Sunday, March 7, 2010

Running Red Light

Running has never been quite as enjoyable as it has been since I moved from the brutal cold Chicago winter to San Diego's year round spring-like temps. I have always enjoyed the challenge of running and the feeling of satisfaction that comes with completing a run or an extra mile I hadn't intended to run. I have always savored the moments after a long run when I feel accomplished and mentally refreshed. There truly is nothing like it. A run is equal to a therapy session for me, and the only cost is my physical energy and time. That's a bargain if you ask me.

Chicago only offers a few months out of the year for enjoyable running, for a wimp like me that is. I used to spend about 8 months doing the bulk of my running indoors on the treadmill while watching TV and the other 4 running on the crowded lakefront path with everyone else that had gone stir crazy over the winter months. My running in Chicago was only slightly enjoyable. Once I moved to sunny San Diego that all changed. Running has become more than a therapy session, it has become my love! Although already in a wonderful relationship, it was like falling in love all over again.

San Diego offers year round warmth and coastal beauty. A runner's paradise. My first few runs were a rude awakening as they were primarily hills and as you know I had just arrived from the flatlands of Illinois. Quickly I became stronger and my confidence grew. I started to feel proud of myself for the first time in quite awhile. I was excited about each run and eagerly awaiting 5:00 PM each day so I could dash out of work and hit the pavement.
I had decided to sign up for my first San Diego race, the La Jolla Half Marathon. A race from Del Mar to La Jolla along the ocean and over tremendous hills. I even decided to follow a program for the first time. I was actually thinking about getting faster and going harder, rather than just finishing. This was a whole new ballgame for me.
My weekdays began to fill up with tempo runs, speed work and recovery runs. I was loving every second of it. Then the day came when I had to stop it all.
My partner and I headed up to the beautiful Torrey Pines state reserve for a 9 mile run. Immediately I felt pain. Now, I know better than to run through pain, but I decided today I wasn't going to listen to my body. I struggled along, grimacing with every footstep. When we reached the monstrous hill I pushed myself up until the pain became so severe I couldn't take another step.

If you've had one before, you probably can guess what it was. A stress fracture. An automatic 6 weeks of no running and staying off my foot. I have already sold my race bib, thanks to Craigslist and have started this blog, which will eventually be my running blog.  Until then, it will be my non-running blog (exciting, huh?) 

Hopefully when I get back to running I will be even stronger and eventually work up to being faster. I know one thing, I will definitely be smarter.

My injury was 7 days ago and I have spent 6 days this week indoors at the gym. I may be miles from Chicago but I sense some cabin fever coming on.


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