Grateful

Sometimes I get frustrated with how slowly my foot injury seems to be progressing. I’ve been dealing with the limitations imposed by this injury for a year and a half now. True, I’ve run races, and done workouts, and even done some reasonably long runs, but my mileage has maxed out at ~30 mpw and my training is a far cry from where it was during my undergrad days. Some days I wonder if my foot will ever actually stop being a little turd and will finally let me bust out 60 mile weeks without consequence or throw down 400 m sprints during a workout without nervously awaiting the careless foot strike that brings with it the return of pain and a prematurely ended workout. I hate that I’ve become so cautious and even downright wimpy – a single twinge and I’m likely to stop in my tracks to wiggle my toes and assess the situation, instantly panicked that I’ve set myself back.

However, I have actually made it quite a ways from the truly dismal first few months of injury. God willing, tomorrow’s run will bring me up to 112 miles for the month, my 2nd highest month of the year and nearly twice the mileage that I was able to run last February. This week I did an 8 mile run on Sunday, a hilly 3 mile run yesterday, and a 2.5 mile fartlek workout + warmup & cool down for 6 miles total for today. I can feel my toe a bit, but it doesn’t actually hurt. The summer before last, right after injuring it, my toe barely survived 8-10 mile runs once a week and then flared up so angrily that I couldn’t run for several days after. I was barely hitting 15 mile weeks. Now I’m consistently hitting 25 mile weeks with much milder flares of pain.

I can push myself hard enough that my lungs and legs fail before my foot does. I can sprint up on my toes without limping. I can run 6 days a week, I can run far enough to justify driving out to my favorite trails, and I’ve been able to consistently obtain enough exercise-induced joy to keep the frighteningly severe periodic low moods of the last year at bay.

I’m still moving forward – slow and occasionally unsteady, but forward nonetheless! So here’s to staying grateful in the face of frustration and using every step to the fullest.

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