Sunday, December 19, 2010

So, Thank You

70 days ago I went out for an 8 mile run.

It was the final ten days before the Denver Rock ‘n Roll Marathon. Four months of hard training and I was almost done. I felt pain in my piriformis and left hamstring, but was in the mindset of, “It's supposed to hurt, your training for a marathon. Don’t be a baby. Shut up and do this.” As I approached the turn around point, I decided to kick it into high gear and to see if I could sustain some 7:30 minute miles. I was flying, feeling on top of the world. Nothing could stop me. Until it did stop me.

One mile from home my hip gave out. A sudden, sharp pain with impact. I NEVER walk on runs. Never. Yet, I found myself hobbling home, humbled, defeated. “You pussy,” I told myself. Yet, I knew something was very wrong.

An MRI later that week confirmed the hip stress fracture. I was done. There would be no Denver Marathon. There would be no running for at least three months. Boston in April 2011 might be out of the picture. Hello f*cking crutches.

And just like that, I was done.

The loss of running was huge. But, I worried about something else. I thought if I couldn’t run, the blog was doomed. Who reads a running blog when the author of the blog can’t run, train or relay any sort of personal experience about her running?

But, you came back and stayed. Some new followers joined the party.  For that I am incredibly grateful. This injury has sucked, but without it there would have been no pussy posse. No tales of running in the pool. No idiotic posts about camel toes and devices that allow women to pee standing up. Because if I could have been running, those things would have been replaced by training and race recaps. Stories of crapping in trees and alongside roads.

What I know in my heart is that I am a runner and I love to run. Yet, running is not all of who I am. It does not define me completely. If I cannot run, I am still worth something. Maybe? There is life after and aside from running. Really, there is!!!!

From Zen and the Art of Running:

“When people are deprived of something they enjoy immensely, it is no surprise that they feel sorrow. Most injured runners have to learn to deal with this sorrow of loss. After my injury, I regretted features of running that I hadn’t even known I had enjoyed. Who would have thought I would miss waking up at 5 a.m., or that I liked feeling icicles forming on my eyelashes, or that icing my knees while watching the news was a great way to relax? But lurking behind the pain of loss was an attachment that only made things worse. At some point in my history of running I became attached to the idea that I was a RUNNER.”

Some of you asked how I stayed so positive during recovery. Wine!! And not taking myself so seriously. It’s not like I’m some elite athlete or something.

While I had some down moments mentally, there were not many of them. Here’s what really got me through (Again, from Zen and the Art of Running):

“Don’t ask yourself to to do something beyond your present ability; ask yourself what you need to do now to live a happy and fulfilled life. Now you are not a runner. That person is gone. Instead, you are a person with talents, skills, hobbies, interests and goals – and that’s what you should be pursuing.”

It sure will feel good to get out there again.

So, thank you for hanging in there with me. For your words of support, for your emails just to check in, for your advice. It has meant the world to me. Really, it has.

2nd MRI coming up on Thursday. If it’s clear, I start running again.

See you in Boston.

You guys rock (all 1035 of you),

SUAR

60 comments:

  1. Hope the MRI goes well. Most people are far more than just one thing. More than just a runner, or a triathlete, or an accountant, or whatever. Sometimes a break is needed to help you discover what ELSE you are. Good luck with that.

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  2. Praying for good results from your MRI. I hope you can start running again soon!

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  3. Well I am one of those who started following you recently and no not because of giveaway! I love your blog! I hope next MRI comes back A+ with a merry Christmas to you!!!

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  4. It is a reality we will all have to face someday, the fact that we will no longer do some things we love, such as running or playing sports. But that quote is very appropriate, it is a matter of making the adjustment and finding fulfillment with whatever is left for us to do, as painfully boring as that sounds... :)

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  5. This is a great post! Good luck with the MRI this week - would be great to end the year with a few miles on the road! I've never ready Zen and the Art of Running but sounds like it would be great for me. Off to the bookstore...

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  6. I hope everything goes well and you're back to running soon! :)

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  7. I'll cross my fingers,toes, and hips for a good MRI!

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  8. Its funny that you posted this. I recently got back into running after not having ran in many years. Ive had a blog for a while and with the new running started posting running stuff.. I searched around for some running blogs and found yours and a few others. So I found you during your injury. I also found a few others during their injuries. I love reading those blogs the most because it shows the person and not just the runner.

