For most of my life I have been a runner. It defined me. I was told by people I didn't know, "You look like a runner". I guess that's where it started. To me, running was the thing I was good at. I loved that I had something that I could do, where I didn't need to rely on others. I remember acting out at softball practice in middle school in hopes that I would be made to run.
When I could finally practice and compete in track I was so excited. I wanted to do everything, and I did. I ran every event they would let me, high jumped and tried pole vaulting a little bit. It was everything I ever wanted, and then it wasn't. I got hurt and running became hard.
No one could tell me what exactly was wrong with me, but my left knee was incredibly tender and my hip was killing me. I was also a cheerleader so hip problems weren't weird for me. I was treated for runners knee for the rest of track season.
As I was preparing for cross country that summer, my pain was getting worse. It got to the point where I couldn't even walk. Finally, my mom took me to the doctor and I was diagnosed with Illiotibial Band Syndrome, or IT Band Syndrome. I was ordered to a long physical therapy process. No cross country for sure and track season would be played by ear.
Are you serious? This is all I ever wanted to do and it was almost taken away from me.
After PT, I was instructed that if I wanted to run I needed to go through a bunch of stretched and heating/icing before I could even practice. After practice, same thing. Yet, I can tell you I never really healed. I managed my ITBS through high school the best I could.
By the end of my senior year, with thoughts of running in college still fresh in my mind, I was miserable. My knee was so swollen and I could barely lift my leg in the air. I had to have the swelling in my knee moved around before I could run an event. Yeah, it was bad.
I made the decision to take time off to heal. Like really take the time. It ended up being seven years. While I still deal with ITBS, I know how to deal with it now. It is manageable now, and I know my triggers. I rotate my shoes earlier than most people, I own five foam rollers and I know some awesome stretches that I do almost every day.
Now, you might be wondering why on earth you needed this long story today.
When I got back in to running as an adult, I took to the internet to try to find motivation and whatnot. I was always really drawn to Dorothy and her approach to everything. I really liked her motto of "I Run This Body". It is something so simple, that it makes the most sense!
As I start my newest training plan, I Run This Body is all that I could think of. This time, I am not only focusing on a time but I want to focus on the whole me. Me as not only a half marathoner but focusing my time on life outside of running. I want to constantly remind myself that I do this for me, because no one else will do the work for me. I want to find the love I had for running before all the injuries.
I decided to download the I Run This Body watch face on my Garmin to keep reminding me of this. All of this work is going towards other goals, but if I do not focus on me fully, I will never achieve my goals.
What mantra's do you use during your training? How do you remember them?