Everyone copes with anxiety differently. Some people eat more. Some drink more. Some shop more. Apparently, I run more.
This is the only honest way I can explain how I jumped from 35-40 running miles a week, to sometimes over sixty. In case you weren’t sure—that’s not a safe increase. Obviously—as I became the not-so-proud recipient of a strained Achilles tendon and stress fractured foot to prove it.
Truthfully, I didn’t set out to increase my mileage. It was unintentional—if you can believe adding 15-20 extra miles a week could pass under one’s radar. But, looking back, I can see how it happened.
Christmas 2010 was still not the peaceful, joy-filled season I was hoping for. Better than 2009—our first year as an oreo family of seven—yet still personally unsettling. We trekked to Reno at the beginning of December--first time with five kiddos--where I ran a disappointing California marathon, and the rest of the trip I spent somewhat tight- chested, as it was yet another "first meeting", and for whatever reason, those first meetings always leave me tight-chested.
Then the usual holiday-rush and post-holiday daze, all of which left me slightly bewildered by the beginning of 2011. I guess this is where the extra mileage came to play. My solution for shaking the New Year blues was adding a three-mile run into my early-morning routine.
Adding a morning run isn’t a problem. Not backing off regular mileage is.
Here I was, doing this incredibly healthy thing for all the wrong reasons. I wasn’t adding extra miles to just start my day off right. I was running to escape this uncomfortable season of life.
Just as high-speed police chases never seem to end well, neither did my own attempt at escape. All it did was leave me broken—unable to even go one mile for relief from the pressing in of my life.
I had made a decision to start doing triathlons before my last marathon. Now I was forced into the sport by virtue of injury. I begrudgingly began swimming at the gym, and mustered all the excitement of a child ordered to clean his messy room, when it came to buying me a bike and gear.
I tried to put on a happy face for riding—and even let a little joy slip out as I surged down hills and powered back up again. But, it was a fragile happiness, lasting only until my first unintentional contact with the ground.
“I hate this. It’s stupid. Why can’t I just run?” I muttered, as I crawled out from underneath my bike—quite unsuccessfully, I might add, since my feet were still clipped in.
Why can’t I just run, I prayed. Why do I have to be so uncomfortable? Why does everything have to be so hard right now?
Whine, whine, whine… right?
Or maybe... it’s an honest question, coming from an honestly seeking heart, looking for a true and honest answer?
.... more to come.
Thanks for allowing me to write my journey as I swim, bike, fall and even run a little through it.
Grace and Peace,