When all you can think is “Poor Jen”

When the Drama Queen comes out

It has been said that running is 90% mental and I completely agree.  But I think recovery requires more mental stamina.  Mentally, I’ve been dealing with this stress fracture in my heel very well.  For the most part, I’ve kept a positive attitude and have been able to focus on the positives.  I haven’t felt sorry for myself (well….not much) and I’ve been committed to doing everything in my power to help this fracture heal as quickly as possible.  But being mentally tough takes a lot of energy and effort.  And sometimes, you just have to let your guard down and wallow in self-pity, which is exactly what I did yesterday (even though at the time, I was just reactive and none of it was intentional).

My day long pity party was triggered by doing absolutely nothing this week.  While keeping my foot up has helped the healing process, there is no doubt in my mind that it drug me down into a mental slump.  I mean, I’ve watched the entire first season and half the second season of Game of Thrones….THIS WEEK!  (The ankle is feeling much better, by the way.)

I can still cross train on my bike and went out for a less than stellar ride on Tuesday.  I think I’ve been hanging on to that ride and projecting it onto my entire recovery.  Yesterday, I woke up in a foul mood and proceeded to speculate about how my recovery will affect my training (negatively, of course).  Plano Balloon Half Marathon in September was to be THE race of my fall racing season.  The more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that I would not be able to run Plano under any circumstances.  I don’t want to say I had given up, but I was definitely beginning to give up on the hope that I might make it back in time to train for Plano.

I shared my fears and concern with my partner/coach.  He suggested that I not speculate and just wait and see how things progressed.  Of course, Negative Nelly (ME) continued to counter with all the reasons that I was SURE I wouldn’t be able to run.  Then something he said resonated with me.  He said, “Even though you have given up, I haven’t.  I still think you have a chance.”  So I backtracked and explained that I was just trying to be a realist, trying to avoid complete and utter disappointment in the event I can’t run, yada, yada, yada.  (I was still swimming in the self-pity pool, by the way.)

I held on to the sadness and apprehension all day long, but ended up deciding that I couldn’t roll over and play dead.  I must stay the course and figured it was time for a bike ride.  When I climbed onto my bike and rode out of my driveway, all the stress of the unknown was weighing me down.  As the ride progressed, I realized that my ankle was, indeed, feeling much better.  I left my doubt and fear out on the road and felt like a new person when I hopped off my bike at the end of the ride. IMG_4674

I’m still concerned about Plano.  I still think it is a long-shot.  But whatever happens will happen.  I am pouring my heart and soul into recovery and will do everything in my power to get back out there.  At the same time, I realize that so much of this is out of my control.  Missing one race isn’t going to make or break me, but trying to rush into running a race I’m not ready for could set me back quite some time….I need to keep this in the forefront of my mind.

I’m not sharing this to garner sympathy.  I am sharing because I think it is important for us runners to give ourselves permission to acknowledge the negative feelings every once in a while.  It is important to give voice to our fears, air them and then realize that they aren’t as bad as we thought.

And now the Jen you all know is back, refreshed and renewed, and ready to tackle the next phase of recovery!

At least one of us kicked the boot to the curb

Yesterday was a big day for Alli.  We went for her 2-week follow-up visit on her fractured growth plate in her foot.  All signs point to healing more quickly than our doctor expected, so she is out of the boot!!!  He has advised us to ease back into volleyball activities over the next couple weeks, because she will be at risk for reinjury for a bit.  She was beyond happy that she doesn’t have to sleep in the boot anymore (and I COMPLETELY understand!!  I only have 26 more nights….)  Of course, we celebrated with Bahama Bucks!IMG_4648

A family feud is brewing

Bobby bought a Jeep this week.  Taylor has wanted one FOREVER, and, according to her, we were just waiting for her to go off to college to make this purchase.  (She said the same thing about the pool!)  Alli and I drove it around town and had so much fun!  I think this should be my new summer vehicle! Bobby took Taylor and Logan out this afternoon and gave them the first lesson in driving a standard.  It went…..better than expected.  IMG_4657

I’m suddenly very thankful that my dad refused to purchase any vehicle with an automatic transmission.  I learned to drive a standard when I was in junior high out in the pasture in my Granddaddy’s old truck.  And even though I wasn’t terribly excited about the standard transmission that I drove in high school, I’m now very glad that I know how to drive a stick!

"Old Blue"
“Old Blue”

Great memories!!

Happy weekend!



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