It’s been 16 days since I last ran and 14 days since I was diagnosed with a stress fracture. Aside from lengthy hiatuses due to stuff like brain surgery, this is one of my longest breaks from running. And you know what I’ve realized?
It feels a lot like a break up.
Specifically, it’s a lot like this:
I am the ostrich. The only difference is that I’ve been good and am following doctor’s orders not to run except once when I was crossing the street in Miami and had to run a few steps so I wouldn’t get hit by a bus.
How not running has been like a break up:
- I am eating more junk food. This isn’t to say I was ever eating 100% clean/raw/paleo/whatever the latest healthy trend is these days. But I feel like I’ve been craving a lot more booze and sugar than usual, which is a bit frightening considering that my baseline is like this:
2. I have a lot more free time. I’m not sure that I *actually* have that much more free time since I’m still going to work and have been ellipticizing it up all over town while I burn through free trials at all of the nearby gyms. I guess I noticed it more over the weekend when I put in my requisite time at the gym instead of racing or going for a long run. Even though I’m sticking to an evening workout schedule this week I still wake up around 6 when the Gentleman’s alarm goes off. But I don’t have to be at work until around 9, and my commute is literally about 5 minutes long. What am I supposed to do with all of this time in the morning?!
3. I don’t have my previous support system. I still have my friends and family but running has a special effect on my stress levels. I realize it sounds stupid but starting a long, crazy, stressful work day can feel a million times better if I’ve done an intense workout in the morning. My inner monologue is like “Oh, you’re going to make me do X, Y, and Z today?! Well I just ran a killer tempo this morning so BRING IT.” For whatever reason, my elliptical and other non-running workouts never have this effect.
4. Basically, I’ve realized I had no life outside of running so now I’m just a sad, lonely, pathetic loser. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration (I hope…?). But running really became an important part of my life again over the past year, so I do feel a little lost when it’s not around. Yes, I have other hobbies I can nurture, and if all else fails I can probably take up my coworker on her offer to teach me to quilt “since that’s probably way better for your leg!” But it will never be the same because:
was am in a codependent relationship. I injured myself because I overtrained but I neeeeeeeed you, running! Come back, please?