Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ten Good and Bad Things About Not Being Able to Run

This weekend I was supposed to be racing a half-marathon. I paid for it back in January. That race will mark my second Did Not Start (DNS) ever, and it will be swiftly followed by a 15K DNS on April 28. My first DNS was a 10-mile race I signed up for in 2006. My excuse then was that I had just found out I was pregnant with twins--I wasn't sad about missing that one.

Because I AM sad about missing these two races, I thought I'd better do some hard-core non-Terzah-like seeking of the positive. Number one, I am pleased to report, isn't negative at all. Two and three are pretty positive too. They may go downhill from there, though.

1. When I realized, yes, I WOULD be missing this race, I scheduled a trip to California, where I will be meeting two people I am very excited to see in person. They are:

My month-old niece, Lucy Anne!


Caroline, the Canadian Runner in Exile

Who needs a half-marathon?

2. I am catching up on sleep in a serious way. It's true, I do get up early on some weekdays to get the recumbent bike sessions in. But since I'm sleeping in on the every other days off that I'm forced to be taking by the physical therapy process, I'm getting at least four hours more of sleep per week than I was getting when I was running and/or spinning six days a week. This feels GOOD.

3. I have more energy to pay attention to my diet, and it shows. I have gained no weight since the running interdiction. I'm continuing my "no sugar except on Sundays" thing beyond Lent. I still have cravings for sugar, but they are much abated. On Monday, the day after my Easter chocolate binge, I actually felt hung over. My mind seems to have finally learned that sugar is the reason for that lousy state--and has stopped asking for it. Today I sailed by the candy bowl at work and only later realized I....didn'

4. Learning patience is no longer optional. I have to learn it in order for this never to happen again. And I never want this to happen again.

5. An easy 20-minute run is no longer something I would turn my nose up at. I'd be slavishly grateful to be able to do one, in fact. Small blessings, right?

6. I've been forced to slow down in many ways. This has not been a bad thing. But I'm learning that I'm really not a person who wants to slow down. When I can go fast again, I will. I need to remember point number 4 in the meanwhile, though. Sigh.

7. The last time I had this little control over what I wanted to do with my time was when I had two infants/toddlers. I like having control. Life doesn't always let you have control. Suck it up.

8. Boy, being injured does nothing for helping you become a nicer person. I'm jealous--GREEN WITH ENVY--of everyone running the Boston Marathon on Monday, the Bolder Boulder in May and just about any race you can name out there. True, I would not have been at Boston even had I not been injured. I haven't earned a spot. But at least I could have been working towards it.

OK, so that's not a good thing about not being able to run. I guess maybe learning about your own bad qualities is a good thing, because then you can work toward improving them. Except I'm finding it really hard to do that. I'm just....jealous, and likely to stay that way.

What would a good person do? Walk races, maybe. Volunteer. Go out and cheer other people on. I do plan to do the latter for Kathy and Cynthia and Jill and Julie (and virtually for others of you). You are friends and I want you all to succeed. But I don't want to walk races or volunteer right now. I just don't. I want to run. If I can't run and there's no one to cheer for, I'm staying home and doing my PT exercises for the umpteenth time.

9. I'm starting to resent the Facebook pages I've liked that have anything to do with running. I'm particularly sick of the one that says, "You either ran today or you didn't." Yeah, so I didn't. Can YOU come fix my back so I can, please? No? Then don't thrust that self-righteous statement in my face.

Maybe this will teach me to be less self-righteous toward non-runners. Maybe they have reasons we don't understand for not doing what they don't do.

10. I'm being more pushy with my husband about his running. Every day that he runs I make him share every detail with me. The hill steep? And how much did you sweat? What did it feel like when you were done? Did you know there's a 5K at the Reservoir next week? Wanna do it? Can I watch?

It's sort of pornographic, voyeuristic, something.

Lucky thing, he still loves me. Even after nearly six weeks of me not being able to run, when I'm not loving myself so much.


  1. Boo to DNSs. I remember having to drop out of my "I-just-know-I'm-going-to-PR" half marathon 5 weeks before it (last summer). It was one of those injuries that I just knew was going to be around for a while. When you know, you know. I can relate to what you're going through. I even had to re-schedule my goal marathon because I wasn't going to be ready for it with the backslide in my training. Tucson would have likely been a HUGE PR for me, as it's primarily a downhill course. DAMN!


    I got back to it slowly but surely, and you will too. Keep putting in the work. You are going to come back SMARTER and STRONGER. You will.

  2. LMAO! I know how you feel but don't despair! It gets worse, wait until you get old and injured, HA..............

  3. Oh Terzah.  My heart goes out to you.  I remember how I felt when pregnancy made my stop running.  I was green with jealous of every little 5K my friends were running.  Hugs.

    Your niece is super adorable!

  4. BostonboundbrunetteApril 11, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    I am with you!!  Being injured has been life changing for me.  It has somewhat defined who I am and now I feel kind of lost.  Not that I am a great runner or anything even close it to but something is missing that defines me and what I enjoy doing. I just had a #9 moment yesterday!!  I am on DNS streak too so I can relate.  Hang in there!! 

  5. OMG.  I totally understand.. I've been not running for over 4 weeks and it is killing me!

  6. You know I deeply feel your pain. So much empathy coming from my little corner of the internet. Patience WILL get you there. You WILL be able to do things that right now seem like they will NEVER happen. You WILL. Everything WILL be alright. I'm around if you ever want to email/chat about feeling down.

