It’s really starting to sink in that I’m running a half marathon in a little over one month. And I can’t lie – I am terrified!
So I’ve kicked my training into high gear, but it’s a double edged sword. I’ve incorporated a bit of cross training into every day and it’s already paying dividends. But the funny thing about training with this new knee is that I’m constantly walking the line between “is this pain from a new injury?” and “I need to train harder to make sure I don’t get injured again.” It’s a constant struggle – I sometimes take a day to rest between runs because I’m afraid of hurting my knees, but after that day off I worry that I won’t be trained enough for this race and will therefore tear my ACL again and need another year of rehab.
What can I say, sometimes it’s hell inside my head.
BUT… there are plenty of things I can do besides my training to ensure that I succeed. I can visit my orthopedist to have him take a look at both knees for good measure. I take my glucosamine every day. I skip heels at work in lieu of flat shoes that don’t tax my joints. I sleep with my knee brace on after a tough workout, to avoid twisting it in my sleep. I’ve picked up KT tape (and found that it’s a miracle!)
Tonight, I also realized the power of simply being grateful.
Let me explain: I had a 2 mile run on the training plan and got it in, even pushed the pace towards the end, but felt a few twinges in my good knee so I stopped at 2.5 miles. But instead of ending my workout there, I moved to a stationary bike and told myself to give it hell for one full mile with a level 4 difficulty. I worked it out on the bike throughout my physical therapy and remember pumping my fists in victory when I hit a 10 minute mile, so imagine my surprise when I hit a mile in 4:15!
Jazzed up from setting that new PR, I grabbed a Bosu ball and banged out a few sets of triceps dips, balance push-ups and squats then ended with a nice stretch. That’s when I realized that every little thing I do in addition to my running now is helping to prepare me for this race. I may be worried about taking a day off from running, but while I trained for my last race, I skipped cross training entirely – and paid dearly for it with a torn ACL! Now, I’m smarter. And with every extra rep, squat, and curl, I’m making myself stronger.
As I stretched I stared at my legs and felt an immense wave of gratitude wash over me. Sure, they ache and they’ve given me a lot of trouble in the past 18 months, but I am so thankful for these legs. They’ve come a long way in my 30 years, and I can’t wait to see where they take me next.
And I’m also grateful for my brain – along with those tree trunk legs, the positive thinking I cling to during my training is what’s going to truly get me across that finish line. Sometimes I get a little (okay, a lot) wrapped up in the crazy rabbit hole of negative self-talk and doubt, but all I need to do to silence that is picture myself crossing that finish line with two solid legs and a smile on my face.
So tell me: what are YOU grateful for? What have you gone through to get you where you’re at today? Whether you’re just starting or a seasoned veteran, you’ve got to be thankful for something – let’s share the love!