Inspired by Boston

I ran for the first time in seven months a few weeks ago. IT. WAS. AMAZING. I can't begin to tell you how much I missed it. It calms me. It makes me feel powerful. It is something I need.

In the weeks prior, I focused mainly on walking and working the muscles in my feet to not only prepare for running again but also to see where I was at mentally. Since my accident, I've been really hesitant of taking a misstep and injuring myself again.  Having never played sports (former couch potato here), I had no idea the mental effects of experiencing an injury. It's definitely been an internal battle I've been fighting.

One Saturday morning I woke up and said to myself, "Let's do this." I got dressed and headed out to my favorite park around sunrise. I parked my car and looked around me. It brought back all of the butterflies that I feel every time I run. I knew I could do it.

I walked a warm up mile and then alternated running and walking. I decided at first that I would run a mile or two and see how it went. I felt a little pain in my foot where the fracture was, but it soon subsided and I felt great. It was definitely a workout for my lungs, but I knew it was a starting point and could only get better. Three miles later, I had to force myself to stop because I didn't want to overdo it. All of that adrenaline had built up for so long and I just wanted to go, go, go! I slowed it down and walked a cool down mile. Five miles total. Not bad, not bad at all.

Megan_RunningAfterInjury

 

I don't know what happened, but it's been a week or two since that run. Maybe it's fear that is keeping me from getting back into the swing of running. Maybe it's the feeling of having to start all over again. Maybe it's the wondering if I'm not really cut out for running. I'm really not sure. Something has felt off. I've felt disconnected.

Something changed when I watched the Boston Marathon Monday morning. I've watched it in the past and have always felt super inspired. That feeling was there again this week. The energy of that race is amazing and actually gave me butterflies. It made me feel inspired to go out and run again. It's great to see the elite runners do what they do best, but it's also awe inspiring to see all of the runners accomplish a goal they've been working so hard for and dreamed of for so long.

Megan_WatchingBostonMarathon.JPG

 

I've definitely had some setbacks, but I can't let it stop me from accomplishing a dream. I want to be a runner. I can be a runner. I will be a runner again.

 

My Walk of Tears

It's been five months since my accident. During that time of healing, I learned how much I love to run. It helps me in so many ways. It's an outlet for my frustrations and fears, and it's a way to push my body to see what I can achieve. I need it in my life, and I realized it more than ever this morning.

Today marks the first time since that late August day last year that I laced up my running shoes and headed to the park for a walk. Brookside Gardens is my favorite place to go because it's so serene and beautiful. I haven't made the drive there in so long, and I was surprised how emotional I became. As I made the right turn onto Glenallan Avenue, I actually started to tear up. I couldn't believe that this day had finally come. I was actually going to walk again, which would eventually lead to being able to run again.

I cried during the first mile. Once I got past the initial fear of tripping and falling, I got incredibly teary while taking step after step. I was actually doing it. I was walking again. I never thought this day would come, and it was here. I made it through the first mile and was elated. These were definitely tears of joy.

With the first lap complete, I decided to walk two more miles. I was worried about feeling pain in both feet, but they were hanging in there. During those next miles, I embraced my surroundings. Countless runners passed me. As I watched them run farther into the distance, I told myself that I couldn't compare myself to them and needed to focus on me. Each day will get better. I know that. 

I started thinking about all of the goals and dreams that I have for this year. I want to run a race again. I want to write again. I want to do something more fulfilling with my life. I want to break out of my comfort bubble and challenge myself. I received quite a few signs from Mother Nature that these are realistic goals. The rustling of the leaves in the wind acknowledged my questions. The sun shined brighter. A graceful bird soared overhead. I can get where I want to go, and I believe it started today with a few steps.