Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Month of Introspection

I was largely silent in January. This was due to a variety of factors, including a continuing frustrating struggle with my SI joint, back pain and general malaise. Additionally, not only was I not running much (and when I was, it was often by myself), but Husband was gone for almost the entire month traveling for work, so I got used to not being social and spent a lot of time on internal reflection and thought.

Not really what blogs are about.

A lot of things happened in January.

I'm sure you all heard about Meg Menzies (who didn't?). She was a part of my Spring Marathon Training Group and on MTT too, but I did not know her. But her story was inescapable and completely overwhelmed every media outlet (social and otherwise) in Richmond. I'm not interested in saying anything more about it other than it was a tragic, horrible thing.

My personal relationship with running cooled a great deal, in part thanks to the injury and also largely due to the polar vortex and corresponding snow/ice that we dealt with multiple times. Richmond just doesn't do snow. And apparently, I just don't do cold.

I found myself wondering time and time again why I do this thing - running - especially when it apparently causes me so much bodily grief and harm. As a runner with injuries, I feel like what I am doing to my body is pretty much the same as the person who smokes. It's a habit that I enjoy and admit to being addicted to, but it hurts me, yet I keep doing it.

(Obviously I know that running is not as bad for you as smoking. Don't everyone freak out.)

I turned to yoga instead and have been back at least once a week since the beginning of the year. It has been great to rediscover yoga and I am definitely going to be continuing to build my practice into my training schedule as the spring progresses.

Speaking of training schedules, on January 28th, I graduated from PT and was cleared by Steve to run the Raleigh Rock 'n Roll Marathon in April. I have mixed feelings about this. Part of me thinks that I was not ready to be finished with PT. I am still not 100% pain free (will I ever be?) and I like the weekly check in to make sure that everything is still where it needs to be in terms of joints and spinal alignment.

I think that I am glad that I can run the marathon, but I'm not really sure. The fact that my running twin is doing it with me is pretty much the only reason I haven't already "downgraded" to the half marathon. My endurance is abysmal and I feel so far behind in training. My heart just isn't in it right now, though I'm trying very hard to find it. The cold weather, rain, snow, and dark mornings aren't helping matters.

My month of solitude helped me rediscover some parts of myself that had been a bit neglected. I watched many French-language movies (my theory is that if I just watch enough French movies/television, I will suddenly wake up one morning able to speak French). I went to the Symphony multiple times. I went to the awesome Mozart Festival in Carytown. Inspired by that, I got my flute out of the closet and started playing in the evenings. I read three books (The Univited Guests by Sadie Jones, Marrying Mozart by Stephanie Cowell, and Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings). Running had taken over who I was, and it was nice to remember that I am not only a runner but also a band geek, flute player, and bookworm.

Finally, January was the month that I officially became fed up with social media, culminating in me "quitting" Facebook this past weekend. A whole series of events built up over the past 30 days or so and I finally decided that Facebook's impact on my life is more negative than positive. I removed it from my phone and will only sign in twice a week, mainly to check up on our running group and see when everyone is heading out during the week.

That realization and action left me in a bit of a lurch when it came to my blog. I don't want to quit blogging, but right now I just don't feel like I have a lot to contribute or anything interesting to say. I'm injured, so most of my posts would be whining. I'm training for another marathon, but I've already written copiously about that. My thoughts on recent running-community events are by and large not the same as 99% of other runners and I'm not in the mood to be skewered, so I'm not sharing them publicly.

So, I guess this is my long-winded way to say that I'm still here, but feeling kind of muted at the moment.

I think that January just has a way of doing that to people.


  1. Sometimes it’s scary how similar our moods/sentiments can be. Maybe it’s because we’re both dealing with annoying injuries. Maybe it’s just the time of year. But I’ve spent my unwanted downtime having the exact same internal dialogue, and coming to much the same conclusions. Social media has become a somewhat noxious ingredient in my life and all too often distracting from things that may actually bring positivity into my world – like silence. And while I’m not in the most social of moods lately, “social” media is not at all a healthy substitute for actual human contact or at least interaction with nature. I hope the weather gives us a break soon and you can find your training fire. My spring marathon goal is pretty much shot, but I did run a slow short run outside yesterday. Maybe I’ll be able to salvage something. Ugh…

    Good luck pseudo-sister. I’ll be following the blog as usual. And as soon as I get my running legs back, I’m coming to RVA for that run…and maybe a Legends Brew. Happy training.

    1. Strangely, I think that we just happen to be very similar people. =) I take comfort in that, as it means that I am not the only person who has these seemingly weird, singular thoughts and reactions to things.

      We ran the floodwall last night after work and the scent of Legends burgers floated tantalizingly toward us. So it's a date. I'll have a burger (since you don't do meat), you have a beer (since I don't do beer) and we'll call it a complete meal. I hope you get back on your feet soon. I know how you feel.

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