The hardest part of my injury is that it hit me when I was in my training groove. I was feeling strong. I was hitting my targets. I even felt my mental game was ON and that I could conquer my nemesis distance--the marathon--and fly.
Every day I don't run I feel my fitness slowly leave my body.
I'm struggling with doubt. Doubt that I'll ever heal. Doubt that I'll be able to run strong and fit again. And with doubt comes depression.
Last weekend I captain'd a team for Ragnar Las Vegas. Prior to the race, I was running a little bit--low mileage and only every few days. I shouldn't have been running at all. I was still feeling pain and my running mechanics were off. I was scheduled for 4 legs (we were down a runner) and I didn't want to go into the race unprepared.
My leg started bothering me during my 2nd leg and I ended up having to walk/run my 3rd leg. I was crying on an isolated trail in the middle of night with an occasional speedy (they're all speedy when you're walking) runner passing me. They would cheer me on saying things like You've got this and You're almost there, only 2 more miles! which only made me feel worse. My 3rd leg was *just* 8 miles. A distance I used to be able to do in my sleep. :( I ended up not running my 4th leg and one of my teammates ended up running a total of 6 legs (!) to cover that one for me.
Now that Ragnar is over and I've deferred my registration for CIM, I'm finally doing the smart thing and not running again until I feel no pain doing a single-leg squat. I'm continuing with physical therapy...I've added glute strengthening exercises to the glute activation exercises. I'm scheduled for an OMT session with my DO. I'm cross-training like crazy, cycle classes mostly, to keep my cardio fitness.
I feel I'm doing everything right. I feel my glutes getting stronger. I feel less pain in my leg and haven't had to take pain pills in almost a week.
In spite of all that, I'm doubting. I'm unsure. I'm scared. One thing I've learned through years of running, is that the sport isn't a check box. It's feeling and passion. It's the joy of finishing a tough long run, of lacing up my shoes to explore new places, of conquering barriers.
I need to believe.