Coming Back

Some days, months, and years pass quietly, inconspicuously. Others are transformative – marked by feelings of disarray. With increasing responsibilities at work, coupled with a move, the last couple months have been the latter.

January and early February were spent on the track running uncomfortably short indoor races (like this, this and this). Despite feeling decently fit from a solid December, my times were mediocre and I had a constant nagging pain in my lower left leg. Every time I would try and get some turnover in races, my left ankle would get stiff and stop responding. It was also preventing from getting my weekly mileage up to the norm. It was frustrating, to say the least, and I felt as though I was swimming against the current, burning myself out.

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I exhausted valuable time, emotional energy, and money on PT and other treatment in attempt to run healthy, yet stubbornly refused to adjust my schedule or take time off. Eventually, I surrendered – I took few days completely off and shifted my focus away from running. Once I finally chilled out for a beat (and started seeing Jerry routinely to adjust structural imbalances), I recovered relatively quickly.

With weekly adjustments, strength training sessions, and increasing mileage incrementally, I’ve been able to build a sturdy base over the last 6 weeks. I realize that recovery days are a must for me to be at my best (mentally and physically), but by focusing on consistency and getting durable, I’ve seen a lot of progress.

Just as of late, I find myself hungry to run fast and start implementing specific work again. But it takes time to fall in love with running again after a rut; it takes unhurried runs on unruly trails and rediscovering a rhythm. It takes removing myself from it, sometimes, too; removing myself from its wrath.

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While degrees of intensity and “tunnel vision” vary, running is a rare constant – whether I like it or not. Sometimes it feels like a child, requiring perpetual tending to. Sometimes, I would love to just turn it off. It has the ability to shatter me, bring the lowest lows, then leave me hungry for more. When it’s good, though, it’s incomparable.

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