  7. Oh girl, I so understand.  I paid for 8 races between 2010 and 2011 that I couldn't run.  That was a huge chunk of money and I didn't have any to go anywhere to sulk about it either.  I couldn't read blogs about running and I pretended to be super happy for everyone.  I was, of course, but I also resented them in the same breathe.  It is not easy to be injured and watch the running world go on around you when you can'  At least you didn't gain 20 lbs in your hiatus, unlike someone (ahem).  You are so incredibly strong and I know you will be back on the roads here soon.  Keep being positive!


  8. "breath".  Hate when I do that.  Ha.

  9. I don't deserve to be in the spotlight with this super cute baby!!! I love her name!
    I wish this whole getting better journey would go faster for you.  It has to be hard and very frustrating.  I guess it is a one day at the time kind of process.  For now just focuss on California...and our rain!!! ha! and I am looking forward to meething you in person! That is pretty fantastic to meet friends online like this from other states and now we get to have a breakfast date!!

  10. Slomohusky/Generation XApril 11, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Yeah - big agreement on #9. Some days, no matter how well intended these notes on FB are from other Runners - they kinda drive me crazy to the point of posting something that espouses how great a role model Homer Simpson is. Wow though - number 10 - you really want to know how much your husbands sweats. Your too cool. My wife runs away or treats my like a Leper after every sweat induced run.

  11. Your niece is adorable! Have fun!

    #10 cracked me up because I would be the same way.

  12. Hugs Terzah! I am sorry for the bad things, glad you can find some good things. I LOVE that you get to meet Caro, and I truly believe you are going to come back from this stronger and faster than ever. Hang in there!

  13. I was the same way when I couldn't run for a month in December! My boyfriend was like sheesh, the only thing worse than you running all the time is when you DON'T run. Hang in there, it will get better soon, promise!

  14. I am super bummed you will be a DNS at the Platte River Half - I had looked forward to being in the same race with you.

    I hope your CA trip goes well -your niece is adorable!!!

    Don't judge yourself harshly - you feel what you feel for a damn good reason.  But you are doing the right thing getting everything back in order - hang'll be back running soon and we'll get to do the same race sometime soon. 

    Actually,  I just decided while typing this - the next race you sign up for - I am gonna do too...that dang mtn bike will just have to wait!!!

  15. ElktonrunnerfamilyApril 11, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Ah there are 2 sides to every coin, aren't there? Sleep is a good thing. I hope you are running again very soon so you can  share your own details, Terzah.

  16.  Your niece is adorable- enjoy your visit!  I can relate to so many of your thoughts, I too have come to appreciate the shortest run, and I'm living vicariously through all these Boston runners.  Someday we'll get there, Terzah! Congrats on your strong sugar willpower... I'm still having a little chocolate every day, but it's very dark, and sugar itself does not interest me as much either.

  17. LucyAnne is a cutie!  How much longer until you are able to run again!?  I bet six weeks has felt like FOREVER, but great job with your diet and the no sugar thing.  I am not doing so good on the no sugar thing, I probably should have thrown out the kids Easter candy, but instead I keep walking by it and eating it like a deprived child.

    Hugs, this will be over before you know it and maybe nest year can be the spring of speed!

  18. I have many DNSs in my pocket and I hate each one so I hear where you are coming from.  But you do have some great positive things to get you through.  I don't think I would have thought my way through it that way.

    Have a great time in Cali!

  19. Voyeuristic running.  lol.  This is a good list.  Your little niece is adorable and meeting Caroline will be fantastic. I wish you had a new baby niece in the St. Louis area!! :)

    You'll definitely treasure running that much more when you're back at it.  I know what you mean about pages where people are doing things you can't. My trouble spot with those is my friends who are able to train during the day when I'm at work (one in particular who says things like, "I just rode 30 miles...what did you do today?" and I have to go to class...c'mon summer!!) or those with spouses who totally GET running and biking and training.

  20. HATE the number nine moments! :^)

    We WILL come out of this. It's just so hard to stay positive. I'm not good at it without outside help.

  21.  Our significant others put up with a lot, don't they? We are lucky!

  22.  Homer Simpson! LOL!! That's what I want to say too--give me some donuts!!

  23. I'm continue to be impressed and inspired by you everyday.  And I pray each time I open one of your posts that it says "I Ran Today!"  The day will come soon and you will be so much stronger when it does.  
    By the way, I completely agree - the DNS sucks. I had my first this year and it was emotionally painful!

  24. I'm glad you layed it all out here T! I'll bet it was therapeutic to do so. Not running does suck. But you're right. There's lots of learning in there too. Patience is a big one. I know its hard sometimes but finding the silver lining will take you far. Hugs!

  25. I think I would rather be going with you....:) 

    You will get through this and come out the other side much stronger!

  26. haha...#10 :) You continue to put this all in perspective for yourself and all your readers over and over. This is a great post!

  27. Ug, fighting an injury sucks! I think my longest hiatus was a month off for an achilles problem, and luckily I took that month off before things got too bad. It is just so never endingly frustrating. I'm a bit whimsical about Boston too, though I'm not nearly as close to the goal as you are. I think almost everyone that runs a marathon, deep down, has to wonder if they could get their BQ if they just worked hard enough.

    I KNOW you will get there, and I'm glad you have that #4 item - patience - in your brain.

  28. Running does not define you.  When I had PF last fall I read every book about running I could get my hands on--Born to Run, Once a Runner, Some book about some crazy ultrarunner who ran from San Francisco to New York, and others. When I got injured back in December, I took to cross training and read Zen and the Art of Running and Chi Running to avoid injuries in the future. Get well!

  29. By the way, on mile 14 of a 16-mile run last week I was kind of jealous of everyone who wasn't running. Ha!

  30. Sorry for the bad things.
    In this last period I paid for 3 expensive reces that I missed: Florence marathon, Pisa marathon and Rome-Ostia half marathon. I was very upset.