Sam misses running and sometimes even cries about it

Pride Run selfie of Sam, Sarah, and Susan. June 2017. Also, Sam’s last ever 5 km running event.

On the blog, we often simplify things. We say Tracy is the runner and I’m the cyclist. That’s mostly true except Tracy is back to commuting by bike for fun and convenience, not speed. And me, I’ve had a complicated relationship with running through the years and though we’ve broken up for good now I really really miss it.

It’s not been easy. See Sam struggles not to run, ever!

The other night I was really upset (moving stress, family stress, new big job stress, all the stress!) and I wanted nothing more than to run with my feelings. See “Angry running” and running as running away.

But I couldn’t. Not with my busted knee. Even if I go the full surgical route and get total knee replacement, I’ll never run again. Instead, I ate some ice cream and watched some Netflix, not the healthiest substitution, but I got through the rough patch.

It’s hard. It’s a big change in identity. I’m still struggling. When the photo above of last year’s Pride Run came through my newsfeed I burst into tears.

Reading the post you can see that even then I was having issues.

The Pride Run is one of my favorite athletic events. There are runners of every stripe and speed, kids, runners in costumes, walkers, and so many people cheering the runners on. Such a great atmosphere. This year I registered early but once again ended up with knee issues that meant I couldn’t really train for the event. Other than my holiday running streak there hasn’t been much running for me this year. Instead I was going to regular knee physio. Thankfully Sarah ran with me and helped keep me running at a reasonable pace. We set out to run 5 and walk 1 but a couple of times we ran extra minutes to make it uphills or to the water station. I was so slow–my slowest, happiest 5 km ever– but I was running. I was smiling. And in the end nothing hurt. What a happy day!

Now I’m not running and still, my knee hurts. This year’s Pride March was tough even walking it. I feel like I might need “goodbye running” therapy! Or maybe something new to take its place, like Snipe racing.

I’ll report back from time to time and let you know how life after running is going.

Have you ever given up a sport or activity, even one with which you had a complicated relationship, like running and me? How did it go? Advice welcome.

12 thoughts on “Sam misses running and sometimes even cries about it

  1. I’m really sorry about your sadness around not running. I see that it’s frustrating and upsetting. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us– I hope it helps you, and it definitely helps us (well, me) in not feeling alone around losses around physical activity. I miss mountain biking a lot. I don’t do it because of my shoulder surgery and then MTB accident causing probs with other shoulder. But, as in many things, it more complicated too. I’ll blog about it– thanks for the ideas and prompting.

    I have a lot more to say about this (about your situation, mine, others, etc.). It’s got to be resonating with all of us who are reading it. Thanks.

  2. I expect it’s more than goodbye running therapy. It acceptance of what might feel like limitations and or aging.
    I think that’s hard to manage for most of us. We like to believe we are choosing what we do and how we do it.
    I always find I am most distressed when I rail against what is. I have even been known to stomp my feet. Maybe that’s a good thing, because it signified to myself I need acceptance.

  3. No advice, but thanks for sharing with us. 🙁 It’s remarkable how certain activities can fill very specific roles in our lives.

    (If you find an equivalent replacement for angry running, please tell us! I *know* there will come a day when I can’t run for therapy and, well, I’m sure I’ll have similar difficulties adjusting.)

  4. Not exactly given up a specific sport or activity, but with my autoimmune issues and a permanently jacked elbow, movement and exercise has changed a lot for me. And depending on the day, I deal with it either positively or well, not. On a good day I give myself lots of self talk about focusing on what I CAN do instead of can’t, practicing gratitude for things that still feel good. But, I think it’s important to just let yourself feel bad sometimes about things that no longer are. That’s okay too. Sometimes you have to feel bad before you can dust off and move on. The hardest part for me personally is the fear. Sometimes I might be able to do something but I’m so afraid of hurting my elbow more, that I don’t try the way I’d like. Haven’t really conquered that yet, but keep thinking I need to splurge on some physical therapy to regain some upper body confidence.

  5. Oh gosh. Sad stuff. Sorry it’s so hard. Just spent the weekend with a friend who used to be an amazing runner and had to give it up, and also has lost three very close family members in the last few years. We talked about grief over losses. She subbed spin for running and loved it (after grieving—cried as she left the doctor’s office on that visit where she was told no more running). Somehow I don’t see spin working for you in the same way. I was commenting on how insulated I’ve been from loss mostly so far in life and I don’t know how I will actually handle it when the big losses come. Running, if I need to give it up at some point, would be one of them. Love and hugs. ❤️

    1. You’ve been super lucky. I think you might be the only friend who still has both parents. Also no major illness yourself. That’s lucky.

  6. P.s. I’m sorry I didn’t read your post before I blogged today about running in the rain. I was on the road all day yesterday and didn’t catch up. It was an insensitive topic so soon after you expressed sadness over not running.

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