On Running…

… what is that?

Here’s why I haven’t been talking about running much (other than not talking about ANYTHING, much) — because I haven’t been doing much of it. And when I have, it’s been either a) sucky b) unremarkable c) sucky.

Around the end of the summer, right around Cross-Country Road Trip time now that I’ve had time to angrily obsess over it, I started dealing with a stiff hip-butt thing. I joked with Kristina that it was sympathy pains for her hip issue she’d been dealing with – which actually turned out to be somewhat serious so I feel bad now for half-joking about it. Anyway it wasn’t anything super bad, but it was uncomfortable and “off,” just not enough in my mind to warrant a break. Niggles you run through. Injuries you rest.

Unless your “niggle” lasts four months and eventually you’re just so damn sick of “kind of” hurting and not running fast or uphill or long or anything other than STUPID SLOW JUNK MILES for fear of aggravating it that you cut your mileage, cut your days, add stretching and strength training, and it’s still not getting better but you can’t totally put yourself on the DL because it’s just a “kind of” “niggle” and SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP!

[deep breath… longest runon sentence ever… low VO2… need cardio… and grammar lessons]

So you move up your tattoo appointment to force yourself into taking a week off from running, knowing you won’t be able to wear a sports bra for at least five days while it heals and that you most certainly can’t take your C-cups out without proper harnessing. The mere thought of it gives me motion sickness.


who wore it best? one-shoulder sports bra, or tube top + half hoodie + arm warmer?

And you do everything you can to cope with the “what about that race in two weeks?” stress someway other than drinking all the beer and eating all the holiday candy. And you avoid talking to any running friends for fear of the topic coming up. You throw your pretty new shoes back in their dumb box and into the closet with Garmin and all their friends to eliminate as much guilt as possible. You remind yourself you’re being sensible, that running isn’t your life, and put another smear of aquafor on your scabbing ink wounds.

And so that’s where I am, and what the melodramatic tweets re: running have been about lately.

crystal cove beach

Holy Joly Christmas Day struggle bus 7 miler. Grasping at straws.

procompression christmas

Thigh down = the runner’s selfie

No diagnostic or sympathetic comments, please. I’m still hanging on to the delusion I might wake up one of these days good as new and suddenly in 5x better shape than I am. Because probably running the Carlsbad Half will be a little tougher than climbing the flight of stairs to our house that currently winds me.

[resists running to fridge for beer or chocolate]

Anyway I wasn’t going to say anything about it but a few people have asked if I’ll still be at Carlsbad (in some presence, probably) and said they’d be sad if I never wrote about running again – Are you regretting voting that way now? – so there’s my sad running update.

It’s looking like I’ll be cleared for sports bra’ing tomorrow, so hopefully a more cheery update from my Brooks and pavement is around the corner. If not, maybe 2014 is the year of the power walker?

Sarah OUaL


23 thoughts on “On Running…

  1. I might be a little sad if you never wrote about running again, and I probably wouldn’t have found you if not for running, but your hilarity and ability to call out shenanigans when you see them would mean I’d still be coming back. And honestly, no one else is going to photoshop a one-shouldered sports bra on themselves for me the chuckle at, so….You’ll at least have a readership of 1.


  2. Love your tattoo!! We all go through ups and downs with running…it happens! Keep your head up you will be back at it soon :)


  3. i love your tattoo placement!

    why don’t you try going running for like 1-2 miles at a time as opposed to 7? i feel like that’s daunting when you’re not feeling it anyway. This could be a stupid idea. haha. my hip isn’t feeling great, heading to the chiropractor today.


  4. I feel ya. Finally saw a PT after 5 months, a shitty half marathon, and two shitty fulls and was reminded that your body changes, and my hips are weak and need strengthened. He saw my long face and said something profound (to me): “I know a runner is who you are, and you feel lost with how you’ve been running. Ten days off, you’ll still be a runner, and you may emerge from this a better one.” I actually cried like I was a guest on Opra. Best of luck in your recovery. In addition to stretching, strengthening, and yoga, Christmas Ale was particularly helpful in recovery.
    Hope that wasn’t too diagnostic or sympathetic.


  5. Sweet tattoo! The non-running? Not so sweet (nothing like stating the obvious, eh?) << yep, totally showing my Canadian roots by finishing that sentence with a well-placed *eh*


  6. Sorry about the running nonsense but awesome tattoo! I am petrified of needles but get my ears pierced every time I feel defiant towards myself and I think a tattoo is probably going to happen soon (im a weirdo its fine)


  7. I feel you. (Is that too sympathetic?)

    I’m coming to terms with the fact that, if I want to run pain-free, I need to actually do this 15-minute exercise routine my PT gave me every single day, before every single run. This, over a year after my hip first started hurting.

    Good luck, and I hope you magically get better!


  8. Here’s something that will make you feel better! I woke up at 2am last night and had a legit stage 5 panic attack about my complete lack of training for Carlsbad and LA and had to go hyperventilate in my bathroom for 15 minutes so as not to wake the boyfriend up, then pin a bunch of things to calm myself back into a coma.


  9. Oh yes. Been there, done that. Oh wait, I’m still doing it. I promise I didn’t start writing this comment to drag you down. Hmmmm. All I can say is I never fully recovered physically or mentally from full marathon training one year ago now. And because of it I ran (and even more walked) a half marathon a month ago and just enjoyed the pretty scenery instead of thinking about how out of shape I am. Now I have four weeks before the next half marathon that I still haven’t trained for. Yeah, I’m totally rocking this season huh? As I write this I can feel my right hip straining at the position I’m sitting in.


    • Kristina and I decided to “fun” run Carlsbad, which took a big weight off my shoulders. I’ll take your advice and try not to think about my pitiful fitness while “fun running”


  10. Would be completely lost without you blogging about running…but if you have an injury, please don’t further hurt yourself on my account! Just please don’t give up the sport for good. I’ve already found out that some of my other favorite running bloggers are scaling back from the blogosphere, so please don’t go anywhere!
    I’m totally digging the tattoo with the one shoulder sports bra, too! Maybe you should design your own line of sports bras for runners who get shoulder tattoos…I’m sure there’s a market out there!


  11. Unfortunately, not all runs are joyful :( I found that out the hard way – pretty much all of 2013 was sucky, until Bourbon Chase!! I drew strength from the team’s energy and enthusiasm and PASSION for the sport. Your passion will return too, I’m confident!

    You know what this means, don’t you? It’s time for another relay!! :)



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