    Hope the MRI gives you the all clear to run again.

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  9. I have learned so much from you, even during these 70 days. you are amazing and inspiring. I hope the MRI is clear!

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  10. Fingers crossed for you! Hope that MRI is clear, clear, clear!

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  11. We've both been blogging more than running of late - and, frankly, you seem to be less stir-crazy. But, if you've never walked during a run, you just haven't gone far enough to find your limit or gone up a long and steep enough hill (aren't there mountains in Colorado?)

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  12. Oh my, oh my. This post resonates with me soooo much, as I sit here an hour and a half after having my own MRI done. Following your tenacious recovery will undoubtedly inspire me when and if I find myself walking a similar path.

    With overwhelming sincerity, thank YOU!

    The thanks all go to you, lady.

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  13. You are going to kill BAWSTON SUAR!!!

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  14. Since I did my "Festivus airing of grievances", I have another one for you: You have so many things on the side of your blog's page that the only things in the blogroll that get listed are written in the past few hours. Half of the new visitors to my blog come from yours in the first two hours after publishing - then there's none.

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  15. Reading your posts helped me see the humor in my own broken bone.

    Wishing good juju for the MRI!:)

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  16. I tune in for your comedic ways! You always, always, always make me laugh out loud!
    Love you for that!
    Keeping my fingers crossed for good news on your 2nd MRI!

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  17. Crossing everything for healthy results.

    And, that's just it: you have to look forward not back. There is nothing worse than being stuck in the past or living in the present. Keep your eyes on the future. Thanks for being positive.

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  18. Wow!! I can't believe it all happened just like that! Praying for the MRI to look good and Boston here we come:) People will flock your blog no matter what you write about...you are hilarious!

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  19. I am actually one of those new followers who found your blog after you got injured and have still enjoyed your posts immensely! I do look forward to your running posts when you get back to it as well, but either way your content is always great :)

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  20. Good luck, SUAR! And I'll read about whatever you topic you want to write about! You're a very funny, talented writer!

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  21. Hoping your MRI gives you the go-ahead. I am a new follower. It is really impressive how you have worked to get that hip healed. I had a hip "thing" for over 8 years and just never took the time to get it figured out so it never got better until I did take the time. Your wit and humor are honestly inspirational for me and have shown me that I am not alone in belching, farting, and crapping with nearly reckless abandon. That last quote really says it. And I sound so cliché when I say thanks for sharing your process with us.

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  22. Runner or not, you have been and continue to be an inspiration. Thanks for keeping it real. I so enjoy reading your blog, and if you never ran again, I still would read it.

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  23. I am also a recent follower, and I love your blog because it's funny, outspoken and genuine. Being a runner might be one of the most important parts of you, but it's not all of you, and I think the blogosphere appreciates the other parts of you just as much. But this was an incredible post - thanks so much for sharing and providing a heaping dose of inspiration. I think everyone wonders sometimes: what if I couldn't run? So thanks for proving that there is life beyond the run and demonstrating both patience and passion.
    Good luck with the MRI! I'm crossing my fingers for you :)

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  24. wine does wonders for the injured, no? I found your blog while you were injured and thats what got me hooked! Your witty posts, your positive oulook, etc.!! You are pretty darn amazing. I am prayin for a clear on running. Keep us posted!
    Cheers,
    LC

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  25. Keeping fingers and toes crossed for your full recovery! Can send wine if needed! :)

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  26. You know, I found your blog the week you got injured....so I haven't really "known" you in your 'active runner' state. Yet I find you extremely entertaining! You have kept me checking in daily, sometimes I find insight, sometimes I have a good laugh! You seem like a pretty well rounded and amazing lady in your current state, and I look forward to reading about the running adventures that lay in your future, too.
    I am grateful that you did keep the blog going during the past 70 days, and am hoping you get the thumbs up to run soon!

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  27. Steve, sorry I can't change my sidebar to make sure you get more new visitors everyday. I like it how it is. Yeah I am a wimp. I don't run far enough or up enough mountains to walk during runs. I'll leave that up to you.

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  28. I hope everything goes well and welcome back to running!

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  29. Keeping my fingers crossed for your MRI. I enjoy reading your blog no matter what you're talking about! Hope you're running soon!

