Last Thursday night, after running the Endless Summer 5 Miler, I made a rather positive post on my social media accounts about how I felt about running at that moment. I’ll paraphrase here because I’m going to post it below: Running hasn’t been a whole lot of fun, I’ve been injured a lot this year, but the race went well and I hoped it was a step toward faster times, and more enjoyable miles.
I made that post because way too often I post pissing and moaning about a bad run. I wanted to post something positive, because on the whole, the race was a positive.
But I was also giving myself a pep talk. I wasn’t feeling all that great heading into the race. I was starting to freak out a little bit because my hamstrings were starting to get that old familiar ache and my left knee just feels pretty terrible for the first mile or so of every single run. Instead of spending my mileage enjoying my surroundings, focusing on my workout, or enjoying some time with friends, I’m worrying about that ache in my groin being the start of those old adductor/hamstring issues that keep popping up. I’m worrying that despite the fact that every doctor I’ve asked says there is nothing wrong, I’m going to need to get my knee fixed and not be able to run for months.
It has actually gotten worse since Thursday night. My hamstring/adductor is definitely an issue again. My knee is something I can live with, something I can run with, but it’s a definite a buzz kill.
So here I am, pissing and moaning again because running isn’t great. I’m sorry for that, and actually, I’m trying to stay positive. I’m already getting treatment for my hammies, hoping to get ahead of it before it becomes a full fledge shit show and puts me on the shelf. And I’m sticking with my strength routine, which will hopefully build up the muscles around my knee and make that shit a little more comfortable.
I’m not gonna lie, though, I was pretty annoyed with the whole situation on Wednesday night. The Runaways met at Fore River Brewery in South Portland for an easy 4-miler, a beer or two and a bunch of laughs. I tried to warmup as well as I could, doing some dynamic warmups in the parking lot while everyone else was hanging out and everyone who wasn’t there to run looked at me like I had five heads. As soon as we started running, though my knee hurt and by the time we turned onto the Green Belt about a mile in, my hamstring/adductor was barking at me to slow down. So I did, but it was achy and whiny the rest of the way.
When the run was over, I chucked my hat at my car, stood in line for a beer, pissed and moaned about feeling like an old man, then took my beer out onto the grass to try to stretch everything out.
Maybe it was the Double IPA I was drinking or maybe it was the awesome company, but before long (and after a little more bitching) I started to forget that my leg hurt and my knee was junk. I stopped thinking about if I was going to be able to make it through my workout on Saturday, after cutting my workout short Tuesday because it was hot as balls and my legs felt kind of crappy. I won’t say I stopped giving a shit about running because you guys know me well enough to call bullshit on that, but I forgot about how much it sucks sometimes it for a bit.
If I’m being completely honest, in a lot of ways, 2017 has been my worst year of running. My goal race turned into a total meltdown after an injury stalled my training. I mentally checked out for about two months after that major disappointment. My best race was in February (it was really fucking good, though). Running feels like a chore.
But, but, but … 2017 has been pretty rad, too. Thanks to the Runaways, I’ve made a bunch of awesome new friends, and have dipped my toes into trail running. I’ve listened in awe as my friends Tayna and Ken talked about running 100 freaking miles. I’ve watch my buddy Seth (check out his blog here, good stuff) fall back in love with running after years of injury and other bullshit put him on the shelf. I read story after story about my coach giving up a chance to win the Maine title at the Beach to Beacon to do the right thing and help a fellow runner (we can all learn from Rob’s example). I have friends crushing races week after week.
So yeah, in one respective, 2017 has been a turd sandwich, and it’s not getting any better. Yet there has been so much good, I can’t complain too loudly. I wish I was healthier and running better, but I feel pretty freaking lucky for all the good, too.