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On Running Again or How to Deal with Unexpected Changes

by Ashley on September 25, 2012 · 1 comment

I had these awesome plans that I would start running again once the weather cooled down.

And then I tripped on an uneven sidewalk, busted my knee, and my plans? They went ka-put.

You see, I ran my first half-marathon last February. When I started training, I couldn’t run for more than 1 minute without stopping. Three months later I finished the Austin Livestrong half-marathon in under 2 hours and 38 minutes. I trained for 12 weeks and grew from a non-runner to an actual runner.

It was one of the best experiences of my life and taught me more about myself than living in a foreign country, moving to NYC alone, or graduating from an Ivy league university. It taught me that I could prove myself wrong. It taught me that I could do anything. With running, I found “my thing”.

Once the race was over, I continued to run regularly, but never more than 5 miles at a time. And then, before I knew it, it was the middle of May and the afternoons were topping out at 100 degrees for weeks on end. At that point, I told myself to take it easy. I backed down to two or three mile runs, early in the morning to combat the heat and humidity.

But now it’s nearing the end of September and I have exactly one run under my belt for the past month. Not so awesome.

I knew I would start running again in the fall since I had already identified the heat was my biggest obstacle, so I made this plan to get back out there this week. The morning temperatures are finally under 70 degrees and are totally bearable for a quick run.

And then I busted my knee. Of course.

I’d show you a picture, but it’s pretty disgusting. I’ve been pouring alcohol on it, keeping it clean, and totally pretending like it doesn’t hurt with every step I take.

The hugest bummer of this whole ordeal is that I know I won’t be able to run for at least a week. Somehow the wound found the perfect spot where it hurts to straighten my leg or bend my knee.  It’s impressive, really.

Now that I can’t start running again as planned, I’m forced to reassess the situation.

Normally, I lead a pretty structured life. I lean toward the Type-A personality and I like to have a schedule, know what is going to happen, and be prepared. I don’t deal with curve balls well and I don’t like unexpected changes.

But that’s the exact card I have been dealt.

With this unexpected chance, learning about flexibility. In yoga you are taught to lean into the discomfort. Feel it. Embrace it.

I can be frustrated and angry that my plans are put on hold, or I can use this time to stretch, practice yoga, and make my body stronger so that I can kick some major butt when I can start running again.

I obviously can’t change this situation, but I can change my attitude, my outlook, and my choices moving forward.

How you do handle unexpected changes?


P.S. I’m giving away 100 free coaching calls. Have you grabbed a spot yet?


Photo credit: ga-kayaker
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kelly September 30, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Totally understand- have been able to run only on and off for the last few years. In a way it’s been a blessing because I’ve gotten really into other workouts, especially swimming :) Hopefully you can do something else in the meantime!


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