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  30. Sending positive thoughts your way SUAR!!!!!! Thursday's MRI will be positive for sure and I agree with the many comments, I'd be interested in your posts regradless of running or not! :)

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  31. Hoping for a positive report!
    that being said, you are one HOT mama! that pic is amazing :D

    thank you for sharing your adventures with us-did you know I actually TRIED pool running just because of you?? really, I did.

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  32. Beth,
    What a great post, sounds like you've had some time for soul searching. Adversity can bring new opportunities and relationships (your posse) if we're open to them. Hope you heal well!

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  33. i WILL see you in boston. even if i have to stalk you to do so ;) seriously. you've been warned.

    good luck on thursday and i'm sending good vibes your way all week.

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  34. Good luck with that MRI. I expect that there'll be a running post in your very near future.

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  35. Pretty sure you'd have to work pretty darn hard to lose your readers! You're just as talented a writer/comedienne as you are runner, girlfriend!

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  36. awwww! :) ofcourse i would continue reading... just cuz your a runner doesnt mean that its your only interesting trait! :) your fabulous!

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  37. Your daily diversion into irrational thoughts is most entertaining - why go away??? :-) Merry Christmas to you and your family - hoping for that good news from the MRI man under your Christmas tree this year!!!

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  38. I will send tons of "in the clear" MRI vibes your way - this is an amazing blog and an awesome post. Thank you.

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  39. This is one of my favorite posts of your yet Beth! Such great sections to include from Zen and The Art of Running too. I really connected with this.

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  40. That's the best part about the running blogging community, they stick around and keep you afloat til you join the ranks again. Keeping my fingers crossed!!!

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  41. Good luck with the MRI. Hearing about the pussy posse has been fun, but nothing beats tales of crapping in trees!

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  42. What a great post. Good luck on Thursday. Can't wait to read that you're back in action!

    Winks & Smiles,
    Wifey

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  43. great post and fingers crossed for a good to go MRI!!!

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  44. Good luck with the MRI this week!! I'm sending lots of healing vibes your way!

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  45. I see there are 1036 of us now! :)

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  46. My femur fracture knocked me out when I was trying to BQ!! I wish I could say I'd see you there, maybe 2011!!! Sending you happy healing!! That MRI will be clear!

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  47. Great Post! OK-can you believe it!!! You could be running in less than 1 week!!!!! I think Santa should read your MRI and possibly ignore the fact that at times you are a naughty girl! Ha! What a great Christmas present!!

    BTW-I got PILES of inspiration from your blog the last couple of months regardless of the fact that you weren't running. You are my pool running idol-always reminding me that even when I'm forced to the treadmill I could be stuck in the pool!! Such a strong smart recovery! Thanks for the laughs! You keep it light. You keep it fun. You keep it real!!! Just love this blog and can't wait to follow your running adventures starting SOON!!! YAY!

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  48. So, I think you know that I had my own stress fracture this summer and didn't run for 12 weeks. I am 100% healed and completley got my endurance back. This WILL be you. Soon.

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  49. I can't believe it's been that long already. Here's to positive results on Thursday!

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  50. Good luck with the MRI and I hope you'll be back to doing what you love best real soon. Although I have to admit, I laugh every time you write the words p-y posse. I can;t even type it, it's so ridiculous. :)

    S

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  51. Good luck on Thursday! I know what SUAR wants for Christmas...

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  52. Can't wait to hear those results!!

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  53. i like how you said you don't take yourself so seriously. some blogs with all the paces, distances, etc...analyzing every step they take. we're just normal people who run! and that's exactly why i like your blog.

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  54. I've been reading for a while, but never comment (until now). You reminded me of a quote that I LOVE - "Running does not define who I am, but without it I am incomplete." Wish I could give credit but I can't remember where I saw it, it just stuck with me. And I'm only passing it on because I know you'll be back at it VERY soon! Good luck and good vibes for the MRI!!!

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  55. Found a great article you might like on "dead butt" syndrome, which likely is a partial cause of piraformis and hamstring problems. And a doctor told me that foot issues can also cause piraformis/hamstring problems. Since it sounds like you have the same thing I have, I'll pass along info as I get it! But I especially thought you'd like the article name "dead butt."

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  56. Sorry, forgot to send the URL! http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/when-the-diagnosis-is-dead-butt-syndrome/

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  57. Wow, I guess it is almost 1/1/11!!! Hopefully you get some good news today.

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  58. I'm stoked that I found your blog--and it was during your dry spell. You make me laugh daily!

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