Yesterday was the Lost Dutchman Marathon. A race that is, by all accounts, completely awesome. A race I was registered to run in, but had to miss due to an injury. I was sad to miss it, but have decided that this injury was an awesome reminder about how important balance is from the powers that be.*

I’m not the world’s most balanced person. I struggle with work/life balance quite a bit (though in my defense, I really like working, because I really like being good at things I do) and my first year as a runner was unbalanced. I over-trained, then under-trained. I spent zero time strength training. Basically, I was (am) a typical novice runner with one marathon under my belt and major goals I’ll never reach if I don’t get more balanced.

Seeing a physical therapist has helped tremendously in both identifying the problem (weak hips, weird gate) and helping me tackle it. So, even though my tendency is to see the worst in every situation, I’m finding the silver lining here. I think I mentioned once that my running mantra is pretty much just “thank you” so in that spirit, here’s are five things this injured runner has to be thankful for:

  • My foam roller. For reals. It hurts to use but it’s a good hurt. And it’s actually working. The muscles in my quads and near my knee are decidedly less lumpy than they were three weeks ago.
  • Listening to “Hips Don’t Lie” while strengthening my hips. Hip exercises are embarrassing, but kind of fun. Just like Shakira.
  • Beer. Since I don’t have to run long on Sundays right now, I can actually drink it on Saturday nights. I have to start ramping my miles back up in a few weeks and Lent begins Wednesday, so this pleasure is short-lived but I’m still grateful for it.
  • Running for an hour today without pain. Felt amazing and is proof that PT does actually work. 
  • Learning the fundamentals. When I like something, I get really nerdy about it, so of course I’ve nerded out about running. I read everything I can about it and while there’s a lot out there about barefoot running (or not barefoot running) and form, there’s very little about how to strengthen and take care of the muscles that actually do the work while you run. I’m grateful for the chance to learn now… especially since strong muscles are a key part of good form.

 

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* Am I the only nerd that automatically thinks “Angel” when I say “the powers that be?”

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