(With all due respect to Mr. Kenny Rogers, of course)
After weeks of great, pain-free mid-week runs of 2.3-2.5 miles followed by Saturday “long” runs that hobbled me in pain before 2 miles, I had a little break-down this week and swore off running for an indeterminate amount of time.
I know that time off won’t do squat for my IT Band Syndrome. This isn’t about taking time to heal an injury. This about the mental and emotional side of running. I run for a number of reasons, but chief among them are the happiness I experience form accomplishing a goal and the emotional relaxation I gain from a good, long run. I’m not getting either of those things from running lately. Instead, I spend all day leading up to a run fretting and stressing over if and when pain will strike. And when it inevitably does, I limp home feeling unsure, defeated and emotionally fragile. NOT good.
So I’m taking a week, maybe two, to engage in physical activities that bring about joy and pleasure, that make me feel awake, alive and mentally calm. I spent over an hour Saturday lost in the rhythmic repetitions of ballet barre work and came away feeling strong, secure and focused. THAT’s what I need right now.
Of course, the Jingle Jungle 5K at Disney World hovers on the horizon, only days away. But I talked with my son, Leo, and we agreed to make it a fun race: we’re dressing to the nines, we’ll be stopping for pictures, and we’ll run when it feels good, walk when it doesn’t. Frankly, it’s a huge relief to be going into a race with no goal and no ambition in mind beyond a fun time!