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Trying again to restart running and this past year

AlliKate

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Hi new Loop! I had fallen out of the Loop for the last year or so. Its been a long year. Plus I haven't been running. But the energy of this new space is exciting and I'm hoping I'll keep coming back to read and post regularly(-ish). 

 

This year has been...rough. The biggest thing was last November my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I spent about 5 months driving 40 minutes to the hospital almost every day to see him. I'll spare everyone the details but he quickly got worse and died in March. That was much faster than any of us expected and it was really hard to watch my dad go through everything before he passed. And just not something I was prepared to go through in my late 20s. Since then I've been learning about how grief affects me, so that's something. Grief is hard and confusing.

 

 

But for some good news, I got married in May!

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That was fun, except when it started pouring right before what was supposed to be an outdoor ceremony. But it still turned out just fine. Also Charlie just forced himself in to the guys photos because he's just one of the guys obviously. It is my favorite.

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We went on a low-key honeymoon and then I really started getting back into working. I was lucky enough to do minimal work when my dad was sick. I could not concentrate on grad school and my boss and advisor were very nice about it. This has definitely pushed back when I'll probably finish my PhD but that's ok. This summer I had a few good months of working on my getting my first first-author paper out (its still not out though). Lately work has not been going great but just gotta push through and hope things get a little better soon I guess.

My mental and physical health have also not been great. I'm working on it. Been going to talk therapy and been seeing doctors trying to figure out the physical part. Doctors appointments can be quite frustrating but I won't go into that. 

So that's the main things. Oh plus my dog Charlie tore his second (out of two) ACL and had knee surgery almost a year to the day after the same surgery on the other knee last year. Really weird coincidence. So the recovery added some stress that is finally dissipating since he is getting closer to healed each day. And he is all out of knees to tear so fingers crossed he won't need another surgery for a long time.

And so my running partner has been sidelined since July. I've tried to start running again a few times but each time the runs were mostly horrible, being pretty out of shape and having extremely tight calf muscles. I stopped each time after a handful of runs when my foot would start feeling too tight, since PF is what stopped my running way back in the summer of 2015. I've been keeping up with my stretches and exercises and rolling my feet recently trying to keep that at bay!

Last week I went to the running store in town and got new shoes. I liked them better than the new version of the shoes I had been wearing. Since then I've done a whole 2 runs (well run/walks with lots of walking!) So I've got a good streak going :P. But the best part is that my legs have not felt nearly as tight with these new shoes! Could be extra stretching too but I also have worn the shoes for a few of my daily dog walks and my calves are much less tight walking the hills around my house! I am liking these shoes! 

 

My plans are hopeful but flexible. In the last 2 years I've done I think three 5K's, not all-out by any means. My last big run was the slog that was the 50K at Bandera.

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That feels like so long ago. I miss doing stuff like that. I would love to be able go slog in the Texas mud for hours right now.

My run on Saturday was in perfect fall weather, 50-some degrees, bright blue sky, and it went well. Afterward I was standing in my backyard and it seemed like so many beautiful fall days in years past when I would be running 20 miles to train for a marathon, or getting up before the sun to go run a trail race. I want to get back there. Or as close to that as I can get. I'm not exactly the same person I was when I joined the Loop. Running brings me joy but will probably not be as big a part of my identity as it used to be.  I'll see where my body and my schedule takes me. Maybe I'll only have it in me to run short distances and I'm hoping that after so long away I'll be able to appreciate being able to do that much. But who knows maybe I could fit in running a half or farther. I'll just have to wait and see! 

 

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What a difficult year you've had, AK. I'm so sorry about your dad. I hope you are beginning to heal, but having lost a parent myself, I know it can take a long time. Be gentle with yourself and find your joy - whatever it looks and feels like.  <3

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Great to get an update from you! I hope those new kicks make it possible for you to enjoy running again!

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AlliKate, I am sorry about the loss of your Dad. I can't imagine how hard that must be. It's definitely been a stressful year.  

Congratulations on the marriage!  I love the dog in the picture. He definitely belongs there.  

I'm seeing a common thread in many of these first posts:  Haven't been running, but want to get back to it.  Miss the joy of long runs, hoping to enjoy the short runs.  Yep, yep and yep.  

Nothing beats new shoes, or gear in general.  Sounds like you are doing really good at listening to your body.  Best of luck and I look forward to your future posts!  

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Sorry to hear about your dad Alli...

Great to hear from you again! Again, congratulations on your wedding! Getting back to running is a long process. Just keep listening to your body and everything will fall back into place...

Let us know how you get on! :) 

Edited by Moose
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What an update - sorry to hear about your dad, but congrats on the wedding.

You don't have to always be doing high miles. Long walks with hubby and/or Charlie are good. Running will be there when you're ready (physically & mentally) for it.

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You were such a beautiful bride!! And Charlie belonged in at least a few pics for sure...he’s family. 

Glad the news shoes are helping. Here’s to a great comeback!!!

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Sorry to hear about your dad, that's always a terrible blow. Congrats on the marriage, and good luck sorting work and PhD and married life and running and Charlie and everything else into the right balance. It's never easy. 

A wise man once said "It's always the shoes". Looks like he was right again. Hope we get to follow the comeback. 

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Not sure what you are studying but getting that first first-author paper is a great accomplishment! I found running while in the midst of a PhD program in the sciences and just ran to de-stress--I knew nothing about training plans or goal races. It doesn't matter if you have to restart a hundred times...once a runner, always a runner. I look forward to hearing about your comeback!

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That is A LOT to handle.  I can understand why you're running has taken a bit of an aside.  I know you can get back at it and grow back up to whatever you desire.  Congrats on getting hitched!  Now, let's all support you in this amazing comeback :P.

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I'm so sorry to hear about your dad's passing.

Go easy on yourself though - everyone's healing period(s) are different.

My dad was diagnosed in September of 2010 and passed away 3 very fast months later. Then 4 months later, in April, one of my brothers - our eldest sibling - was killed in a motorcycle accident. A few years after that, mom was diagnosed - we lost her in December of 2014. I'm just now coming out of my funk! 

But on the positive side - what beautiful wedding photos! And I love that there was one with Charlie! I hope he heals up good as new so you two can start some running therapy really soon!!! Take care of yourself!!!  :x 

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You are so right, grief is hard and confusing. I'm so sorry that you have to experience it, and I'm sending you so much love. I know how hard it is to lose a parent, and how hard it is to go through every new milestone without them. But gosh your wedding pictures are absolutely stunning! Congrats! I'm hoping to keep popping into this new loop and looking forward to following your comeback. 

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3 hours ago, DrWhiskers said:

Not sure what you are studying but getting that first first-author paper is a great accomplishment! I found running while in the midst of a PhD program in the sciences and just ran to de-stress--I knew nothing about training plans or goal races.

I'm studying biostatistics! And running is definitely a good stress reliever, I can tell a difference just in the last two weeks since I restarted!

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3 hours ago, meowmom said:

Go easy on yourself though - everyone's healing period(s) are different.

My dad was diagnosed in September of 2010 and passed away 3 very fast months later. Then 4 months later, in April, one of my brothers - our eldest sibling - was killed in a motorcycle accident. A few years after that, mom was diagnosed - we lost her in December of 2014. I'm just now coming out of my funk! 

Oh my that is a lot to go through. I'm so sorry you had to. I know there is not a timeline on grief and it has not been very long so its going to take more time for the funk to go away. Thanks for your comment <3

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I am so sorry to hear about your Dad!   Congratulations on your marriage and your return to running!!

 

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