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The knowing when to rest

medalIt’s been eight months since I ran injury free. For the first six months I tried to run through the pain.  I have an achilles injury, which is a tendon that I didn’t even know much about until it started to hurt.

When my achilles began to bother me, I cut-back from 40K per week to a couple easy runs, but the pain quickly increased.  Then I became a weekend warrior—I’d only run a 5K on Sundays—but that made it even worse.  My injury soon became painful even when I wasn’t running and unbearable within the first 100m when I attempted to run.  I should have stopped running then, but I didn’t.

When faced with excruciating pain 2K into the New Orleans Team Half-Marathon, I knew that I had to either DNF or walk to the finish line. As I hobbled slowly to the finish (gritting my teeth as race supporters encouraged me to run through the last 50m), I made the difficult decision to stop running until I was healed.   I felt defeated and betrayed by my body.

At first, I didn’t think that I deserved the race medal from New Orleans, but now I have it proudly hung on my wall and it represents the day that I finally accepted that I needed to rest and had the courage to (temporarily) stop running.

In hindsight, it was the best decision that I could have made.  A couple months later, my achilles is now healed and I’m excited to finally start running again.

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