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My Big Fat Running Zeros

My Big Fat Running Zeros by bmoore

Lately my running log has been filled with nothing but big fat zeros.


These zeros taunt me, mess with my mind, and cause me to have some really destructive thoughts:


“You’re too old to run, who are you trying to fool?”

“It’s going to be really hard getting started again and you’ll probably never reach the fitness level you were at before your injury.”

“What if you get out 5 miles and your ankle collapses? What will you do then?”


We’ve all been there. Injury. The mental aspects are in many ways worse than the physical.

It’s been six weeks since I dodged that rolling SUV and stepped into the crater that cut my fall training to smithereens. My ankle is still swollen. I didn’t sprain it, I actually tore the ligaments on both sides – an injury that my doctor (who also runs), says will take at least three full months to heal. I don’t know if I can make it.

Initially, I wore my therapeutic lace-up ankle-supporting boot like a badge of courage. It kind of reminded me of the time I broke my arm in second grade and paraded my heavy plaster cast around in class. I really loved that cast – until it started to itch. When they finally cut if off, my arm looked as white and shriveled as an 80 year old’s. Now, I have to force myself to put the boot thing on and it’s impossible to wear normal shoes. I run around all day in my Uggs or an old pair of Asics. This lace-up contraption was definitely not what I had in mind for a pair of cute new fall boots.

A couple of weeks ago I thought I would test the waters and try walking. I figured a little exercise is better than none, right? So on the boot went, and I headed out for a 2-mile walk. Not surprisingly, this only made me feel worse. Many of you know that I am not a big fan of walking. Even when marathon training the walk breaks feel like a betrayal to me.

I maintained a good pace without much discomfort, but the pleasure just wasn’t there. I could feel every waddle of my butt and thighs (which are growing larger each day that I am “grounded”), and I noticed that even at a walking pace my breath was strained and heavy. Not content to slide along at a 19 minute pace, I tried a short little jog. Immediately my ankle shot me a reminder – “I’m not ready yet, you fool!” I muttered “B*stard!” under my breath.

Of course, having been here before my mind knows that at some point this injury will heal. I will once again stand at the top of my street, punch my Garmin, and feel the wind on my face. I will be able to start my days that way I’ve started them for years – with that precious alone time under a dawning day.

But for now, I will avoid the places that runners frequent in my neighborhood (it’s just too painful to watch), and avoid going out during the two hours our local high school cross-country team is out training. No, they don’t know how good it is to be young and able to run any more than I did at that age.

There is however, at least one great thing about being a “Masters Runner.” You know that when push comes to shove, “This too shall pass.” 

  • Currently 3.0/5 Stars.
Posted by: bmoore on Nov 01, 2011 | Comments: 5 | Visits: 2439 | Posted in: Spirit, News


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Traxee user gspaulding Absolutely my sista!!! I love this group and it is way too quiet right now. Time to rally the supportive troops!!! :)
Posted by: gspaulding on Dec 01, 2011 at 05:10 PM
Traxee user bmoore Looks like you and I are just about in the same place - but you've been dealing with it for a longer period of time. My weight has also skyrocketed - and its been really surprising how quickly its happened. This of course leads to a continuous downward spiral and lack of confidence. I think establishing a specific goal is an absolutely perfect strategy. And since you're swimming and cycling the Tri is definitely within reach. Definitely keep me posted. My only goal at this point is to be back up and training in January - and to lose 15 pounds! Yikes! I am also going to try to get the site up and active again. I get such energy from all of you…it really feels like an extended support system to me and its one I really miss. Its funny how all these things build-one on top of the other until it all feels so overwhelming. We can lift each other up sista!
Posted by: bmoore on Dec 01, 2011 at 10:01 AM
Traxee user gspaulding I am still strggling emotionally. My confidence is not what it used to be. I raced at a 10mm pace and now I'm closer to 11mm. I used to get up early and follow my training plan, now I squeeze in my runs and they are mostly short 6 mi and below. I ebat myself up every day and I don;t know why. I went through 3mo of running poorly andin pain and then 3mo of no running or workouts at all. I have not gotten my love of running or the gym back which spiraled into weight gain. I keep trying to get back but fall easily where that would have never happened before. I know it will come back I just have to let go of the past and focus on the future. I am working on swimming and cycling so I can tackle a Tri next year. I'm thinking a new challenge will bring new focus. Sorry I rambled on. I have not said this or written it down since my initial injury last November.
Posted by: gspaulding on Nov 30, 2011 at 09:12 AM
Traxee user bmoore Hey Gladys! Thanks for the shout out. Yeah - I am going through a rough patch right now. I can't run at all and it's really taking a tole on both my physical and emotional well-being. I am really sorry to hear that you are still fighting to overcome your injury. How are you dealing with the emotional stuff (fear, doubt)?
Posted by: bmoore on Nov 30, 2011 at 08:36 AM
Traxee user gspaulding Beth, I wondered what happened to you. I'm sorry to read about your injury. I have been in a funk most of the year since my injury last winter and am fighting my way out. Good luck, patience and happy healing! We are here as part of your mental support team!! -Gladys
Posted by: gspaulding on Nov 28, 2011 at 06:12 PM
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