Sunday, July 20, 2014

Life without Running

I created my running blog a year and a half ago when I began training for the 2013 Buffalo Marathon.  I was able to share my journey from the beginning of my marathon training until I crossed the finish line at the end of that glorious 26.2 miles. Since I am a math teacher, I naturally included running statistics at the end of every post during my marathon training. Over my 30 weeks of training, I ran a total of 527.1 miles over the course of 85 hours, 9 minutes and 44 seconds.  When you do the math, it equates to a total of 3 days, 13 hours, 9 minutes and 44 seconds of running. On top of the 85 hours of training, it took me 5 hours, 5 minutes and 30 seconds to cross the finish line of the 2013 Buffalo Marathon. After devoting 90 hours of running over the course of 30 weeks, I was extremely proud of myself for accomplishing something that only about 1% of the world’s population will ever accomplish.

I decided to continue blogging occasionally after the Buffalo Marathon because that certainly was not the end of my running journey.  I met Jason shortly after I ran the Buffalo Marathon and he quickly became a part of my running journey too. He was just beginning to get into running when we met and we quickly began to compete with one another in the distance aspect. If one of us went out and ran 5 miles, the other one would go out and run 6 miles. If one of us went out and ran 8 miles, the other one would go out and run 9 miles. We were both in pretty good shape by the end of the summer and coaching cross country helped me to begin to really improve my speed while running. By the early fall, Jason and I were both in the best shape that we had ever been in and we began running road races together. By running road races together, I mean that we would enter the same races and Jason would always finish well ahead of me. I loved that he was always waiting for me at the finish line and that running had become an integral part of our relationship.

The last time that I wrote a blog post was about 8 months ago, which was the last time that Jason and I had entered a road race together. I have run 2 more road races since my last blog post so I have now completed 50 road races since I began running 6 years ago. Those 50 road races include several 5K’s and 10K’s, 6 half marathons and 1 marathon. I had been hoping to increase the 50 road race total, but my body had different plans for me. It has been 8 months since I last posted because I have not run much since then and it has been 4 months since the last time that I actually went out for a run. After the Buffalo Marathon, some stomach issues began to worsen and I slowly began to run less and less. I had dealt with acid reflux for 10 years, but I had still been able to continue running. A hiatal hernia developed over the last couple of years and the acid reflux started becoming a problem when I was running. I decided that it was time to stop running until I was able to get my stomach issues under control.

Since I finally had surgery 2 months ago, running has been and will continue to be out of the question for a while. I know that running has caused a lot of wear and tear on my body and it certainly attributed to my health issues. I know that if I ever get back into running eventually, it will not and cannot be the same as it was before. Truthfully, I am not even sure that I will ever really get back into running or if I even want to. In fact, I do not even really consider myself a runner anymore. I am not even proud of my running accomplishments anymore since I am no longer running. When I began cutting back on the running a few months ago, I took my 13.1 and 26.2 magnets off of the back of my car. I worked really hard to accomplish running several half marathons and a full marathon so I proudly displayed those magnets for months. After spending 6 years running 3-4 times a week and entering many road races, I felt like I no longer deserved to display my accomplishments because I am no longer a runner.  As a former runner, I had always considered running to be a huge part of my life and that is no longer the case. Some days I would really love to just lace up my running sneakers and hit the pavement again. Some days I am jealous of all of my friends who get to go out run and I am sad that I am not out running too. Some days I really do not miss running at all, but most days I do. I am not sure when or if I will ever begin running again so in the meantime I will have to find something else to fill the running void in my life.

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