Well, that didn’t last long #runningstreak

On Day 7, I felt like Superwoman, running a 10k along the beach, with five 200-metre sprints tucked into the back end. Immediately after, my partner and I took a 6k walk to the farmer’s market, which I had scouted on my run. I felt so awesome that I took over carrying ALL six bags of fresh Gulf seafood and Florida produce while my partner ducked into the wine store. And if that weren’t stupid enough, 50-something Superwoman decided she should run the last block back to the hotel while carrying those six bags. Third step in, pain stabbed into my back, just above my left buttock, and I knew immediately my running streak was over.

A mere week in.

Next day, I woke up feeling like a magician’s prop — the one that gets sawed in half, only for real.  I considered hobbling out a k just to keep the run streak going but that went against my deepest values as a runner — which, as ultra Pam Reid put it in my book Older Faster Strong, “I run to protect my running.”

Heck, even attempting a running streak in the first place cut against the the principles that successfully took me through my Older Faster Stronger super-fit year. And that is to take a balanced approach to running, with rest days and cross training and yoga, to run in a way that would enable me to keep running into my 90s and maybe 100

So what possessed me to attempt the streak? A new running adventure? A regime to keep me disciplined through a winter and spring that would take me away from my running club and a running program? To discover the meaning of running?

Oh yes, I wanted something from that streak — maybe a touchstone to get me through this next year of incredible change in my life, a new direction in writing but, much more than that, building a new house on an island a few hours away from my best running pals and the best running club in the world. The move is months away and I know we’ll stay in touch, run together when I’m in the city and when they visit, yet I’m already feeling the deep loss of daily commune with my running sisters.

Damn it, maybe this run streak/injury has given me something after all — realization that this loss will be huge and I can’t just plug in a daily run to fill it. That I can’t run away from that pain but must figure a way to run with it.



3 Responses to Well, that didn’t last long #runningstreak

  1. Anne Marie January 9, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your injury, but wanted you to know that you inspire me to run faster and stronger as I head toward 58 in a few weeks. I test-drove a new pair of shoes this morning in -4C weather. I have committed to run through the winter for the first time in my life, and your book and blog are helping me hold to it. Keep writing and blogging. Rest up and get well soon. And just because some people start a new year on January 1st, doesn’t mean that you need too. Start your new year when you are healthy enough to get back out there. I love a good Restart!

    • Margaret January 9, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

      Thanks, A-M. I think now that I know the source of my pain and drive, I’ll be back on course pretty soon. A running streak? Maybe one that gets me out there five days a week w/ strength training. As for your winter running, I LOVE running in winter. Just think of those skiers out there in all kinds of weather. Running takes us there and you’ll appreciate storms like never before. Just keep in mind a good set of yak tracks for icy conditions and be mindful of footsteps in most conditions! Good luck w/ your goal.

  2. Susan January 9, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

    Margaret, this is great – you inspired so many with your ability to think big and reach high when you set the initial goal and now you equally inspire with your smart, strategic decision to adjust and re-assess, looking beyond the day-to-day and maintaining the ultimate goal as top priority! Love it. And thanks for the awesome quote from Pam Reid. I’ll remember that, just as I’ll remember the wonderful example you just set for runners, especially as we age and want to protect our own running. Happy, healthy 2016 to you!

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