Today is Global Escape Day, and runners from all over the world celebrate by knocking on the sidewalks. As a fun runner, I couldn’t help but think about how my relationship with running changed in overtime. In the last ten years, I ran every distance from 5K, 10K and 15K to half a marathon (four times!), And finally my first marathon in 2019. Running was a therapeutic outcome for me in the 1920s and eventually became a way out. to set goals and challenge myself. I remember getting involved in it after participating in my first 10K competition. I wanted to see how far (and faster) I could go.
During that time, I took a break from running to focus on other forms of fitness, but running has always returned to my life. Then, as we all know, the last two years have turned everyone’s world upside down with the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the pandemic, I saw more people fleeing outside than ever before. Since gyms were closed, this was one of several ways to exercise and eliminate cabin heat. Although I loved running, watching others run on the streets made me reluctant to join them. I wasn’t in the right place at work because, like many, I was worried about COVID. In addition, all the races were canceled until the next warning, I just lost the motivation to run for fun, and I had no interest in crossing the hills of the new neighborhood.
Fast forward to the November 2021 TCS New York City Marathon, one of the first races to return since the pandemic began. When I watched my running mates write about it on social media, I suddenly felt my spark return. After all this work, I remembered the height after the race and wanted to feel this haste again. To this point, I haven’t run in a row since I trained for the New York City Marathon for exactly four months since 2019. I really enjoyed my first marathon experience, and the New York City marathon exceeded my expectations.
Motivated by this spark, I signed up for the 2022 Chicago Marathon and the United Airlines NYC Half to win the lottery. Immediately after entering the lottery, I guessed myself for the second time, because I was not sure if I was ready to participate. works full time again. I thought to myself that if I got into one of these races, it would be a sign for me to return to running.
I wasn’t selected for Chicago, but I made it to the NYC Race. It was a bucket list half marathon for me, because I had heard how symbolic it was. The race route offers you beautiful views of the city, and this is one of the only times when Times Square is closed for traffic (except on New Year’s Eve). It’s also a very difficult race to participate in the lottery, I knew from all the years I entered and was never selected.
Although I was excited to have my first big race in two years, I was also scared because I was going to train for the first time in the winter – the race took place in March. I have avoided many of the races that usually require training in the NYC winters because snowy, windy, and icy conditions are not entirely suitable for runners. It should be noted that this time there was still an increase in the pandemic, and I was worried that the new options could make us sick during the race or completely eliminate it. After deciding on a conservative training plan that would make it easier for me to run, I started training at the end of December. I regained my endurance very quickly and soon felt that I could handle running again. I set a big goal that if I train well, I can achieve it.
As it gradually cooled, I adapted well to the weather, even daring to run in the snow, rain, wind, and temperatures of 10 degrees. I even tried to run when the roads were icy, but I managed to do so despite slipping on the sidewalk several times. As long as I was dressed appropriately (I swear Baleaf’s wool-lined tops and Tough Outdoors running gloves), the cold didn’t surprise my run in a surprising way. In fact, on days when the weather was definitely the worst, I felt more successful and tougher because I pushed it.
A special run for me is noteworthy. I could see it snowing and snowing outside the window and I was afraid to go outside anymore because my legs were heavy and sore. I was a mile from my planned eight-mile run, and out of nowhere, a car passing me on the left passed over a large pond and jumped on me. I remember how hard it was, because now I was not only wet, but also frozen. I talked to myself and said that if I could walk another mile, I would be relieved. If it still bothered me, I would go home.
Finally, I covered eight miles, but at the same time, I realized that I was the only one on the run, because in mid-February, no one else was walking on the water. It was like running alone in the early morning hours of summer to beat the heat of the afternoon and the crowd.
Running all this out also helped me get into the winter blues funky that I usually live in at that time of year. And that gave me an hour or more of work during the day that I needed more from my laptop, a break from my eyes looking at the screen.
After two and a half months of training, I found a traffic jam. My legs began to feel loud and aching while running on the mountain surfaces. After seeing a physical therapist, I was diagnosed with tendonitis, which meant that I needed to be comfortable with my running. Although I hated to admit it, I knew I had to cut back on my goal and the number of days I ran. Since I was never an injury-prone runner, I was worried that I would have to leave the race.
This time I took the recovery process more seriously than I did in the past. After all the work I put in, I still wanted to do this race – but it’s safe. I made sure I did my physiotherapy workouts, including foam rolling, traction, strength training, cross-training (Peloton walks with Cody FTW), hydration (I chose UCAN and Cure electrolytes after training), and eating high. nutritious foods (long-distance runner and Olympian, Shalane Flanagan’s Can’t Beet Me Smoothie was one of the dishes I went to) to help recover. When I started to fall into a negative void, the recovery run made me resilient.
The mental side of running during this recovery phase was really difficult for me, because there were many times during this training period that I wanted to throw in the towel. If I had felt pain or bending in the past, it would have gone away on its own, but this time I could tell it wouldn’t happen. All in all, I felt lucky to be healthy enough (especially during a pandemic) to cope with this challenge. I was proud to have mastered the winter run before or during the last two weeks of a race where the training distance was significantly reduced, and I proved to myself that I could be a runner in all weather conditions. . I still didn’t feel 100 percent (more 85-90 percent), but I also had to admit that I’m no longer a 20-year-old who can run indefinitely without worrying about injury.
When the race day finally arrived, I decided to change my game plan for that day. I remember browsing some of my favorite running accounts on social media, which reminded me that races aren’t always about gaining new PR, and not all of them are going as planned. Letting go of what you can’t control also relieves the pressure of thinking about how things should go. There is a point in a long-distance race that you know in advance that you will fight, and it is easier to accept this reality in advance. I knew my tendonitis hadn’t completely healed, and I needed a realistic approach. So instead of focusing on a specific end time, I decided to run for practice. Finally, I registered because I enjoyed running.
The race day was a perfect spring day (even a little too hot, if you ask me) and the crowd was as spectacular as the sights. Although I learned a lot and ran in the hills regularly during training, I was even more offended by how hilly the course was. But nothing can prepare you completely. There were great parts (involving city views) and other parts that weren’t that big. My tendonitis has started to flare up over the last few miles, it didn’t feel good, but I was relieved to see it only on the tip of my tail. This did not change the fact that it still complicates the rest of the race. Finally, I finished the middle marathon far beyond my time, and I felt very successful because I had just finished it.
Running is like life, in the sense that there are ups and downs and they are unexpected. Similar to this pandemic, we have all experienced some ups and downs, but the important thing is how to prepare for and cope with what is thrown at us. I’m glad the pandemic helped me reconnect with my escaped roots, but I think this time my legs are ready for a decent break.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about your medical condition or health goals.