When a runner can’t run, she is not her best self.
When a runner can’t run, her body is restless. Her legs are restless. Her mind is restless. Nothing quells the restless like running does.
When a runner can’t run, she sometimes gets pissy about people posting about running. Braggy braggarts! But, this only lasts a minute, until she remembers that not being happy for them will not get her any closer to pounding the pavement.
When a runner can’t run, she lives vicariously through her running friends. She is happy for them. She’s proud of their pace and she wants to know if they got a PR, and what food they craved at mile 7, and if they walked or not, how many times they said they hated running, and if they managed to achieve negative splits. She wants to know it all.
When a runner can’t run, she does not give up. She tries cross-training. Like she should have been doing all along. She thinks, this is actually kind of great! I can do this!
When a runner can’t run, she pedals and pedals, hoping to achieve the same endorphin rush she gets when she is able to support her body weight. She sometimes sweats, and screams and cries all over the stupid effing bike when this doesn’t happen, not ever. Even after four hours of straight spinning.
When a runner can’t run, she gives up. She’s defeated. She drowns her sorrows in wine.
When a runner can’t run, no matter what she does to try to stay in shape, her pants are always a little more snug than they used to be.
When a runner can’t run, the intense hunger she has for a long run is equal and opposite to the intense hunger running induces. Right now, food lacks its luster. Life lacks its luster. Breakfast nachos taste a million times better after a 10 mile jog. She knows things are bad, when she doesn’t even care about breakfast nachos anymore.
Spiked coffee, however, still tastes just as good.
When a runner can’t run, she abandons her pal that she convinced to sign up for a marathon. She leaves her to run 26.2 by herself. She feels badly about that.
When a runner can’t run, sometimes she runs anyway.
And she just pays for it later.
When a runner can’t run, she misses her running friends. Friends she doesn’t see much in normal clothes. In makeup. Not sweaty. But good friends, nonetheless.
When a runner can’t run, she wonders if she is still a runner.
When a runner can’t run, she knows this isn’t really the end of her running days. At least, she hopes.