A few weeks ago I was supposed to run my very first 50km Ultra Marathon. I trained, I trained, and I trained some more. I made sure to stretch, and I tried to do all this while balancing a bunch of other projects. I found the hours I spent in the office and in meetings increasing. I found the hours I spent in my own home relaxing and recharging decreasing. And I found that I was always telling myself that I’d catch up on rest after the next grant, the next paper, the next presentation, the next next thing.
In short, while I was productive and crossing stuff off of my list, I was also setting myself up for something.
And then something happened. It wasn’t anything severe. There was no broken bone. There was no muscle tear. I didn’t trip and impale myself on a branch. Nor did I get hit by a car. I didn’t spontaneously combust. I wasn’t immersed in a vat of boiling acid.
Simply put, the something was that my body decided to remind me that I am in fact not Superman. After 664 km since December 1, my right ankle decided that it just couldn’t handle another step. Stupid ankle. Stupid, stupid ankle.
I think at times I like to believe I am Superman. I don’t need to rest. I can do all of the things all of the time and then do even more because why wouldn’t I also try to do that while I’m doing all of these other things?
Long story short, I did not run the 50km Ultra Marathon. It wasn’t an easy decision either. I made the call on June 21st, the day before the race was set to be run. And I did it begrudgingly – knowing that in all other ways I was ready to crush my first Ultra Marathon. But having realized that I was limping as I walked to the office, I had to admit that running was the last thing I should be doing. Regardless, I felt like a giant wimp. My ankle didn’t hurt that much. I could probably run through the pain. I’m making a mountain out of a sore ankle.
But I was the only one saying that. Everyone else was saying I’d be stupid to run. And I knew this to be true. So I didn’t run. While I know it was the right thing to do, I’m still not completely comfortable with the decision. I know I could have crushed the Ultra, but I also know that I would have screwed my ankle for any other running this year.
So as of June 16th, Running and I are on a break. I love Running, but I have to accept that we’re just not getting along these days. It’s for the best really. In running’s absence, I’ve decided to rekindle my relationship with taking time off. As such, I’m currently writing this post on my first of five days off in a row.
I’m not sure if Superman took days off, but I have to say it feels pretty good.