It’s taken me a little over a month to be able to put into words my feelings about my first half marathon. I knew going into it that it wasn’t going to be exactly as I had pictured, and who would want that anyway – to know exactly how something is going to turn out? No thanks.
But I had dreamed and envisioned my first half marathon so many times over the past year that I felt completely prepared (minus the hip pain that came on the week of the race, and the bronchitis that plagued me the entire month of December). I expected it to be the most magical adventure of my running life.
It’s no surprise that I’ve been avoiding – avoiding this blog, avoiding running, avoiding living a healthy lifestyle all together…if I’m being completely honest. Since the Princess Half Marathon I’ve only gone on one run and been to the gym twice. Healthy eating has been sporadic at best – a drastic difference from the previous nine months of training.
Like so many others my body likes, craves even, routine. And when routine is thrown out the window and replaced with heavy meals, sweet snacks, and less time in the gym than I’ve ever spent, well, it results in some pretty bad things…a 6 pound weight gain for one, and a herniated disk in my lower back for another.
I had a sports massage last week and got to talking to my therapist about my experiences with the Princess Half Marathon. He suggested that perhaps I am in mourning. I had a vision of what that race would be like and what I would be like afterward – happy, exhilarated, and ready to take on another half marathon. Well, the result was completely the opposite.
Much of this is self-pity, I know. So many people would give anything to do what I did – go to Walt Disney World for a week, run a half marathon, and generally have a ball. I don’t take for granted those experiences. But I am willing to admit that it wasn’t the most magical experience (the race, anyway), and that it has somewhat tainted long distance running for me.
Will I run another half marathon in the future? I don’t know. Will I get back to running as a means to a healthier life, not a race medal? I hope so. What I know right now as I sit in the most agonizing pain from a bum low back is this: my mourning is over. The moment I woke up one morning only to find that I couldn’t walk from the pain was the moment I yearned to lace up my running shoes and head outside. “The grass is always greener” as they say.
I will write a full race and vacation recap, but for now I’ll leave this here as a reminder to myself to not take your health or ability to do great thing (like finish a half marathon!) for granted.