Silent Lessons … When Not Running

10K in Knoxville 2010

Most of you may know I am taking a mini-break from running while healing from Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot. I’m almost there, kids ;-). I have been running a little here and there, but I’ve consistently been listening to my foot while running these past few months. I also listen to my foot the days following a run, because it speaks to me and tells me how it’s feeling.

Taking a break from running has helped me look inward with regard to my running. Looking back at 2010, running seemed like such an outward event. I am still every bit the runner I was last year, but probably haven’t even run 20 miles this year. Funny, I’m not too bothered by that.

I firmly believe that listening to your body is the key that will determine the life of your running career (or hobby, or whatever it is). If you don’t take heed and really listen, you may be forced to take a short, or long, or indefinite break from the sport, hobby and passion that you love. I can’t say there was anything in particular that could have led me to believe I would develop Plantar, but I also can’t say I was listening very closely to any issues that may have been developing as they happened.

The injury itself is really not too big of a deal, and as long as I keep up my massages, stretches and icing, I should be back on track to run the Palmetto Half Marathon on April 16th (one of the best half marathons I’ve ever run … hummm, I think I say that about almost every half marathon I’ve ran, ha, ha, ha)! Seriously, the Palmetto Half is an amazing event.

I truly believe this break from running will make me an even stronger runner when I get back to it. I already know it has made me a smarter runner because now I know how to listen better and what to listen for, and I won’t think twice about taking a week of if I feel I need to. If my body tells me that is what it needs.

It’s not about “racking up the mileage” for me anymore, or seeing how many races I can squeeze into one month, or how many half marathons I can run in a single year. It’s about being a smart runner, a runner who listens, so that I can be a runner for as long as there is breath within me. Or until my legs just give out at 90-something years old ;-).

In the mean time, I have been spending hours at the gym focusing on building muscle and gaining strength. Fitness is a huge part of my life, so if I can’t run I will find something else fitness-related to keep me healthy and active until I return to the pavement. And even then, I think strength-training will be much more a part of my fitness regime than just running alone.

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I have been running since May 2000 and competitively racing since 2008. I am a health and nutrition nut, and I value physical fitness and healthy nourishment as a part of everyday life. I love helping people on their journey towards improving their health and love sharing ideas and information about running and health with others.

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One Response to “Silent Lessons … When Not Running”

  1. Bongjoo Oh says:

    Absolutely. I agree with you. I think cross-training is necessary, for example bicycle riding, swimming or trekking, etc. As I grow older weight lifting is a part of my routine exercises. Running is one of them too. I always listen to my body status carefully before & after workout. Thanks for sharing your experience. Take care!

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