly exercises and stretches I’m assigned, trying my best to rest them when I can, and they are just not getting back to normal. It’s been a little disheartening.
During my running months, I was able to lose around sixteen pounds, which was great. I was bummed when I had to give up running, since it meant giving up my goal weight for a while. The good news is, I somehow managed to lose the last six pounds just with our two miles of walking each day and focusing on less sugar!! I found that out tonight when I randomly decided to check my weight. What a pleasant surprise! haha Miracles do happen! Now, if only one can happen on my knees……
In case you are interested, here are some tidbits I discovered while running over the summer:
- If you run with your mouth wide open, gnats are no joke. They’ll get in your eyes too! And if you do get a gnat in your mouth, it isn’t a good idea to spit it out forwards while running….. hindsight is 20/20.
- Don’t think about how tired you are, how limp your body is, or how much you hate running while you are running. It makes it like a million times harder.
- Low tree branches and obstacles over the sidewalk are hard. You keep your body in a kind of forced, continue moving forward mode and you just kind of stare at the things in the way as you get closer and closer. It’s almost like you expect some sort of mind trick to magically remove those things before you run into them, but they don’t go anywhere. Instead, you slam into them and keep awkwardly stumble-running on.
- It’s about a million times easier to run when there are bystanders. They don’t even have to be watching you or care, but you instantly feel like they are and it gives you extra momentum and strength and you suddenly feel like the beastliest runner out there. STRIDE. STRIDE. STRIDE. Check this out! See how fast I am?? Nothing can stop me now!!!!!!
- Long hair can be really annoying and it has to be CENTERED on your head. Oh my goodness. The worst runs were ones where my ponytail was off-center. It threw off my whole balance! I had no idea how annoying that could be, but wow. I would work so hard to get an evenly centered ponytail – the tighter, the better!
- Thursday runs literally STUNK. Garbage pick-up day was Friday morning, and everyone hauled their reeking trash bins out to the edge of the sidewalk (my running trail) on Thursday evening. I couldn’t run until the kids were in bed, so I always “enjoyed” the full benefit of every stinking pile of trash the neighborhood had to offer. PHEW! You can’t hold your breath as easily when you’re running and you really can’t hold it when there’s a new garbage bin every few feet. There was no stopping it. Rancid.
- The days I would run the fastest and the days my runs felt the quickest were the times I noticed the sky. SO BIG. So beautiful. I could just breathe God’s work in those breathtaking sunsets, or the huge starry night skies. It really made me want to simply praise Him! The more I studied the sky, the faster I ran. It was fun.
Running isn’t my thing. We didn’t mesh well. I loved the feeling after a run though. It was great to exhaust myself and know I had gotten in a solid workout. I’m grateful I made my goal weight in spite of having to give up running. I hope my knees heal soon and completely. I appreciate lifelong runners more. Good for you, sister. You do your thing. I’m out. 😀